Can You Paint Over Peel and Stick Backsplash?

Peel and stick backsplash tiles provide a quick and easy way to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom. Their adhesive backing makes installation a breeze. But what if you want to change the look after a while? Can you paint over peel and stick backsplash tiles? The short answer is yes, you can paint over peel and stick backsplash with proper preparation.

Overview of Peel and Stick Backsplashes

Peel and stick backsplash tiles, also known as self-adhesive backsplash tiles, have become increasingly popular in recent years. As the name implies, they have an adhesive backing that allows you to peel away a film and stick the tiles directly to your wall.

Some key advantages of peel and stick backsplash tiles:

  • Easy to install: Since they are self-adhesive, they don’t require any special tools or adhesive. Just measure, cut, peel, and stick.
  • Removable: They can be removed fairly easily without damaging your walls, allowing you to switch up your look in the future.
  • Affordable: Peel and stick tiles cost significantly less compared to traditional ceramic or stone backsplash tiles.
  • Variety of styles: You can find peel and stick tiles in styles ranging from subway tile, marble, and travertine to creative murals.

Can You Paint Over Peel and Stick Backsplash?

Yes, it is possible to paint over existing peel and stick backsplash tiles. With proper prep work and using the right paint and tools, you can change the look and color of your current backsplash. Here are some tips:

Clean and Prepare the Surface

Before painting, make sure the surface is clean, dry, and free of grease or soap residue. It also needs to be dull and lightly sanded for the paint to properly adhere. Wipe down with a degreaser and sand lightly with fine grit sandpaper.

Apply Primer

Priming helps the paint stick to the surface better. Use a high-adhesion primer specifically made for tile and masonry surfaces. Apply an even coat and let it fully dry.

Use Appropriate Paint

Select a high-quality latex paint formulated for tile, metal and masonry. Avoid flat paints. Semi-gloss or satin paints are easier to clean. Make sure the paint is compatible with the primer used.

Apply Paint in Thin Coats

Thick coats of paint are more likely to peel or crack. Apply multiple thin, even coats allowing each coat to fully dry between applications. Lightly sand between coats for better adhesion.

Use Small Paint Brush for Grout Lines

Use a small detail or trim brush to carefully paint grout lines. Avoid getting paint on tile edges.

Consider a Clear Coating for Protection

Adding 1-2 coats of a clear acrylic sealer provides protection and makes the paint more scratch resistant.

Tips for Successfully Painting Peel and Stick Backsplash

  • Take your time and don’t rush the prep work or painting process.
  • Do test patches first on a small area to ensure paint adheres well.
  • Make sure tiles are completely dry before painting.
  • Apply painter’s tape around edges for clean paint lines.
  • Work in small sections and paint in a pattern.
  • Let each coat fully dry before adding another coat.
  • Sand lightly between coats for maximum adhesion.
  • Avoid excessive paint build up in grout lines or edges.
  • Consider hiring a professional if you have little DIY experience.

Advantages of Painting Peel and Stick Backsplash

  • Inexpensive way to update the look
  • Allows you to change color schemes
  • Good option for renters unable to install new backsplash
  • Doesn’t require tile removal or new tile installation
  • Less mess and demolition than replacing tiles

Considerations Before Painting Backsplash

There are a few things to keep in mind before painting over existing backsplash:

  • Painted finish is not as durable as original tile. Requires more maintenance.
  • Grout lines will still be visible. Painting over dark grout with a light color paint can look strange.
  • Getting a smooth painted finish depends heavily on thorough prep work.
  • Defects in existing tile can show through the new paint.
  • Paint touch-ups may be required over time as painted surface wears faster than tile.

If your peel and stick backsplash tile is still in good condition, painting it can give your kitchen or bath a fresh new look. With careful prep and application, you can paint over peel and stick tiles and get great results. Proper maintenance will be required to keep the painted finish looking its best.

Frequently Asked Questions About Painting Peel and Stick Backsplash

Can I use any type of paint on peel and stick backsplash?

No, you’ll want to use high quality latex paint specifically formulated for tiles, masonry and metal surfaces. Avoid exterior paints, flat paints, and lower quality paints.

Do I need to use a primer before painting the backsplash?

Yes, always apply at least one coat of tile primer before painting for maximum paint adhesion and durability.

How long does it take for the paint to fully cure?

Most tile paints take around 7 days to fully cure and reach maximum strength and durability. Avoid cleaning or applying any sealers during this time.

Should I caulk around the edges before painting?

Caulking around edges and grout lines can help create a smoother painted surface, but is not mandatory.

How do I get paint out of the grout lines?

Use a small detail brush to carefully apply paint only on the tile surface and avoid getting paint in the grout lines. If paint does get in grout lines, immediately wipe it off with a damp cloth before it dries.

Can I get a smooth glass-like painted finish?

It’s difficult to get a perfectly smooth finish when painting textured tiles. But proper prep and using high-gloss enamel paint can get close to a glass-like look.

How durable is a painted peel and stick backsplash?

The paint will not be as hard-wearing as the original tile. Expect to have to touch up paint over time. Use lots of thin coats for maximum durability.


Painting over existing peel and stick backsplash tiles allows you to refresh the look of your kitchen or bathroom in an affordable way. With proper preparation and application, the painted finish can look quite good and last for many years with proper care. Just be sure to use the right paint and primers formulated specifically for backsplash tile surfaces. Consider hiring a professional painter if you want to achieve flawless results. With some time and effort, you can paint over those peel and stick tiles and give your space a whole new look.