Can You Put Peel and Stick Backsplash Over Existing Backsplash?

A peel and stick backsplash is a convenient and affordable way to refresh your kitchen’s look without the mess of traditional tile installation. But can you install a peel and stick backsplash right over your existing backsplash? Here’s what you need to know.

Evaluating Your Existing Backsplash

Before deciding whether a peel and stick backsplash will work over your current backsplash, examine the existing material closely.

  • Tile backsplashes – Peel and stick backsplash can be applied over existing tile if the tiles are in good condition with no cracks, missing grout, or loose tiles. The tile surface must be cleaned thoroughly and sanded lightly to rough up the glazed surface so the adhesive sticks properly.
  • Textured backsplashes – Heavily textured surfaces like faux brick, stucco, or stone make applying a thin peel and stick backsplash difficult. The texture prevents the backsplash from adhering smoothly and fully.
  • Painted backsplashes – A painted backsplash needs to be cleaned, lightly sanded, and primed before applying peel and stick backsplash. This helps the adhesive stick.
  • Wallpapered backsplashes – Wallpaper must be removed before applying a peel and stick backsplash. The adhesive will not bond correctly over wallpaper.

Preparing the Surface

Proper surface prep is crucial for a successful peel and stick backsplash installation.

  • Clean thoroughly with an all-purpose cleaner to remove grease, dirt and soap scum
  • Sand glossy surfaces lightly with 120-150 grit sandpaper to rough up the surface
  • Repair any damaged areas in existing backsplash
  • Prime painted backsplashes with a primer designed for tile and masonry
  • Remove wallpaper completely
  • Fill any cracks, holes, or uneven spots for a smooth surface

Benefits of Installing Over Existing Backsplash

Installing peel and stick backsplash over your existing backsplash offers several benefits:

  • Saves time – No need for messy removal of old backsplash.
  • Less expensive – Avoids costs of disposing old backsplash.
  • Minimizes dust and debris – Prevents demolition mess.
  • Reduces disruption – Great for renters who can’t make permanent changes.
  • Easy updates – Peel and stick makes refreshing your backsplash simple.
  • Maintains thickness – Doesn’t change depth between countertop and backsplash.

Drawbacks to Consider

There are also a few potential drawbacks:

  • Old tile lines or grout lines may show through new backsplash
  • Textured or imperfect surfaces prevent smooth installation
  • Long-term durability is shortened compared to new substrate
  • Thickness added reduces clearance behind cooktops
  • It’s difficult to remove later without damaging drywall

Tips for Installation

Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully for best results installing over existing backsplash:

  • Use painters tape along wall edges and backsplash perimeter.
  • Apply adhesive to backsplash surface, not tiles.
  • Use a grout seam roller or firm pressure to adhere tiles.
  • Avoid excessive adhesive thickness by applying sparingly.
  • Start at bottom and work up, completing one row fully before moving up.
  • Immediately remove any excess adhesive.
  • Wait the recommended cure time before removing painters tape.


Installing a peel and stick backsplash over your existing backsplash is definitely possible in many situations. With proper surface prep and careful application, a new peel and stick backsplash can give your kitchen an affordable facelift. Just be aware of potential drawbacks based on your existing material. And take the time to properly prepare the surface and meticulously apply the tiles. With a little extra care, you can install a beautiful new backsplash right over the old one.