Epoxy backsplashes have become increasingly popular in recent years as a stylish and durable alternative to traditional tile or stone backsplashes. An epoxy backsplash is essentially a coat of thick, glossy epoxy resin that is applied directly onto the wall behind a sink or cooktop. Epoxy backsplashes provide a seamless, easy-to-clean surface that protects the wall from moisture, grease, and stains. They come in a nearly endless variety of colors, patterns, and textures, allowing you to customize your backsplash to match your personal style.
Installing an epoxy backsplash is a relatively straightforward do-it-yourself project that can transform the look of your kitchen or bathroom. With proper preparation and application, an epoxy backsplash can last for many years. This guide will walk you through the entire process of epoxy backsplash installation, from choosing the right epoxy products to applying the final topcoat. Follow these steps carefully to achieve professional-looking results.
Choose an Epoxy Product
The first step is selecting an epoxy product specifically formulated for backsplash application. Look for a two-part epoxy resin/hardener system that comes in a kit with everything you need, including instructions. Options include:
- Pre-mixed colored epoxy: Comes in many different solid colors like white, black, red, etc. Provides uniform color.
- Clear epoxy resin: Can be colored as desired with epoxy pigments. Allows more custom color options.
- Metallic epoxy: Contains metallic pigments like mica that create a shimmering, iridescent look.
- Quartz epoxy: Contains colored quartz aggregate that adds dimension and texture.
Make sure to select a non-yellowing epoxy formulated for high surface gloss. Products made specifically for countertops often work well for backsplashes. Buy just enough to cover the surface area of your backsplash, following package instructions.
Prep the Backsplash Area
Proper preparation is crucial for successful epoxy backsplash installation. Here are the key steps:
- Clean thoroughly: Use TSP cleaner to degrease the backsplash area, then wash with soap and water and let dry completely.
- Sand surface: Lightly sand glossy surfaces to help the epoxy bond. Wipe away dust.
- Fill any holes/imperfections: Use spackle or epoxy filler if needed then sand smooth when dry.
- Mask surrounding areas: Tape off countertops, walls, outlets, etc. with painters tape to prevent drips.
Take your time with prep to ensure the epoxy bonds tightly to the surface. Any grease, dust or debris left underneath can ruin the installation.
Mix and Apply Epoxy
Once your surface is fully prepped, it’s time to mix and apply the epoxy:
- Prepare epoxy: Mix resin and hardener according to package directions, using precise measurements and mixing thoroughly.
- Consider accent color: If using clear epoxy, add a few drops of epoxy pigment to tint the whole batch, if desired.
- Pour epoxy and spread evenly: Immediately pour epoxy mixture onto backsplash surface and use a plastic spreader to smooth it out evenly. Spread it into corners.
- Pop air bubbles: Use a blow torch on low setting to eliminate any trapped air bubbles, going over the entire surface.
- Let cure overnight: Epoxy will dry to the touch in 6-12 hours but allow a full 24 hours to fully cure before adding any additional coats.
For dark accent colors, an extra coat of tinted epoxy may be needed for full opacity. Make sure each coat is fully cured before adding another.
Apply Epoxy Topcoat
Once your base epoxy layer is fully cured, apply a clear gloss topcoat following the same mixing and application process:
- Mix topcoat epoxy: Combine resin and hardener according to package directions.
- Apply thin even layer: Spread a thin, smooth coat of topcoat epoxy over entire backsplash using a spreader.
- Pop bubbles and let cure: Use torch to eliminate bubbles, then let topcoat fully cure for 24 hours.
The topcoat will help provide maximum gloss, durability and protection. For a thicker build, 2 coats of topcoat can be applied.
You’re almost done! Finish your epoxy backsplash installation with these final steps:
- Remove masking tape: Carefully peel off all masking tape before epoxy is fully hardened.
- Clean up drips: Use a razor blade to scrape off any drips that may have gotten onto surrounding surfaces before curing is complete.
- Add accent borders or details: If desired, apply painter’s tape and use additional colored epoxy to add borders, geometric designs, stripes, etc. Let cure fully before removing tape.
- Enjoy your new backsplash! Your custom epoxy backsplash is now ready to use and enjoy for years to come.
With the right products and techniques, you can achieve an attractive, durable epoxy backsplash yourself and save on installation costs. Just allow plenty of cure time between steps and take care to keep the surface free of debris for professional-looking results. Your new backsplash will be a focal point of your kitchen or bathroom.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does epoxy backsplash installation take?
The installation process takes 2-3 days from start to finish, including full cure times for the epoxy layers. The actual hands-on time is only a few hours.
Does the wall surface need any special preparation?
The surface should be sanded, cleaned thoroughly with TSP, and cleared of any grease, dirt or debris so the epoxy bonds well.
What’s the best way to apply the epoxy evenly?
Pour the mixed epoxy resin onto the surface and use a plastic spreader to smooth it out, making sure it gets into the corners.
Should you wear gloves when working with epoxy?
Yes, you should wear protective gloves as the epoxy resins can irritate bare skin. Good ventilation is also important.
Can you install an epoxy backsplash over existing tile?
It’s not recommended to install directly over existing tile. The epoxy will not bond well. Remove old tile first.
What do you clean an epoxy backsplash with?
Use a non-abrasive all-purpose cleaner and soft sponge or cloth. Avoid harsh chemicals that could damage the epoxy surface.
Installing an epoxy backsplash is a satisfying DIY project that can give your kitchen or bathroom a modern, stylish upgrade. With careful prep, precise epoxy application, and full cure times, you can achieve sleek, professional-looking results. The finished backsplash provides a waterproof, sturdy surface that’s resistant to stains and damage. Take your time following each step, and you’ll have a beautiful, enduring backsplash you can enjoy for many years. For dramatic color effects, experiment with adding metallic, quartz or accent colors. With the right epoxy products and techniques, you can rejuvenate your space with this on-trend look.