How to Hide Ugly Backsplash

Adding a backsplash to your kitchen can instantly upgrade the look and feel of the space. However, choosing the wrong material or style can make your kitchen feel dated and unattractive. If you have an ugly backsplash that you want to cover up, there are several easy and affordable options to hide it until you’re ready for a full renovation.

Use Removable Wallpaper

One of the simplest ways to disguise an unsightly backsplash is with removable wallpaper. Self-adhesive wallpaper comes in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and textures to match any decor. It’s easy to cut to size and apply right over your existing tile or laminate backsplash. When it’s time to remove it, the paper peels off easily without leaving behind a sticky residue. Just be sure to carefully measure and cut the wallpaper to fit your backsplash area so you don’t have seams or edges showing.

Install Temporary Tile

Tile is a great option for temporarily covering an ugly backsplash. Self-adhesive tile sheets provide the look of real ceramic or stone tile without the hassle of grout or installation. Peel and stick tiles go up quickly and come off clean when you’re ready to replace them. Choose natural stone or marble designs to give your backsplash an instant upgraded appearance. Use caulk in the grout lines for a seamless look. Just make sure the current backsplash is smooth so the tile will properly adhere.

Paint It

Painting over an unattractive backsplash is an affordable DIY solution. Use primer specifically made for tile and laminate surfaces so the paint properly adheres. A couple coats of paint in a color that complements your cabinets and countertops can give the whole kitchen a fresh new look. Make sure to use high-quality acrylic latex paint that’s designed for kitchen and bathroom walls. Clean the surface thoroughly before painting so the paint sticks. Painting backsplash tile does involve some prep work, but it’s easy to do yourself and can completely transform the look of your kitchen.

Hang a Backsplash Covering

Backsplash coverings like beadboard, shiplap wood, or tin provide an easy way to hide an ugly backsplash. You simply cut the panels to size, secure them to the existing backsplash with liquid nails or construction adhesive, and nail the panels in place for extra support. Stain or paint the panels to match your kitchen decor. Install the covering horizontally or vertically depending on the look you prefer. Just make sure to precisely measure and cut the panels so you don’t have uneven edges or gaps. Use caulk to fill any joints for a seamless appearance.

Add a Floating Shelf

Installing a floating shelf in front of your backsplash is an attractive way to disguise it. The shelf also provides extra storage space for displaying cookbooks, plants, or decor. Anchor sturdy brackets into the wall studs, allowing at least 1″ space between the shelf and existing backsplash. Stain or paint the shelf to coordinate with your cabinets and kitchen style. Make sure to attach any shelf securely, as it will be holding heavy items. A floating shelf with greenery, dishes, or decorative items can entirely conceal an unattractive backsplash.

Use a Trim Molding

Affixing trim molding over your current backsplash is an easy and inexpensive makeover. Choose a molding style that matches your kitchen cabinets for a cohesive look. Carefully measure and cut the molding pieces to fit the backsplash area. Use construction adhesive to attach the molding to the backsplash, then secure with finishing nails. Use caulk between the molding and wall to fill any gaps. Once the molding is painted or stained, no one will know your outdated backsplash is hiding behind it. The molding gives your kitchen an instant facelift.

FAQs About Hiding an Ugly Backsplash

What is the easiest way to hide an ugly backsplash?

Removable wallpaper and self-adhesive tile sheets are two of the easiest temporary solutions for disguising an unattractive backsplash. They simply stick to the existing surface and peel off easily when you’re ready to replace them.

Can you paint over existing backsplash tile?

Yes, you can paint over a tile or laminate backsplash with a few preparation steps. Make sure to clean and prime the surface first so the paint properly adheres. Use acrylic latex paint made specifically for kitchen and bathroom walls.

What can I use to cover my backsplash temporarily?

Removable wallpaper, self-adhesive tile, beadboard panels, floating shelves, tin sheets, and trim molding can all temporarily conceal an ugly backsplash until you’re ready to replace it.

How do you hang something over an existing backsplash?

Use construction adhesive and/or finishing nails to securely attach panels, floating shelves, or trim molding directly over your backsplash. Make sure they are properly supported and anchored into wall studs. Use caulk to fill any visible gaps for a seamless look.

Should I remove an old backsplash before installing a new one?

It’s generally best to remove your old backsplash completely before installing a new one. This allows you to inspect and repair your wall surface if needed. However, you can also cover over an existing backsplash temporarily as a quick fix.

How long will a temporary backsplash cover last?

Temporary backsplash covers like wallpaper, tile, or panels can last 6 months to a year if properly installed. Just be aware these are short-term solutions until you’re ready to fully renovate your kitchen.


If your outdated or damaged backsplash has seen better days, don’t worry – you don’t have to live with an ugly backsplash until you’re ready to replace it. Affordable and temporary solutions like peel-and-stick wallpaper or tile, floating shelves, paint, and trim molding can disguise and even transform an unattractive backsplash. With a little creativity, you can camouflage or cover up an ugly backsplash and give your whole kitchen an updated look. Just be sure to properly prep and install any covering securely and safely. Before you know it, you’ll have a beautiful new backsplash ready to show off.