How to Paint Stone Backsplash

Painting a stone backsplash can refresh the look of your kitchen or bathroom. With the right preparation and technique, you can easily update the color and style. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to paint stone backsplash.

Clean and Prepare the Surface

This is the most important step before painting any surface. Make sure the stone is free of grease, soap scum and other residues by using a degreaser. Scrub with a stiff brush and rinse thoroughly. Let it dry completely.

Sand the surface lightly with fine 120-150 grit sandpaper to rough it up. This allows the new paint to adhere properly. Wipe away all the dust with a tack cloth.

Use painter’s tape to cover the edges and protect adjacent surfaces like walls or cabinets. This prevents drips and smears.

Choose the Right Paint and Primer

The type of paint you use will determine how well it sticks and lasts. For stone backsplashes, using a primer specifically made for masonry works best. It seals porous surfaces and provides maximum adhesion.

For paint, select high quality latex or acrylic options formulated for interior use. Semi-gloss or satin finishes are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms as they are durable and washable.

Match the primer and paint brands for best results. Some popular options include:

  • KILZ Premium Masonry Primer
  • Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer
  • Behr Premium Plus Interior Paint
  • Benjamin Moore Advance Paint

Apply the Primer

Stir the primer well before using. If the stone has never been painted before, apply two coats of masonry primer allowing each coat to fully dry as directed on the can. This provides a solid base.

If you are painting over an existing color, one coat is typically sufficient. Use a brush to coat all grooves and texture evenly. Work in sections and maintain a wet edge to prevent lap marks.

Let the primer dry completely before painting. It usually takes 2-4 hours. Improper drying can cause the paint to peel or bubble.

Paint the Stone Backsplash

Before starting to paint, stir the can to mix the pigment evenly throughout. Pour paint into a paint tray or bucket to make it easy to load the roller or brush.

Use a high quality mini roller with a 1/4″ nap for large flat areas. Trim around edges and grout lines carefully with an angled sash brush. Apply the paint in thin even coats and avoid blotching.

Maintain a wet edge and paint from top to bottom in sections. Let each coat fully dry before adding another. For best coverage, two coats of paint are recommended. If applying a dark shade over a light color, extra coats may be needed.

Work methodically and slowly to ensure a smooth finish. Touch up any misses or drips immediately as the paint begins to dry. Remove all painter’s tape before the paint dries completely.

Let Paint Cure and Dry

Allow the paint to cure and harden completely according to manufacturer’s guidelines before use. It may take up to two weeks to fully cure and achieve maximum washability.

Avoid placing items on the backsplash or excessive moisture until thoroughly cured. The painted surface can be cleaned gently with a damp, non-abrasive cloth if needed after the first week.

With proper preparation and application, painted stone backsplashes can last for many years before needing touch-ups. The color possibilities are endless. Follow these tips for a successful, durable finish that updates the look of your space.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of paint should I use on a stone backsplash?

Use high quality latex or acrylic paint formulated for interior use on masonry surfaces. Semi-gloss or satin sheens work best for durability and easy cleaning.

Can I just paint over my existing backsplash without priming first?

It’s best to prime unpainted stone to ensure proper adhesion. If painting over an existing color, you can likely get by with one coat of primer. Always check for compatibility.

How long does it take for painted stone backsplash to cure?

Allow at least 2 weeks for paint to fully cure and harden before cleaning or putting items on the surface. Avoid moisture contact for 1 week.

Should I use a roller or brush to paint stone backsplash?

Use a mini roller for large areas and a sash brush to trim edges and paint grout lines. This combination provides the smoothest finish.

What’s the best way to prepare a stone backsplash for painting?

Clean thoroughly with a degreaser, sand lightly to rough up, and remove all dust. Use painter’s tape to protect surrounding areas from drips.

How many coats of paint do I need on a stone backsplash?

Typically 2 coats provides good coverage, but darker colors may require an extra coat when painting over lighter surfaces. Allow thorough drying between coats.


Painting a stone backsplash allows you to easily and affordably change the color and look of your kitchen or bath. With proper cleaning, sanding, priming and paint application using quality latex paint, you can achieve professional-looking results. Preparation is key – take time and care when getting the surface ready. Allow new paint to fully cure before heavy use and cleaning. In a weekend, you can transform your outdated backsplash into a fresh, stylish focal point.