How to Paint Over Tile Backsplash

 Recently I had a client that was faced with this:

 Please, if you love chickens don’t send me hate mail.  I love chickens, too.  When they are laying eggs. But not on a tile backsplash in a home that lends itself to a more contemporary style.

First thing is to really clean the tile with rubbing alcohol.  Don’t use Windex or anything that might leave a residue.


 Use an all surface primer like Zinsser Bullseye 123.  This stuff really stuck to the tile and gave great coverage.  I did two thin coats about an hour apart.

 I always wrap a plastic bag around my paint tray.  Undo the tape and turn the bag inside out – cleanup done!

 This is after the primer coat.  Next up was base coat color:

 Could I resist a paint called Burlap?  No, I could not.

 I had a stencil kit from when I painted my table skirt in my workroom.  We originally wanted this pattern, but then realized that we needed the reverse so that only the outline was painted.

 Luckily, this pattern was just right to add some interest without overwhelming the space.

 It added just the right pop!

 So if your tile is outdated or a color that doesn’t fit your home any longer, you can paint it to give it a fresh new look!

 Go and have an awesome week!

Much love,


    {Primp}   A Crafty SoireeSomewhat SimpleIhookedupwithHoHlamespice These Peas Taste FunnyA Glimpse InsideTickled Pink at 504 Main


  1. LOVE the circles you stenciled on the tile! Where are they from?

  2. My son bought a 1970’s townhouse that is an end unit and quite large. The kitchen glazed tiles are FRUIT on each tile; at first I thought it was a decal and I could scratch it off, but no it’s the tile, ugly tile. I’m going to use your advice and paint over these tiles. Do you grout after you paint? Thanks for the ideas. Eilene

  3. I pinned your story on my blog. Just tried this technique and posted my rather sad experience on

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  5. MarieRoxanne says:

    I wonder if this can be used for the bathtub wall tiles? But of course I will want to varathane/polyurethane the heck out of them! LOL

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  7. I have smaller floral tiles from 1940’s in my kitchen that I would like to paint. But have too much grout too which I might want to fill up so fewer lines are visible when I paint. Do you any have any ideas? Also, where can I get the same stencil you used on your backsplash? Thanks!

  8. I will have some leftover paint that I was wondering if I could use on my tile backsplash. I do have the same primer you used, but the paint is a fast drying latex paint with a smooth satin finish. Do you think that would work fine on my tile? Thanks!

  9. I really love this idea! I never thought I could paint the backsplash tiles. I’ve been wanting to update my backsplash since I moved into my house 3 years ago but time and money hasn’t permitted. I noticed that your tiles had some sort of texture. My tiles are the old slick and shiny porcelain tiles from the 90s. Do you think it would still work the same?

    • Hi Hollie,
      I think it would work just fine! The primer says that it sticks to slick surfaces and that is the most important part. Share pics if you do it!

  10. You are featured on my blog tonight!! I’d love for you to stop by and grab a feature button :) This is such a great project! Thanks for linking up – a new party started tonight, too!
    <3 Christina

  11. This is Genius!!! I will be featuring this on my Facebook artist talent album on Sunday. Thanks so much for linking up such a practical, beautiful and do-able DIY to the Kiss & Tell party over at I Gotta Create!

  12. What a great tutorial. I’m featuring it in the PoPP Spotlight. Thanks for linking up, I’d love for you to submit this tutorial and any other great projects to my new site, .

  13. thanks for linking up to totally tutorials tuesday. You were featured today!!
    Have an awesome weekend!!

  14. What a fantastic idea! I had no idea you could do that. The paint tray idea is terrific too. Very helpful.

  15. oh my gosh, that rooster. this is sooo much better! as would have been the other stencil if that was the reverse. i love that pattern, but this one is whimsical.

  16. This is such a nice transformation and I agree that the plastic bag on the paint tray is utter brilliance. I will definitely be adopting that little trick. Thanks so much for sharing at our Link It Up Thursday party.

  17. Good move on getting rid of those chickens ;) It looks great! Thanks for the tips :)

  18. Wow! How Great! I cannot WAIT to do this to the incredibly ugly tile that makes up the back splash in my kitchen above my stove top! Thank you soo much for sharing! Your tile looks incredible!

  19. Hi Bev! Thanks so much for sharing those painting tips with us. When we moved in our house 7 years ago, we wanted to change the kitchen tile backsplash but ran out of energy and money so as a temporary fix, we just painted the whole thing (grout and all) the same color as the walls. We used a technique similar to yours and it looks good enough that we’ve never gotten around to re-tiling or anything else to it. I saw your post over at “Primp” link party.

    • Mominizer Mominizer says:

      I bet it looks great! Sometimes it is funny things we do and think we will re-do end up being things we love! XO Bev

  20. How lovely!!

    Would this work for painting counter-top tile, too? My kitchen tile is very dated, but there will be no remodel in the near future! (And I agree, the paint bag is genius. I think I’ll get to repainting my son’s room much sooner now!)

    • Mominizer Mominizer says:

      Hi Laura,
      You know, I just don’t know…maybe if you used an oil based paint {I used a latex one for the backsplash} so that it is more scrubbable? I did wipe off paint from the primer and the primer did not budge so I think it might be a short term {2 year} solution. Good luck! Bev

  21. Maybe my brain is just thinking a little slowly today, but do you mean you wrap the paint tray before you pour the paint in? What a smart idea! The worst part about painting is the clean up, so anything to make it faster is a plus :) Thanks for sharing!

    • Mominizer Mominizer says:

      Hi Steph,
      Yes, you just wrap it before you paint. I am often in someone else’s house when I am painting and this way I don’t have to use their sink for any messy stuff {I throw my brushes in a ziploc bag and clean at home}.

  22. It never occured to me to paint the ugly tile in my house! Thanks for this! – Oh, and the plastic bag trick – Genius!