6 DIY Backsplash Ideas | DIY Experience

6 DIY Backsplash Ideas

If you’re updating the backsplash of your home or simply installing a new one, there are many great materials in easy to install configurations that will beautify your kitchen without taking too much time or cash. In addition, a backsplash can also improve the aspect of the space. In this article, we gathered the easiest, most interesting, and most creative DIY backsplash tutorials available online.

1. DIY Wainscoting or Paneling

If your current backsplash is plain, boring sheetrock and you want a little texture but don’t have time to tile, consider adding a painted beadboard or paneled backsplash. For this project, you’ll need:

  • Beadboard, which you can purchase in 4 x 8 sheets and have cut at the home repair supply store. If possible, buy a primed beadboard so you can go right to work with your chosen paint color.
  • Paint in the color of your choice. Be sure to get a durable paint that’s rated for kitchens and bathrooms, and make absolutely certain it’s washable since cleanup is critical to DIY stove backsplash ideas. Semi-gloss is a nice finish for this application. You can put on the first coat of paint before you install the DIY backsplash and finish up with the second coat once you’ve patched the installation holes.
  • A piece of wooden trim to sit along the bottom of the beadboard where it meets the countertop. Again, buy primed if possible and be ready to caulk your trim.
  • A staple gun to attach your beadboard to the wall, and you’ll probably want to nail the trim piece in place with a hammer that doesn’t require a lot of room to swing. To cover the holes, a bit of wood putty and a little sanding will leave you a smooth surface to finish painting.

primed bedboard

2. DIY Wallpaper Backsplash

It should be noted that a durable vinyl wallpaper is a great DIY kitchen backsplash. With time, your wallpaper may start to curl and need maintenance or a replacement. However, using wallpaper as a temporary backsplash treatment will give you time to decide what you truly want and see what colors really pop in your kitchen. Wallpaper application can be a little tricky so if you’ve never done it before, avoid patterns that need to line up horizontally. Once wallpaper is wet, it can stretch. Here’s what you need:

  • Smoothing tool to help you avoid air bubbles and wrinkles, and a seam roller will give your project a polished look.
  • Spackle and a putty knife to treat any holes or gouges. Your patch may take a little sanding before you apply sizing.
  • Sizing will make it easier to remove the wallpaper when you’re ready for a final decision.
  • A waterproof sealant to protect your DIY backsplash paper and keep it looking fresh.

Finally, be aware that you can customize your DIY backsplash with any image you find on sturdy paper with a bit of clear contact paper. Simply cut the image to fit your backsplash, then cut contact paper 1/2 larger around the border of the image. Apply the sticky side to the image, and use the contact paper border to stick the image to the wall. This option for a DIY peel and stick backsplash idea is a temporary fix, but a great way to customize your space.

3. DIY Ceramic or Porcelain Tile Backsplash

Ceramic tile is a very cheap yet permanent addition to your backsplash and it is easy to apply. You will need to invest in some tools as there are always custom cuts to get around outlets and other challenges. These include:

  • A tile saw. Electric tile saws have become very affordable and are a great way to do custom cuts. Be sure to unplug and clean out your tile saw with spray from a water hose every time you use it.
  • Nippers, for cutting away at small edges or rounding out a curve.
  • A rubbing stone, for cleaning up rough edges.
  • Spacers to set the proper distance between tiles.
  • An adhesive comb to set the glue or mastic to the right depth for the size of tile you’re stalling.
  • A grout float, to press grout into the gaps between the tiles.

It’s really tempting to start tiling from the countertop and work up; however, not every countertop is leveled. Set a level line about half a tile tall from the top of your cabinet and start your tiling there. Check the space after the first few tiles to make sure you’re installing about half a tile at the bottom as well. If you’re stuck with just a sliver of tile to install, adjust your top line so you can make safe cuts for your bottom row. This will keep your DIY tile backsplash leveled and visibly pleasing.

diy kitchen tile backsplash


4. DIY Subway Tile Backsplash

A DIY subway tile backsplash is similar to square ceramic tile as far as cutting and installing it, but many subway tiles feature raised panels and other details that make them a visually interesting addition to your kitchen.

When laying out the tile, a popular option is to offset the tiles at 50% on alternating rows, so the grout lines only line up on every other row. If you choose to use this method, start near your outlets whenever possible so you can make the gaps work for you rather than against you.

Another option is to lay out an angled or herringbone pattern. Use the angle tool to confirm you’re starting off right. While you’re placing your first few tiles, it will be cleaner if you don’t spread mastic right away, but instead individually “butter” each tile before you set it.

5. DIY Glass Tile Backsplash

Glass tile backsplash comes in sheets and is generally quite small, 1 inch by 1 inch or even smaller. For this project, you will need:

  • Glass tile. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to use the best quality adhesive to make sure your glass tile sticks. The mesh on the back of glass tile will stretch and flex a bit. Work around outlets carefully and try not to tug on the tile sheet once it’s stuck in the mastic, or your can ruin the spacing.
  • A sturdy and sharp utility knife to cut the tile sheets apart.
  • Glass tile nippers, as many of the tools that work on ceramic tile won’t work on glass.
  • A softer float to reduce the risk of scratching.

6. Custom DIY Paint Jobs

If you’ve got a very small budget but plenty of time, a custom painted DIY backsplash will really make your kitchen unique.

  • A good paint for the background to protect your sheetrock.
  • Stencils in the color of your choice to customize the backsplash. As it usually is a rather boxy space, square stencils would work well.
  • Quality painter’s tape so you don’t ruin your design while creating customized stencils or designs.
  • A set of stencil brushes.

Once your backsplash is done, add a clear coat of washable, waterproof sealer to protect your handiwork.

Note: If you are here because you want to remodel your kitchen, you should also go through our tutorials on DIY kitchen cabinets and our collection of DIY concrete countertops.


A custom DIY backsplash for your kitchen can change the whole visual balance of the room if using the right colors, shapes, and textures. Nevertheless, its primary purpose is to protect walls, floors, and furniture from humidity. We believe these 6 backsplash tutorials are fun and fairly easy to follow. Do you agree?

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