How to Paint a Tile Backsplash | Ask This Old House

Sharing buttons:


we like the countertops we like the

cabinets the problem really is the

backsplash it's just so dark it feels

dated we're not really happy with it

okay so it is a little dark I mean

obviously from the color looks like a

subway tile shape and I think that's a

terracotta it's in good shape I mean the

grout is all there I don't see any

broken tiles you guys you want to change

it you want to take it out well in our

last house we did a floor to ceiling

renovation in the kitchen and I'm just

not willing to do that again it just

took way too long and you know we're

pretty happy with everything except for

the backsplash there's something quickly

could do that would be perfect maybe a

facelift that sounds great all right let

me show you what I have in mind so April

if you don't like the color of your tile

but you don't want to change it out I'm

thinking that we would just paint over


tile can you paint tile well I wouldn't

use a traditional paint on tile I mean

tile tends to be hard non-porous it's

got a glazing on it so it's a very slick

surface but if we use a special paint I

think we can actually pull it off and so

this is a kit that is actually designed

to resurface tubs and a tile in the

bathroom and we can use it in the

kitchen and it's actually an epoxy it

comes in two parts so there's the epoxy

and then there's the activator you mix

them together and in this case it's

white so we can actually turn your red

terracotta into a white subway tile okay

that's just really brighten it up all

right so it's gonna be a lot of prep

work before we can do this so let's

clean off the counters and get started

on the prep all right so we've protected

your granite countertop with a plastic

drop cloth and now we've been clean the

tile and it starts by taking off things

like our


now we want to clean the entire surface

of the backsplash we're gonna start with

a kitchen and bath cleaner it's just a

bleach and water mix from a spray bottle

and then we're gonna scrub everything

with a scouring pad we're gonna take a

little extra time behind the stove

because that's typically a spot that's

got more grease on the wall all right

April tile looks pretty good yeah

probably the cleanest has ever been yeah

all right even though we're using an

epoxy coating specifically designed for

tile we want to make sure that we have

good adhesion and that means we want to

etch the tile we're gonna do that in two

steps and the first one is using a

calcium rust cleaner

all right so we'll just put a little bit

on our abrasive pads some for you and

then just going after

the second step in etching is to go over

the entire surface with sandpaper we're

gonna use a 400 grit that's really fine

and we just want to dig loss the tile

alright so after a light sanding you

want to clean it off with a clean rag

that is damp just wipe it down and make

sure it gets completely dry probably at

least 15 minutes all right

Apryl tile and grout are completely dry

and we're ready for the paint passed on

now it's kind of stinky so we actually

put two fans in the windows to make sure

we've got great ventilation and we've

opened everything up it's two parts as I

told you an A and a B and we made sure

that we mix the a and the B

independently in their own cans and now

we're gonna mix them together does this

end up being the consistency of pain

close to it but a little thinner and

fits perfectly in now we're gonna stir

the two of them together for two minutes

minute all right it's thickening up and

that's pretty good right there that's

the consistency we're looking for I'm

gonna pour it into two trays one for you

one for me a little bit of that one a

little bit that one clean up the drip

and then we're gonna cover that can

while we're not using it thank you

all right April so these grout lines are

a little deep so we're actually gonna

paint them first with the brush and

we're also going to cut in I'll have you

start with that and I'm gonna follow

behind the roller just don't get too far

ahead of me because we always want a way

edge all right we're gonna do two coats

so it doesn't have to be put on that

heavy you want to make sure that it

doesn't drip

it looks really good I like it already

yeah I can't believe what a difference

it makes

already right okay April that's the

first coat looks just dry for an hour


all right first coat completely dry okay

pretty much the same process with the

second coat you work the brush I'll work

the roller we'll keep a wet edge and

just try to keep the paint a little bit

tighter to the grout line this time just

like that you are a pro I'm going to go

over one tile at a time in the direction

of the tile just not going over the

grout lines with the roller I work with

the roller you might see some bubbling

don't worry about that will go away and

the pay to lay down flat alright stove

back in place the second code has been

drying for about an hour so that's good

to go I ran a bead of caulk between the

wall and the countertop because we dug

out the old caulk there and even though

it's dry to the touch it really should

set up overnight so we're not gonna put

the cover plates back on yet they might

stick so you can do those tomorrow I can

do that other than that I think you are

good to go what do you think it looks

like an entirely different kitchen I

love it