I’ve been wanting to makeover my kitchen ever since I moved in 3 years ago.
I kept putting it off because I didn’t have the time or money to do it. But also because I was terrified to paint the tile backsplash 😐
Yes, you heard that right. I painted the GLASS tile backsplash; one of the biggest faux-pas of interior design.
But the alternative was ripping out my entire kitchen and that just wasn’t possible on our current budget.
So I improvised and did a lot of Pinterest research on how to paint a glass tile backsplash. I got a lot of different answers and found it tricky to navigate and decide what the “right” way to do it was.
In the end, I used a couple of resources and made my own plan.
It wasn’t easy and it was quite time-consuming but… I am in love with the finished product and I could not have imagined it turning out better.
Let me show you exactly what I did to completely makeover my kitchen on a budget – this whole project cost less that $300!
My Kitchen Makeover
To start, it will probably be best to show you what our kitchen looked like before:
The previous homeowner had recently re-done the kitchen before we purchased it so everything was brand-new…But just not our style unfortunately.
And not to mention our counter tops were extremely crowded and cluttered, making the whole kitchen seem even more busy than it already was.
Once I was able to clear the kitchen out and clean everything, you can see that it looked a lot better.
Ok so now that you’ve seen all the before’s, it’s time to get into the painting process!
Step 1. Prep the surface
So there was a lot of different information out there on how to prep the surface for painting.
Most people recommended you clean it well with a cleaner first, then sand, then clean again using a heavy-duty cleaner.
I started by cleaning the surface with soap and water to remove any grease or residue from the tiles.
Next, I tried sanding the tiles using a medium-grade sand block. This didn’t not work at all. I tried the roughest grade sand block and it still did absolutely nothing to take the glass finish off of the tile. (ps. please wear a mask when you sand glass so you don’t inhale any glass dust particles).
So if I were to do this over again, I would skip the sanding all-together as it didn’t affect the paint adherence.
Lastly, I washed the tile with an interior paint and varnish remover (I used Natura – Safe Strip which you can find at home hardware for less than $10) and I followed the directions on the container.
**Be careful to make sure you clean this off any surfaces that you might have accidentally dropped it on as it will take the finish off cupboards, etc.
I didn’t really notice a difference on the tile after using the cleaner except that it looked really clean and shiny.
So wether or not it was suppose to remove some of the glass varnish, who knows, but it didn’t.
I allowed this to dry overnight and then the next morning we taped the backsplash where it met the counter tops. We decided against taping anything else because it was going to be too time-consuming and tricky with all of the edges.
Step 2. Primer
Doing the first primer coat was by far the hardest part of the whole job. It was tricky to get it to stay on the tile and make sure I covered all of the areas evenly.
I used a primer called “Stick It” that’s specifically designed to stick to ceramic or glass surfaces.
I used a small foam roller as well as a foam brush to apply the primer. I did one coat, and then let it dry for 4 hours before applying the second coat.
Here’s what it looked after the 2 coats of primer were applied.
You can see how the primer still shows the old tile coming through in some areas. That’s ok because it will be covered with the next step.
I removed the tape before the paint dried on the second coat to ensure I didn’t give it the opportunity to chip as we removed it. I let the primer dry overnight before moving on to the paint coats.
Step 3. Painting the tile
This step was definitely easier than the primer as the paint stuck well to the primer and covered really well. I again started by taping where the counter tops met the backsplash.
I used Beauti-Tone Designer Series for Trim and Door – white to paint the backsplash.
I used a small foam roller and foam brush for the white paint. I applied the first coat and then waited 2-3 hours to apply the second coat. After the second coat, I removed the tape before the paint dried.
Here’s what it looked like after 2 coats:
As you can see, the finish of the paint already has a bit of a gloss. You could easily leave it as that, but I wanted it to be a little more durable and have a glossier, glass-like finish to it.
Step 4: Gloss finish
This step was by far the easiest and the quickest (and also the most satisfying!).
I waited a week to allow the paint to cure before applying the gloss varnish. I used Varathane Diamond Wood Finish – Interior Gloss, Non-Yellowing
To apply the varnish, I used a regular bristle brush and did two coats, waiting 24 hours in between coats. I didn’t use tape for this step.
I allowed the second coat to dry completely (24 hours) before putting appliances back and using the kitchen normally.
We also decided to re-cock the gap between the counter top and backsplash to cover any paint and create a nice, clean final look.
And here is the final product:
I am so happy with how this turned out! I can’t believe what a difference the white backsplash makes to brighten the whole space. Our kitchen feels so much bigger, cleaner and most importantly, it feels more like us.
This entire project took about 3 weeks to complete and cost under $300. Here’s the cost breakdown:
- Paint + supplies: $100
- New hardware: $80
- New pendant light: $100 (with shipping)
- Total: $280
If you’re looking to update your kitchen on a budget and maybe you’re hesitant to paint your backsplash, I say go for it! It’s a little more time consuming than your average paint-job, but in the end it saved us thousands of dollars in reno costs had we decided to change our backsplash entirely.
Here’s a quick recap/recipe of the steps to paint you backsplash:
- Clean and prep the tile. I used Safe Strip and did 2 coats of it, allowing it to completely dry before painting. I also taped the bottom edge of the backsplash where it met the counter top.
- Prime. I used Stick It primer and applied 2 coats using a small foam roller and foam brush. I waited 4 hours between coats and removed the tape before the second coat dried. I waited 12 hours before painting.
- Paint the tile. I used white trim and door paint by Beauti-tone to paint the backsplash using a small foam roller and brush. I taped the backsplash again just where it met the counter top and applied 2 coats. I waited 2-3 hours between coats. I removed the tape after the second coat before it dried.
- Add the gloss finish. I waited 7 days to allow the paint to cure before adding the final coats of varnish. I used a non-yellowing diamond wood finish gloss and applied it with a regular bristle brush. I waited 24 hours between coats and applied 2 coats total.
I hope this post helps you and please feel free to reach out in the comments below if you have any questions!