Are you stuck with a backsplash in your kitchen, laundry room or even your bathroom that you are not particularly fond of? Now isn't the time to tear it out and install a new tile surface is it? Most of us are so busy we just can even for-see the day when we will get around to major renovations. So what are we suppose to do in the mean time?? Just live with it the way it is, staring at that brown, multi coloured tile that makes you cringe every time you walk into your kitchen?? Well I am here to say NO! No you don't have to live with it! Within a matter of few hours of easy work you can have a beautifully painted back splash that covers up that old grungy look and instantly freshens up your surface to update and brighten your room with tried and tested results!
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So before we get started just know that this method works on all surfaces. If your back splash is travertine, porcelain, glass or metal, this will work. The key to having a paint job that will stick to your surface is all in the paint and prep. My favourite primer is Zinsser Cover Stain. As long as you have this as your base coat, it will be your insurance for a long lasting paint job. Also I recommend Benjamin Moore Advance paint. This is an incredibly durable self leveling enamel paint. I love that this paint once cured is very scrubbable. Its strong enough to take on your grease splatters and your scouring pads even!
220 grit Sand paper
TSP (Trisodium Phosphate)
Scrub sponge and scrub brush
Benjamin Moore Advance High Gloss/Semi Gloss or Pearl Paint
4" High Density Foam Roller and frame
Angled Paint Brushes 1.5-2" - I like to use one brush for my oil based primer and another for my latex Advance paint.
Frog Painters Tape
So here's what I was starting with in my own kitchen. I lived with it like this for over a few years before I decided I couldn't handle it anymore and needed to give it a new look. I had never painted tiles before so had no idea what I was doing, but sometimes I don't even think before I dive into projects. I just jump into the deep end first and not care if I mess it up. I figured it couldn't get much worse and, well if I messed it up I could always tear it out and put new tile up?! I had also just finished painting out all of my kitchen cabinets and love the results there (you can read more about that process here) so I thought it couldn't be much different that doing that.....and well, I was right!
First thing you will need to do no matter what your back splash material is, is scrub down and clean your surface with your TSP until it's squeaky clean and completely removed of old dirt and grim. Don't skip this step or rush through it, use your bristle brush to get into any old grout and around the corners and seams of the counter tops. These are the areas that accumulate the most grime and act like a magnet to grease. TSP is a heavy duty cleaner, so be sure you wear gloves when you do this step. There is ready made TSP that comes in a spray bottle for easy application, or you can use the powder form which just needs to be added to warm water to form a cleaning solution. Be sure you rinse off with warm water to be certain no residue is remaining.
Now that your surface is all clean it's now time to sand. Grab your 220 grit sandpaper and scratch up your surface. You just need to etch it up a bit to help give the paint a surface to better adhere to. So don't spend too much time on this, just go over it quickly. Once you are finish give it all a wipe to remove and dust.