An ugly backsplash can really bring down the look of your kitchen — and there are some kitchens out there with some really ugly backsplashes. But the good news is that, even if you’re renting or on a tight budget, there are still plenty of ways to save an awful backsplash without remodeling or re-tiling. Here are eight creative, budget-friendly (and even renter-friendly!) ways to cover up a backsplash you hate.
I keep seeing those vinyl tile stickers all over the place, and I keep wondering if they actually work. They’re thick appliques that are sized the same as standard tiles, so you just pop them on over. Fortunately, Kari from Lovilee has tried them out, and also fortunately, they look great.
The tiles in this Catskills mountain cabin only look like expensive cement tiles — they were originally country blue, but the homeowner covered them with vinyl stickers and sealed them with a coat of polyurethane.
At first glance, the tile in this kitchen from Poligom looks like traditional hex tile, but it’s actually an adhesive tile from Smart Tiles. Blogger Emilie affixed her tiles to a blank wall, but they can also be applied over other tiles (provided the underlying tiles aren’t too bumpy). They’re also easily removable, making this a great option for renters. If you’re curious about the installation process, our own Esteban Cortez created a very thorough post that goes through it step by step.
The idea of painting tile originally seemed a bit dicey to me, but this DIY from A Beautiful Mess has made me a believer. If the only thing objectionable about your tile is its color, you can paint over and get a completely different look.
For further evidence that painting tiles can be a great option, there’s this post from ECAB, who transformed a “Ronald McDonald kitchen” into a perfectly lovely space. The backsplash was formerly a kaleidoscope of multiple colors, but painting half of the backsplash (just the red and yellow tiles) produced a cooler, more cohesive palette that’s more their style.
If you love the country-kitchen look, an excellent way to transform an ugly backsplash is to cover it up with beadboard. Sarah from Little Vintage Nest did this in her kitchen, and wrote an account with plenty of pictures and helpful instructions.
Anna from Door Sixteen covered her tile backsplash with thin plywood sheeting, and then painted it with a fun, playful pattern.
A pressed tin backsplash, like this one from DIY Network, is a particularly striking look. Jennifer from Dimples and Tangles has an excellent DIY for this — she used plastic sheeting made to look like tin, which is easy to cut and apply.