Stenciled Kitchen Backsplash

This was, by far, the most tedious project I have taken on but once I started I couldn’t stop. It’s so fun to see the progression of this kitchen. (See original kitchen pic at the end).

We had off-white, builder-grade tile which we weren’t ready to completely rip out and replace just yet. Painting is a great, cheap alternative until we decide to gut the kitchen down the road.

No matter what tile you have, I would recommend putting two coats of primer on first. We had shiny tile so we definitely needed to prime it first so the chalk paint would adhere and cover evenly. I snagged this primer from Amazon (which happened to be ZERO VOC too – score!). My go-to chalk paint is always Rustoleum. There are a lot of fun colors to choose from. I went with Linen White for the base and Aged Gray for the stenciled part.

Hacks: This project will 100x easier and cleaner if you use a roller brush. It will also be quicker if you get two of whatever stencil you decide to use. I clearly didn’t learn from my first stencil project. It ends up taking longer with just one stencil because you have to wait for it to dry in between sections.

Be sure to check out this post for details on how I used chalk paint to paint the kitchen cabinets and bannisters.

This is what the tile looked like before.

This is what it looked like after two coats of primer. I honestly think just priming and painting it white made it look better. If the idea of stenciling freaks you out you can always prime, add a coat of whatever color chalk paint you like and call it good.

Once you have it primed and you’ve done your base chalk paint color, you can start the stenciling. I had a hard time picking out which pattern I wanted but ended up going with this geometric design and I love it! I chose the smallest stencil size but they have a lot of options depending how large the area is.

It was difficult maneuvering the stencil around the outlets and getting under the kitchen cabinets but you can always use a wet paper towel and clean up the areas you accidentally get paint on. The chalk paint comes off super easy when it’s still wet. Some areas of the stencil would bleed when I took the stencil off. I would use a wet q-tip or paper towel to clean up the edges.

Behind the sink was not too fun but somehow it worked out. Just keep moving the stencil and lining it up and you’re cruising.

I ended up with an inch section at the bottom of the pattern, close to the counter. Once I was done with all the full sections I could do, I cut the stencil in half to get the areas where the stencil wouldn’t fit. This made my life so much easier.

Once the whole thing was done, I sealed it using this Rustoleum PolyUrethane. This will make it last a lot longer and the chalk paint won’t run if it gets wet.

Here’s the full kitchen progression.

For now, the kitchen is checked off my list. On to the next project!

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