Easy Kitchen Backsplash Makeover (Renter-Friendly!)

​Tips for an Easy Kitchen Backsplash Makeover

A few years ago, I decided to tackle an easy kitchen backsplash makeover in our previous kitchen. The existing tiles on the old backsplash were dark, outdated and not our personal style.

What I ended up with was a new backsplash that made a huge difference, AND that I was able to do myself without spending a ton of money! 

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What’s great about this project is that its a great option whether you rent or own your home. Its renter friendly! And, in the two years we lived in the house after we made this change, I never, not once, had someone notice that these were not actual ceramic tiles

There are so many different ways you can give your backsplash area a makeover, from painted tile backsplash, to stick wallpaper, to completely removing your existing backsplash and putting in new. We wanted a fresh look without the extra cost, so removing and installing new tiles wasn’t an option.

We accomplished this kitchen makeover by adding a self-adhesive subway tile right over the existing backsplash, using Tic Tac Tiles from Amazon. Its essentially a really thick, waterproof wallpaper!

What is peel and stick Backsplash?

Peel and stick backsplash tile is a type of self-adhesive tile that can be easily applied to a surface. It comes in a variety of designs, colors, and materials.

Its 3D, unlike many wallpapers, so it really does have a realistic look to it.

I looked at some faux brick options but ultimately settled on stick-on subway tiles. Our kitchen had all wood cabinets, which I actually loved once we added white tile. I wasn’t wild about the wood color next to the orange walls and the dark ceramic tiles.

Going with a light wall color and a solid color for the backsplash helped to make the area look less busy. It matched perfectly with our kitchen cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

What is the durability of Peel and Stick Backsplash?

We lived in the house two years after putting up the self-adhesive sheets, and I never had a single issue with them. I wiped them down regularly and basically treated them like any ceramic tile backsplash.

How to Apply Peel and Stick Backsplash:

Tools Needed For An Easy Kitchen Backsplash Makeover:

Self-Adhesive Wall Tiles (we purchased these stick tiles from Amazon which are no longer available, but these are really similar)
Cleaner (soap and water or a de-greaser)
Utility Knife or Xacto Knife
Measuring tape
Cutting Board or Mat

Steps to Applying Backsplash:

Measure your square footage: Before buying your peel and stick sheets, look at the square footage of what the manufacturer says for how much area the sheets will cover, and then plan to buy several more sheets. Unless you’re a pro, you will probably have a few mess-ups and find that you have to scrap some of the tiles. 

Once you have your tiles, the first thing you need to do is clean the existing backsplash really well, and then let it dry completely. With all the grease and food stuff that can splash up on the walls in a kitchen, this step is super important to getting the adhesive to stick well. You can use a degreaser/cleaner, or just a soap and water combo. Remove outlet covers and anything else in the way.

Hold the sheet up to the wall and determine where you need to cut, starting at the edge/corners. You can use a template of cardboard or paper, if thats easier for you. Cut the sheet with the knife on a cutting board or mat. For best results, cut above the grout lines. Then, you can attach the tiles together at the grout line.

I recommend cutting above the grout lines, so you have double grout lines that can be put on top of each other. I learned the hard way that this was the best way to get a tight finish. If you simply butt each piece up next to each other, you can get a gap. In the picture below, you can see the grout lines where one will go right over the other, creating a slight overlap.

Peel the backing off of the sheet, and place it into position. Smooth it with your hand to get out any bubbles or lines.

*You can remove the sheet once you’ve already placed it, but the adhesive will be less sticky when you try to apply it again.

Repeat as needed, cutting around any windows, cupboards, outlets, etc.

​I was worried about installing it in a wet area like over the sink- but I tell you what, it never showed the slightest wear!

Here’s a before of the ceramic tile backsplash:

And here is after our easy kitchen backsplash makeover!

Is peel and stick backsplash a good idea?

Simply put- yes!

The whole kitchen got a serious makeover, just from these simple changes! Its crazy what a huge impact a new backsplash can make. It looks like we have a brand new subway tile backsplash! I love the clean lines and modern design.

Looking for other easy DIY projects? Check out these posts:

IKEA Nordli Hack Window Seat

DIY Bathroom Vanity Makeover

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