Did you see my newly painted countertops? The real reason I put off doing that project was because I didn't know how easy peel and stick backsplash is to do. Yes, the backsplash was holding up the entire project. I've never really done this before, but I do have some tips for you.
Here are the painted countertops along with the new peel and stick backsplash. I started the project on the long wall, back in the corner where the paper towel holder is.
What Do You Do to Prep for Peel and Stick Backsplash?
First, remove your old backsplash. In this case, it was board and batten. A scrap piece of thin plywood was used in order to pry the boards away from the wall.
It may be necessary to break the seal of the caulk with a razor knife or screwdriver.
The leftover liquid nails had to be removed. Peel and Stick backsplash is rather thin, and any large imperfection may show through.
Next, you will want to thoroughly clean your wall and allow it to dry completely. Remove outlet covers.
Carefully measure and figure out your square footage. You will NOT want to stop in the middle of your project to wait on another package of peel and stick backsplash to be delivered.
All in all, these are the tools I found helpful for the peel and stick backsplash project.
- Carpenters square (optional)
- Metal yardstick (optional)
- Level (a MUST)
- Paper cutter (optional)
- Rotary cutter (optional)
- Cutting mat (if you choose to use the roatary cutter)
- Pencil or Marker
Directions for Installing Peel and Stick Backsplash Tiles
Using the level and a yardstick, I marked a line where the top edge of the peel and stick backsplash tiles would line up. There is a definite starting point on the backsplash. I laid my tiles out so I wouldn't get mixed up.
To begin, you need to cut the little "tabs" off of your first tile to get a straight edge. If you live in an old house, do not expect anything to be straight or even. As you can see, I did the entire bottom row of tiles, before I went back and added ½ sheets on the top row. My counter has a dip in it. I chose to keep the tiles level, and allow them to dip down behind the counter top.
Sometimes, it can be a little challenging to get the tiles lined up, especially in this corner where I had to stand on my tippytoes! After applying each tile, press it down firmly with your hands. Then, remove the protective film before adding the next tile.
TIP: I chose to DRY FIT each and every tile before I revealed the sticky back.
How to Cut for Outlets
This is how I cut out the holes for the outlets.
- Place a piece of paper against the edge of the previous tile. Draw a rough outline.
- Straighten out the lines with a square.
- Cut out the rectangle with scissors.
- Trace rectangle onto peel and stick backsplash tile.
- Use a box knife or rotary cutter to cut on the lines.
- Test for fit before peeling off the backing.
Use a Paper Cutter for Straight Cuts
Using a paper cutter for straight edges worked really well for me. Scissors cut through the peel and stick backsplash easily, but if you're like me, it's hard to cut a perfectly straight line.
Adding the second row was easy for me. I simply cut the tile in half lengthwise. When you do this, be sure to use the top, bottom, top, bottom as you go across the pattern. I did it on this wall, but got confused on the other wall, and the pattern got messed up.
There is about a one inch void from the tile square to the bottom of the cabinet. I left it, and it's not even noticeable because the wall color matches the cabinets pretty well.
I did have to use a thin row of the tile pattern to fill in under the window. In the image above, that had not been done yet.
Matching the Corner
Back to the original corner to do the other wall. This is where I made my only mistake. When cutting off the straight edge, I cut the wrong side of the peel and stick backsplash tile. THIS is the correct way. I was unable to get the pattern to match for some reason.
TIP: You may want to cut that first tile in half, putting them back together in the corner. Does that make sense? Then you would work your way out from the corner on both walls.
This is to the left of the stove (which spent a few days in the middle of the floor while I painted the counters) I had to open the last package for ONE TILE to cut in half to go right here.
Pros and Cons of Peel and Stick Backsplash Tile
- It's cheaper than real tile
- You can do it yourself in a few hours
- It looks nice enough
- Peel and Stick Backsplash Tile comes in a variety of designs
- Although it's cheaper than tile, it's not inexpensive
- It sort of has a funny waxy like texture/feel
- You may be disappointed at how thin it feels
- Some reviews on Amazon may doubt yourself for choosing this option
Am I Happy with my Peel and Stick Backsplash?
oh, yes I am! Adding a new sink and faucet are the icing on the cake! I'm still using my stainless steel painted accessories 10 years later. If you check out how I painted the countertops, you will see that they are a very light gray, with a darker gray highlight, with a light coat of the base coat gray atop of that. Oh, and the kitchen cabinets? I painted those 10 years ago. See details here: How To Paint Oak Cabinets.
Wow, this kitchen has seen a LOT of changes over the last 20 years.
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.