DIY Budget Backsplash Ideas

Pop some style into your kitchen with a custom backsplash. Here is a collection of unique backsplash ideas along with preparation tips. Create a backsplash that won’t break your budget but will likely make your kitchen the envy of everyone who sees it.

Painted Backsplashes

Possibly one of the cheapest backsplash designs possible requires little more than paint and brushes. Think outside the box for this one: Instead of plain, solid colors, create a design to set off the backsplash area from the surrounding wall space. Consider using stencils or creating a tile pattern.

Use 1/4-inch painter’s tape to divide the backsplash area into diamond-shaped blocks of the size you desire. Paint inside each section, then remove the tape once the paint is dry. What results is a backsplash area that gives the illusion of tile with grout lines between each.

Painter’s tape, various sponge brushes and fine paintbrushes, plus your choice of paint colors is about all you need. Acrylic paints, found in small bottles in the craft section, work particularly well. Make sure to use a straightedge and level to mark any design. The last thing you want is wavy rows and lines that tilt to one side.

Glass, Mirror or Acrylic Backsplashes

Home improvement stores sell sheets of colored acrylic, and many stores will cut it to size for you. You can also purchase glass that is painted on one side (called “back painted” glass). Attach the paint side against the wall and all you see is color. Even old mirrors look stylish when turned into a backsplash. Mirrors also amplify the existing lighting, so a mirrored backsplash is also useful.

Score glass and mirrors with a special glass cutter and snap it to break (or have it cut for you). Attach mirrors and glass with construction adhesive. Colored acrylic, on the other hand, mounts easily with screws driven through the corners. Find your wall framing beforehand so you know where to drill.

Blackboard and Pegboard Backsplashes

Here’s your opportunity to combine style with function. With a blackboard, you can write down a recipe to follow, keep a grocery list, leave notes for family members or simply doodle if you wish. Pegboard panels allow you to hang kitchen utensils and other objects. Blackboards can withstand water, but pegboard, if left unfinished, won’t wear as well. Paint or apply another finish to change the color and protect it from moisture.

Mounting either material is pretty straightforward. Use construction adhesive or another adhesive. When installing a blackboard backsplash in particular, make sure it’s stable before you let go. To really set off the installation, consider lining it with trim, molding, or even tile.

Note: You can also purchase chalkboard paint, which can be applied directly to a wall or onto a sheet of thin material to make your own chalkboard.

Hang a Metal Backsplash

Metal sets off a kitchen with a stylish, modern touch. While you can purchase expensive panels and choose pricey materials, something as simple as sheet metal flashing will work just as well. You can purchase sheet flashing at home improvement stores.

Other metal options include corrugated metal panels, burnished steel, sheet copper, or even tin ceiling tiles. The wonderful thing about tin ceiling tiles is versatility; they come in a wide selection of colors and patterns.

All metal backsplashes are easily attached with construction adhesive. Seams are usually caulked (use a color caulk for impact or a clear one to blend in). Feel free to line the backsplash with wood trim if desired. You can also leave the edges bare since the metal is typically very thin.

Wine Corks and Bottle Caps

Building a backsplash with either material is simple. The hardest part (or perhaps the most fun) is collecting the corks or caps. Once you have enough, simply mount them to a sheet of metal or thin plywood. Use adhesive and fit them according to plan.

Wine corks need to fit snugly together. Bottle caps can be crowded together or spaced to allow the material behind them to show through.

Coat the finished backsplash with polyurethane or a similar clear finish. Hang the backsplash, either nailing it in place (find the wall studs first and mark) or attaching it with adhesive.


Hacienda Home Interiors - January 8, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Great ideas, doing your own backsplash can really save you money! You just need to plan what you want to do and find the best prices, this article can really help you narrow down some ideas!

john raynham - October 24, 2014 at 11:20 am

This karie fay is clever. Dont know anything bout her as i live in Uk. ugh. ive put a load of ordinary vermiculite (not the asbestos type)in a cavity wall thats still open at one end. (work in progress) I now read that the Verm should have had waterprooof treatment. i hope I dont have to get the stuff out cos the cavity is only three inches wide. got to decide before whole thing is sealed up with bricks. the walls are not suffering damp or weather ingress. The outer wall is very dry and the surrounding ground has been dug out and polystyrene blocks are against where the soil was then the area filled with gravel about three feet down so theres no damp at base wall. god help me if i have to suck the Vermic out as its about 7ft high within the cav at mo and still more height to fill. oh dear bad luck again and again and again. Should i give up and then what.

Mindy Forbes - October 21, 2014 at 10:27 am

Love the cork idea. Here in Florida I have also seen shell back splash. My personal favorite is the chalkboard back splash, my kids would have a blast with that. You could write out the weekly menu on it so there wouldn’t be the nightly question of ” whats for dinner?”

m.s.Woods - October 17, 2014 at 4:35 am

Karie, are those bottle caps in the last photo?

Karie Fay - October 17, 2014 at 11:06 am

Yes, they are.

Myoakbrook - August 29, 2014 at 4:20 am

quite stylish and comfortable kitchen.

Nic Jewels - July 22, 2014 at 11:34 pm

Very expensive kitchen but still i want to make like one of them

Andrea - June 4, 2014 at 5:21 pm

The metal backsplash is great and to know it doesn’t cost much makes it even better. I have never scene a chalkboard as a backsplash but I love it. What a great idea and the kitchen is just as great. I’m a country girl at heart and everything about that kitchen speaks to me.

Lauren - May 22, 2014 at 8:03 am

The tin tiles in the metal backsplash picture are from our site, Installing a tin backsplash is an incredibly accessible and affordable DIY project, on average costing less than $100 (based on the size of your kitchen) and taking just a few hours. Thank you for recognizing their potential.