Should You Remove Backsplash Before Painting Cabinets?

Should You Remove Backsplash Before Painting Cabinets?

Question: Should You Remove Backsplash Before Painting Cabinets?
Answer: It’s advisable to remove the backsplash before painting cabinets to ensure a clean, thorough job and prevent accidental damage to the backsplash.

Should You Remove Backsplash Before Painting Cabinets? To Peel or Not to Peel

Refreshing your kitchen cabinets with a new coat of paint is a cost-effective way to transform the space. But when tackling this project, a question arises: should you remove the backsplash before painting the cabinets? This guide explores the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches, helping you decide what’s best for your situation. [ 1 ]

For more information

The Case for Removal: Benefits of a Clean Slate

Removing the backsplash before painting offers several advantages:

  • A Flawless Finish:

    Leaving the backsplash in place can create a barrier between the cabinets and the wall, making it difficult to achieve a clean, crisp paint line. Removing the backsplash allows for a seamless application of paint, resulting in a more polished and professional-looking finish.

  • Reduced Risk of Damage:

    Painting around the backsplash can be tricky and might lead to paint smudges or splatters on the backsplash tiles. Removing the backsplash eliminates this risk and protects your backsplash from potential damage caused by paint remover or scraping.

  • Easier Cleaning:

    Painting with the backsplash removed allows for easier cleaning of paint drips or splatters that might land on the wall behind the cabinets. This ensures a clean and finished look after the painting project.

However, removing the backsplash also comes with some drawbacks.

Click here for more information on follow this link
Related Article: Are Painted or Stained Cabinets Better?
Related Article: What is the Downside to Painting Kitchen Cabinets?

The Drawbacks of Removal: Considering the Extra Effort

Removing the backsplash adds an extra step to your cabinet painting project. Here’s what to consider:

  • Time Commitment:

    Taking out the backsplash takes time, especially if it’s a large or intricate design. Factor in the additional time required for demolition, cleanup, and potentially repairing the wall after removal.

  • Potential Damage:

    The removal process might damage the surrounding drywall, especially if the backsplash is firmly attached with strong adhesives. Patching and repairing any drywall damage adds to the overall project timeline.

  • Cost Considerations:

    If your backsplash removal requires professional help, there’s an added cost to consider. While you might save money on painting around the backsplash, professional removal might offset those savings.

In some situations, keeping the backsplash in place might be a better option.

Keeping it Intact: When Leaving the Backsplash Makes Sense

There are scenarios where leaving the backsplash in place while painting the cabinets might be a better approach:

  • Sturdy Backsplash Material:

    If your backsplash is made of a durable material like ceramic or stone tile that’s firmly attached, removing it might be unnecessary and risky.

  • Matching or Complementary Colors:

    If your existing backsplash color complements your new cabinet paint color, keeping it can save time and effort while maintaining a cohesive look.

  • Limited Budget or Time:

    If your budget or timeline is tight, removing the backsplash might not be feasible. Careful painting techniques can minimize the risk of paint getting on the backsplash.

When keeping the backsplash, meticulous preparation and painting techniques are essential.

Keeping It Clean: Strategies for Painting Around the Backsplash

If you decide to leave the backsplash in place, here are some tips for a successful paint job:

  • Use Painter’s Tape Liberally:

    Apply high-quality painter’s tape along the edges of the backsplash to create a clean barrier between the cabinet and the backsplash. Press the tape firmly to ensure no paint seeps underneath.

  • Opt for a Smaller Paint Brush:

    A smaller brush allows for greater precision when painting near the backsplash. This helps minimize the risk of paint smudging onto the backsplash.

  • Double Coat the Tape:

    For extra protection, apply two layers of painter’s tape. This creates a thicker barrier and reduces the chances of paint bleeding under the tape.

The decision of whether to remove the backsplash ultimately depends on your specific situation.

Weighing the Options: Making an Informed Choice

Here are some key factors to consider when deciding whether to remove the backsplash before painting your cabinets:

  • Backsplash Material and Condition:

    A sturdy, well-attached backsplash might be easier to keep than a fragile or poorly installed one.

  • Your DIY Skills and Experience:

    Removing a backsplash requires some demolition skills. Assess your comfort level with this task.

  • Project Timeline and Budget:

    Factor in the extra time and potential cost of removing the backsplash compared to painting around it carefully.


Both removing and keeping the backsplash before painting your cabinets have advantages and disadvantages. By carefully considering the factors outlined above, you can make an informed decision that best suits your project needs and desired outcome.



Blue Kitchens Logo

Get in touch with Blue here.

Call Now!