This Kitchen Backsplash Makeover is Electrifying

What do you do when you have no budget for a real kitchen backsplash makeover? Well, you give it an easy $2 faux tile treatment.

$1 electrical tape faux tile back splash

I had so many ideas for my kitchen backsplash makeover, but I had to see my finished decoupaged kitchen counters with my own two eyes before making a final decision.

Once my counters were done last weekend I knew immediately which way I wanted to go.

Just like there was no budget for new counter tops there was also no budget for a new tile backsplash. Plus, going through the mess of removing the old backsplash to put in a new one just didn’t appeal to me at all.

So, a cheap and easy makeover was definitely in order.

Supplies for easy kitchen backsplash makevover

All you neede for this makeover is a craft cutting mat, an exacto knife, some painter’s tape, and a roll of red PVC electrical tape… or whatever colour you want to use.

Yes, you read that right… electrical tape.

It’s the coolest stuff!

It comes in a bunch of different colours and is only $1.99 for a 60 foot roll. At my local Home Building Centre it was available in red, green, yellow, blue, black, and white.


kitchen backsplash makeover before

So here’s a before of my kitchen counter and the ceramic tile backsplash that John and I installed about 10 years or so ago.

The backsplash looked great with my green kitchen, but with my new aqua and red colour scheme it definitely had to go.


Kitchen Backsplash Makeover

painting the kitchen backsplash

I rarely use painter’s tape, but in this case I did. I really wanted to protect the decoupaged top of my kitchen counters where it meets the backsplash.

Not sure what happened to the blue painter’s tape in the supplies pic above, but I ended up using some green instead.


painting the kitchen backsplash

To paint the tile I used the same high hide white water based paint and primer combo that I used on my kitchen walls. This is after one coat, and I did three.

I know there are probably better products out there for painting tile, but most of them are very noxious. I refuse to use anything indoors that requires a mask. Not good for us or our fur babies.


kitchen counter and backsplash makeover

Here you can see what the same area looked like after the counter was done and the backsplash got its three coats of paint.

It looked so much better already, but for me it still needed a little zing to make it sing.


Making faux tile with electrical tape for kitchen backsplash makeover

Enter the red electrical tape.

Red duct tape would probably work for this too, but I really loved the tone and the finish of the PVC electrical tape. It almost has the look of opaque glass, and it was cheaper than the duct tape. Also the electrical tape is paper thin, which just works much better for this project.

I used the craft cutting mat, which is divided in inches, and put down lengths of tape. This PVC tape stretches a bit so it’s best to let it relax before pressing it down on the cutting mat.


Electrical Tape Kitchen Backsplash Makeover

cutting electrical tape to make faux tilesfor kitchen backsplash makeover

Then I used the exacto knife to cut at the inch marks.


making faux files using electrical tape for kitchen backsplash makeover

Because the electrical tape is only about 3/4″ wide and my ceramic tiles are about 1″ I stuck two pieces of the tape together to make one tile.


making faux files using electrical tape for kitchen backsplash makeover

Like this.

After I had my tiles together I trimmed as needed.


applying electrical tape faux tiles for kitchen backsplash makeover

Then I simply applied them on the backsplash in a pattern that I liked.

I let the paint cure for an entire day before applying my tape faux tiles. I was able to reposition the tape tiles if I needed to within a few minutes of putting them down.

After about 30 minutes I did a test on one tile just to see what would happen and it did pull a bit of the paint off. That’s totally not a surprise, but I’ll be protecting this with a top coat when I’m done.

I was sure of my pattern so this wasn’t a problem for me.


counter and kitchen backsplash makeover

Here’s the before.


Kitchen backsplash makeover using electrical tape faux tiles

And the after.


ounter and kitchen backsplash makeover

The before.


Kitchen backsplash makeover using electrical tape faux tiles

And the after.

In the pics you can see a bit of a reflection of the red tiles in the counter, but that’s not visible to the naked eye.

I chose not to do the whole back splash because I didn’t want it to overwhelm my recipe’d counters. And I put the red tiles high up on the two sides because I wanted them to be visible above the things that will be on the counters… like my vintage bread box.

The teacups on those shelves won’t be staying there. They’re just out of the way while I’m working on my china cabinet makeover. I’ll be displaying other things on those shelves, which I’ll be sharing in the future.

Once my faux tiles were in place I applied 3 coats of the same Stays Clear poly that I used on my counters. This is a must to protect the backsplash, but also to make it wipeable.

So after spending an afternoon cutting over 600 electrical tape squares to make over 300 faux tiles I’m very happy with how it turned out.

The $2 price was perfect for this low budget, practically no budget, makeover. Actually it was less than $2 because I didn’t use the whole roll.

I like my decor details to make me smile. This cheap and easy kitchen back splash makeover adds some fun and is very cheerful. I’m hoping this lasts for years and years.

If I waited until I had the money to make my home what I wanted it to be I would probably wait forever. Sometimes we just need to look at things differently to come up with a solution, even if it’s a temporary one.

If it makes us happy that’s all that counts. 🙂


Don’t forget to pin it!

$1 electrical tape faux tile back splash



Thanks so much for reading, and until next time…

keep on keepin’ on!



I sometimes share my projects and posts at these fabulous parties listed here.


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  1. You are a genius! This is a great idea Tuula! I love how it turned out and especially how little it costed! LOVE IT!!!

    1. Thanks very much Sherry! I know you appreciate a thrifty project. It’s so nice to hear from you. 🙂

  2. ColleenB.~Texas says:

    Love what you had done.
    When I first seen you had painted your back splash; I thought to myself,’ she needed to paint some of them tiles red’ and then I read further down the line, low and behold you done a very clever idea. Never would had thought about using electrical tape.
    Your back splash really looks Great and you have done a Wonderful job in your kitchen make-over. You deserve a big pat on the back

    1. Thank you so much Colleen! I still have a few projects to go, but I’m nearing the finish line. 🙂

  3. Tuula, you never cease to amaze me!!! This is so clever! ACK! I want to paint something!! OH! My bathroom! In May! I’d love to incorporate this idea!!!! Dona

    1. Thanks very much Dona! I’ll do an update post n a couple of months about how it’s holding up.

      1. Just wondering if it wouldn’t have been easier to just paint the individual tiles red, using a pint of red latex paint? I wouldn’t have the patience to cut out all of those squares, honestly. Painting the tiles would have been a lot faster and maybe longer lasting.

        1. Hi Lori. For someone who has a very steady hand maybe painting the tiles would be an option, but definitely not for me. The existing tiles that I painted over are not precise in their measurements so creating a stencil wasn’t going to work, and I can’t even imagine hand painting 300 individual 1″ tiles and getting nice crisp edges like I did with the tape. Honestly I wouldn’t have the patience for that. This way I’m in total control of the look of my squares with no touch ups needed like there definitely would have been with paint. Also, the electrical tape has the look of glass tile which I really love. It somehow looks translucent and opaque at the same time. With several coats of poly I have no doubt that it will last a very long time, and it’s very wipeable. It took me just an afternoon to do this backsplash and it was really quite easy. For me painting would have taken much much longer, but we’re all different so if painting works better for someone else… I’m all for it. I appreciate your comment. 🙂

  4. Barbara M says:

    Looks like the beginning of a Mary Engelbreit kitchen

    1. I just googled Mary Engelbreit, and thank you so much Barbara. I take that as a great compliment. 🙂

  5. When you said earlier a kitchen makeover, I visualized major tearouts & months of work, but you have done it all in just days & it looks great. I can’t believe the simplicity of this idea & how you’ve accomplished it! Love the red & white checks! It adds so much to the kitchen & it was a genius idea to raise it up high so it’s still visible after replacing the things on your counter.

    1. Thanks Florence! I know that if we ever sold this house the first thing most people would do is gut the kitchen and put in a new one. That’s just not me. I’m all about improving what I have for as little money as possible. I love my old kitchen cabinets and as long as I’m here they will be too. 🙂

  6. Amazing! You amaze and inspire me at each post. Now I’m wanting to redo my kitchen , but I need some of your energy lol. My to do list is sooo long. Love your creative ideas ❤❤

    1. Thank you so much Deb! My kitchen project list seemed long in the beginning too, but it’s fun to check things off. I just wish I would stop adding to it. lol.

  7. Wow! Looks awesome. You are extremely creative, would never have thought it was anything but a new tiled backsplash and custom counters. Love your “happy” kitchen.

    1. Thanks you so much Denise!

    1. Thanks Cecilia! I really appreciate the share. 🙂

  8. Valerie Zagami says:

    What an amazing transformation! It is adorable and when you think you used your brain, imagination and some sweat equity!! I love it, good job. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks very much Valerie! Because I have practically no budget I really had no choice but to get creative for as little money as possible. I’m so glad you like it. 🙂

  9. As they say in Great Britain, cheap and cheerful! My kitchen walls are painted a darker shade of the blue on your cabinets. I have red & yellow accents with vintage items decorated with red cherries. White counters & back splash & appliances. Mary Engelbreit ceramic knobs, same blue with red cherries in middle with red & white checked border.
    (Hope this link works.)

    1. I’d never heard of Mary until another reader just mentioned her as well. I love her style! Those cabinet knobs are so fun. Your kitchen sounds fabulous!

  10. Wow, you must be very patient to cut 600 tiles and then apply them all! It was so worth it because it looks really great. I just love the aqua and red.

    1. Thanks so much AnnMarie! It took about 4 hours to cut out and apply all the faux tiles. It was fun actually because I applied them as I made them and I just wanted to keep going so I could see it finished.

  11. That is truly amazing. I just bought tile at Habitat and I’m trying to get up the nerve to install them but I LOVE what you did!

    1. Thanks Patty! I love the Habitat Re-Stores. I get a lot of paint and other things there. We installed the ceramic backsplash ourselves about 10 years ago and while it was time consuming it wasn’t as hard as we thought it would be. I wish you luck with your tiles. 🙂

  12. You are just killin’ it with this kitchen makeover Tuula, it looks great!


    1. Thank you so much Tania! I’m really enjoying it too. It’s so much fun to make improvements for little money.

  13. Wow, this is so different and unique and such a creative idea!! I have so many tiles in my rental, it’s scary, maybe I could try something like this as well… Thanks so much for sharing at Sweet Inspiration!!

    1. Thanks so much Katrin! I think this could work great in a rental. Individual tiles could be covered and the tape tiles removed when moving out. No poly required because it was meant to be temporary.

  14. WOW WOW WOW. This is one of the most creative ideas I have seen Tuula. Looks Amazing!!

    1. Thanks very much Karen! It’s very cheap and cheerful. 🙂

  15. Your kitchen is making me smile! I want to live there! Lol My kitchen is a shade, or so, lighter blue than your cabinets and over the past few years, I’ve wanted to refresh it but just have not got around to it. I love my blue and now you’ve inspired me to take that leap and add red accents. I had a move planned for late summer but that looks to be on hold. Knowing I can do a kitchen update without spending much money makes it worth doing it and being happy with where I am (and to stop just wishing my kitchen was different!) Thank you!

    1. That is music to my ears Debbie. 🙂 That is exactly what I’m trying to share on this blog… that you should make the best of what you have, and it can make you happy. Thanks so much for sharing your comment with me, and go for those red accents. They really do add a punch of fun, and will make you smile everyday.

  16. Jann Olson says:

    Well aren’t you clever! Love the pop of red. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. Thanks very much Jann!

    1. Thanks very much Cristina!

  17. Such a clever idea, Tuula, and with such AMAZING results!! I just love the look you’re achieving in your kitchen for next to nothing. {Your counter top looks pretty amazing, too 🙂 } Thanks for linking up your posts with us at Vintage Charm–

    1. Thanks very much Diana! I’m starting to see the reveal at the end of the makeover. I’m getting there, project by project. 🙂

  18. Oh my word. I am sitting here with my jaw just hanging open! I cannot believe how amazing the end result looks. This is just the best project I’ve seen in years. Thank you so much for sharing your kitchen updates. I can’t wait to get started on mine. 🙂

    1. Your so welcome RobbiJo! Thanks so much for your lovely comment. Good luck with your kitchen. 🙂

  19. What an ingenious way to color the tiny squares. So much easier than trying to paint each one! It looks amazing! The red really makes it all pop!

    1. Thanks Judy! The electrical tape really came to my rescue. I couldn’t even imagine painting over 300 little squares, but I really wanted the look. Now that it has 3 coats of poly you can’t tell it’s tape. It looks seamless.

  20. Beautiful! The red and white ” tiles” remind me of the ice cream parlors back in the 1940s and 50s. Modt of them were black and white but the feel was the same.

    Your projects turn out so well and most of them appear to be possible for oldsters like me to do. Thank you so much.

    1. Tuula McPhee says:

      Thanks very much Judi! I love that my tiles have that mid century feel to them. I never thought of that, but I do see it now that you’ve pointed it out. I do love to do pretty but easy projects as much as possible. Decorating shouldn’t be hard, it should be fun. 🙂