Using Contact Paper as Backsplash

Chasing PaperQ. I’ve seen your posts about using contact paper. Do you think it’s okay to use contact paper as backsplash in my kitchen? -MissNancy81

A. Nancy, I think this is a question that many others will be happy that you’ve asked. If not, they should be.

I think this is a great way to have a temporary change to your kitchen. The KEY word being temporary. This is a good solution for renters who just despise the backsplashes they have now. Or for owners who need something to hold them over until they can afford a more suitable solution. I say this because it isn’t a strong enough material to hold up to the strong use that our kitchens receive. Well, maybe not my kitchen, but those of you who do actually cook often.

So, if you do want a short-term boost then I say do it. It’s two of my favorite things: cheap, and easy.

Before Applying

Clean and smooth the surface. If you have any bumps, you’re going to see these through the contact paper. Also, the smoother it is the better chance it will come off with total ease when you want to remove it. If you plan to paint it first, go with gloss or semi gloss.

When Applying

Do whatever you can to prevent this paper from peeling immediately. This means:

  • Cutting larger pieces or strips. The less edges you have showing to the better. It is less likely to curl up at the ends.

  • Apply the contact paper to a dry surface. Any moisture will not allow for the paper to keep well.

Use a rule to smooth the edges and keep any bumps out. Also wipe it down with a dry cloth to ensure it is on the wall properly.

Design Examples


contact paper

This is an example of contact paper that truly resembles a mosaic tile. Clearly it won’t look real, so don’t think you’ll fool your guests. Still, it’s a pretty close match from Chic Shelf Paper.

Lattice Contact Paper

Chasing Paper has this beautiful Lattice in 5 different colors, however my favorite is this navy color. It would look amazing as a backsplash.


contact paper as backsplash

Betapet has some gorgeous patterns that you can get in just about any color combination. So if you’re looking for something more custom, look no further. Backsplash

If you want to see how to do a completed project, please check out REMODELaholic. She did it all herself and can vouch for how easy it really is.

Written by Rhiannon Gillis. Rhiannon is a designer based out of Los Angeles and writes for the blogs Art Cricket LA and Rhiannon’s Interiors.

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  1. Thanks so much for the inspiration, Rhiannon…this sparked a weekend diy project with SmartTiles at my house! I’ll be posting a blog entry later this week with before & after pics :). Thanks again!

  2. I did this once. Spent more than I could afford at the time on a high-quality black-and-white checkerboard vinyl and did a really nice job of fitting it around the kitchen faucet. It looked great…for the couple of weeks it lasted before the pipe sprung a leak and the wall had to be torn out to replace it.

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