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DIY Whitewashed Faux Brick Backsplash

A quick and simple way to spruce up a dated kitchen with a whitewashed faux brick backsplash over existing tile for less than $75!

It’s not easy to find a beautiful solution for covering an existing backsplash without the need for demo, but I think we cracked the code!

I’ve always loved the look of a whitewashed brick backsplash, but the price and mess of a real one just wasn’t possible in our kitchen to have the real thing.

DIY whitewashed faux brick backsplash for $75

UPDATE: See our full kitchen makeover reveal here!

Where to Use Faux Brick Backsplash

This faux brick backsplash made with paneling would be perfect to use in a kitchen, basement bar, or coffee bar. It’s great for adding textural interest on an entire plain wall for a brick wall look on a low budget too.

Honest to goodness, I still can’t believe we pulled this one off because I had some doubts in the beginning.

Here is what our backsplash used to look like. Not awful, but it wasn’t my style.

tile backsplash before

Why a Faux Brick Backsplash is Perfect for Beginner DIYers

The best part was this faux brick backsplash didn’t require any heavy duty demolition or construction! If you can cut a straight line with jigsaw, you can handle this project.

We were able to knock out this entire project in an afternoon.

How to Install a Faux Whitewashed Brick Backsplash

Supplies:

Steps

Time needed: 4 hours.

  1. Degrease existing backsplash (if you’re covering one)

    To make sure there was no cooking residue or grease build up on the old tile, we wiped it all down with Krud Kutter and let dry.
    We decided to put our faux brick on top of the existing tile since the thickness made it look like real brick would have, but you could rip your tile out to place it directly on drywall if you preferred. degreasing a tile backsplash

  2. Rough up surface with sandpaper

    After the tile was completely dry, I rubbed the surface with 120 grit sandpaper to give the tile some grip. Wipe away any sanding dust with a tack cloth. sanding a tile backsplash for grip

  3. Measure backsplash sections

    Then, we started on installing the faux brick panels. We measured one section of the backsplash at a time and cut the paneling based on our measurements.

  4. Cut the brick paneling

    Use a chalk line to make sure you cut the paneling perfectly straight with the circular saw. A table saw is ideal, but we only had a circular saw.cutting brick paneling with a circular saw

  5. Dry fit cut panels

    5. Once the brick panel is cut, dry fit it to the backsplash to make sure it fits properly. dry fitting a faux brick backsplash using HDF paneling

  6. Mark outlets

    Measure out any outlets and mark them on the cut panel sections.measuring a backsplash for outlets

  7. Cut out outlets

    Then, cut out the place in the paneling for the outlet using a jigsaw.cutting outlet holes out of brick paneling for a backsplash

  8. Dry fit for the cut outlet

    Dry fit the paneling one more time to make sure the outlet will fit.

  9. Attach brick backsplash panels

    Apply Liquid Nails all over the back of the paneling and press the panel in place for a minute or two as the Liquid Nails set. That panel is ON THERE!applying Liquid Nails to brick paneling

  10. Repeat for all sections

    Repeat the cutting/measuring/Liquid Nailing process until the entire backsplash is covered. No more beige tile!attaching brick paneling on top of tile to make a faux whitebrick backsplash

  11. Caulk seams

    I went over all of the seams with caulk when it was all done.caulking brick panel seams

  12. Cover countertops

    I wanted to protect our countertops from splattering paint for the whitewashing, so I put down plastic drop cloths and taped them with painter’s tape.

  13. Mix white wash and apply to brick backsplash

    For the white wash, I mixed about 1 part white semigloss paint to 1 part water in a bucket and brushed all of the bricks with two coats. whitewashing paneling for a faux brick backsplash

  14. Apply second coat

    After the first coat dried, I brushed on a second coat.whitewashed faux brick backsplash

  15. Distress with a damp rag

    14. After the second coat was dry, I used a clean, damp rag to rub away some of the white wash for more of a rough look. I love how it added some depth and gave the kitchen a bit more of a weathered look.distressing whitewash on a faux brick backsplash

  16. Seal brick backsplash

    We ended up sealing it with two coats of Fusion Mineral Paint Tough Coat too so the finish will be protected from cooking and cleaning. I went with the Tough Coat instead of polyurethane because it doesn’t cause yellowing on white paint like poly does.sealed whitewashed brick backsplash

So now our backsplash looks like this. We still need to touch up the wall paint after installing the countertops and this backsplash though.

whitewashed faux brick backsplash with concrete countertop

The Finished Kitchen

And here is the farmhouse style kitchen all finished! With the cabinets painted and the concrete counter top done, I’m amazed how different this place looks for how little we spent.

Update: We completed this project 5 years ago, and even though we have moved out of this house, we’ve stayed in touch with the new homeowners, and this brick backsplash has held up perfectly!

modern farmhouse kitchen with faux brick backsplash, concrete countertops, and white cabinets

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you clean the brick backsplash?

Since this backsplash is faux paneling, the cleaning is very different from regular brick. I just wipe it down with a damp rag and a little Method All Purpose Cleaner (don’t scrub it).

Can I install this faux brick backsplash temporarily without damage?

You can still install it over drywall with finishing nails so it won’t damage the sheetrock underneath. When you remove the brick panels later, just patch the finishing nail holes with spackle.

Is this fire proof?

The HDF material of the brick panels are fire resistant but not entirely fire proof. The material can burn but it does not easily ignite.

Can this brick backsplash be installed outside?

No, the brick panels are made of a material that are not rated for outdoor use.

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36 Comments

  1. Hi Lauren,

    The whole kitchen is just awesome! I read where you used liquid nails to attach the paneling to the the existing tile. If you were to do this, only on drywall, would you still need the liquid nails or would it be ok to just use paneling nails to attach it to the drywall?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Jen! No, you could use regular nails on drywall. We just used the liquid nails because we didn’t want to break our existing tile.

  2. You know Lauren, you have proved over and over again you can teach an old dog new tricks!!!, this is such a great idea!!! just love your kitchen, we’ve been avoiding doing our kitchen for a year now, I’m soo excited to roll up the sleeves and do this!!! Gosh your killing us out here with your ideas, that’s the word from my husband LOL!!!

    1. Aw thank you, Pat! Haha! My husband says to me all the time, “Every time we post a project, some husband somewhere is cursing me.” I think we’re guilty of putting couples to work when the husbands would rather be on the golf course. 😉

  3. I love this! Such a great idea and cost saving too! My question is how did you tackle the “raw” edge where there is no corner. I tried to see in your photos. Did you use caulk to cover the existing tiles? Would really like to try this. Love you posts! Always look forward to them.

    1. Oh! Okay, so we cut a row of bricks and turned them to run vertically at the edge to make it look finished. I caulked at the edge against the existing tiles too and painted the edge of the tiles along with the bricks to blend. It looks very seamless, even in person. Thank you, Monica! So glad you’re enjoying my posts!

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