How to Paint a Wood Beadboard Kitchen Backsplash

By: Danny Lipford

I want to use wood beadboard as a kitchen backsplash. What kind of paint should I use that would hold up to water spots and grease splatters? -Joyce

Hi Joyce,

I’ve seen wood beadboard used for a backsplash, and it really is a great look. I would start by using a good quality oil-based primer. After the primer dries, lightly sand the surface with fine grit sandpaper (220 grit or higher), then vacuum off the sanding dust and wipe it down with a damp cloth.

You could use either a quality acrylic or oil-based paint to topcoat a beadboard backsplash, but the key to easy clean-up will be the gloss. Remember, the higher the sheen, the easier to clean; and it rhymes, too! A high gloss finish will wipe clean easily with a damp sponge.

In the case of grease splatters, however, there’s more involved than just wiping the paint on the beadboard clean. There will be the issue of heat associated with the grease. No matter what kind of paint you use, hot grease will likely damage the finish over time.

I recommend putting up an acrylic plastic sheet over the beadboard in the area behind the stove. You’ll still see the beauty of the wood, but the hot grease won’t damage the paint finish.

Good luck with your project,


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3 Comments on “How to Paint a Wood Beadboard Kitchen Backsplash”

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  • jim Says:
    February 23rd, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    most individual wood strip used for headboard or wainscoting are pretty cheap stuff if purchased from home centers. Most wood is not that dimensionally stable. i would have used a bead board made with mdf which is very stable and it cuts like dream. i would have attached it to the walls with an adhesive like liquid nails or a similar adhesive. Then used a gloss oil base paint and as above covered the area behind stove either with clear acrylic or actually glass

  • Dianne Alexander Says:
    April 28th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I had bead board installed in my kitchen, bathroom and entry from garage. I have a big problem and installer will NOT fess up to a problem. In every room I have many cracks between the bead board and some you can actually in. They have flexibility. Something is wrong and I really don’t know what to do? Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated. I think they used the wrong wood, very thin and too green. They did not glue the I oars individually. Do you need to paint the back before the bead board is installed? They also used caulk??

  • pat Jacobsen Says:
    June 23rd, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Is beadboard heavy or expensive?

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How to Paint a Wood Beadboard Kitchen Backsplash