DIY Network

Low Maintenance Kitchen Walls

This DIY Basic will provide tips on creating low maintenance kitchen walls.

More in Kitchen

Watch an Overview Video

Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:

primer and paint
putty knife
painter's tape
drop cloths
step ladder
extension pole
top quality nylon-blend 4-inch brush and 2-inch angled brush
short-nap roller
paint tray

Consider a Backsplash

No matter how careful you are, kitchen walls can end up spattered and stained; here are some easy ways to cut down on scrubbing.

Hard surface backsplash is easy to wipe clean. Use laminate or ceramic tiles to blend or contrast with countertops. Behind stove and/or sink, attach acrylic or stainless steel panel to wall. Laminate wall covering is easy to wipe clean; install as you would wallpaper. Use wall covering for backsplash instead of more expensive tile.

Choose the Right Paint

Easiest fix is wall paint; it's easiest to clean and easiest to change when you want a new look.

Light colors tend to dry lighter than paint; dark colors tend to darken as they dry; buy small amount of paint and paint samples in different parts of room to see how color looks in different light at different times of day.

Tip: Make sure you get paint with good hiding power that's also scrubbable, durable and stain resistant.

Gloss or semi-gloss paint is much easier to clean than flat paint. Or find one specifically formulated for cleaning and stain resistance.

Tip: Paint with low VOC paint in the morning and you can move back in that evening.

Wall should be primed if surface is unpainted, if you're painting light color over dark, if water splashed on surface soaks in instead of rolling off, or if surface is stained, uneven or deteriorated.

Tip: To save time and money, get high quality paint that's combination paint and primer.

Paint the Kitchen

Fill holes or cracks with caulk and sand smooth, and clean wall with mild detergent.

Tape off woodwork, then brush on 2-inch strip of paint around ceiling and woodwork.

Dip half of bristles into paint and tap brush against side of can; do not wipe across lip. For greater control, hold handle near base.

Roll big "M" on wall, then fill in area, rolling left to right in even strokes for uniform coverage.

Update the Cabinets

For a whole-kitchen look, paint cabinets in contrasting or companion color.

Tip: Save extra paint for touchups, labeling can with color name, number and formula.