August 17th, 2009 by Tim Leave a reply »

My better half liked the look of a glass splash back which is painted on the back (I admit I did as well till we saw the price – R3500 :- $350). Because I couldn’t help it, I decided to see if I could do it myself – I mean how hard could it be?

Actually it all turned out surprisingly easy and I must say at less than a third of the price, well worth the effort.

I approached the supplier who did my frame-less glass shower and got him to supply me with a sheet of 6mm toughened glass. I then gave one side a light sanding with 1200 grit water paper (just to give a slight key to the paint). Then with thinners I cleaned and then cleaned again the side to be sprayed.

Then it was simply 2 coats Acrylac spray paint and some double-sided  tape – here is the result (painted side goes at the back):

Glass Splash Back

Glass Splash Back (bamboo sides)

Glass Splash Back

Glass Splash Back - (Top doors still to come)



  1. Jonathan says:

    Tis sound quite cost effective and looks great. My question is, what do you do when you need to install wall plugs where you want the glass splashback?


  2. admin says:

    Dear Jonathan – I understand glass cut outs are possible but difficult and probably expensive. Fortunately my splashback is only behind the gas hob where plugs are of little use. This is a once off for me so I am afraid you will probably need to speak to the ‘professionals’.


  3. Jackie says:


    I’m trying to do this myself as well. Did you have any issues with the paint scratching off when you were installing? Did you put anything behind the glass to keep it from scratching?

  4. Tim says:

    I was careful but found the paint was actually quite tough – on the test samples it took a fair amount of effort to actually scratch the paint – to make sure it didn’t get damaged by the wall I used double sided tape all over which keeps it nicely separated – like you would hang a mirror.

  5. Martib says:

    Hi, I haven’t tried acrylac, I used normal oil based black enamel paint without sanding, although I did clean the painted area with thinners to remove any oily residue left behind from the cutting process. Must say it looks stunning and I did not have any problems with paint coming off.

  6. Lee says:

    Hi, We are also going to attempt doing our whole kitchen with glass splash backs. The glass suppliers here in Vereeniging will do the cut outs for the plugs free of charge, I’m sure any decent glass supplier will be able to help you with the plug cut out. thanks for the great info about what paint can be used it will save a great deal of R’s

  7. Nolan says:

    Hi Guys.

    As one of the ‘professionals’, I would say it is seriously not rocket science to stick a piece of glass to a wall.

    It is, however, some other kind of science to make paint stick properly to glass. We took more than a year of testing various chemical additives before we had acceptable, permanent results.

    Unfortunately, we are bound to offer guarantees, and have to be completely confident in our product, no matter what environment it is going into.

    You will probably be fine – sanding is a good thing, cleanliness is even better.

    Please just make sure you use toughened glass. It is not worth the risk using Float glass.

  8. Antonius says:

    Hi Guys

    It is possible to cut glass in any shape you want with holes for plugs, taps etc. The largest size in toughened glass is 3.2 x 2.25m with thickness varying from 6mm to 19mm. There are two major manufacturer’s paint that can be used and the company that supplies the paint provides a 10 year warranty agains fading. Just remember when using silicon, use acid free. Otherwise it will etch the glass over a period of time.



  9. Vicky says:

    Hi there,
    I have been thinking of doing a glass splashback in my kitchen but wanted to paint the wall and use clear glass on the wall, any thoughts on how that would work?

  10. Tim says:

    Hi – not sure of the look you wanting, but I think it will just look like a piece of glass stuck to the wall. What I mean is the paint applied to the back of the glass gives an amazing effect mainly because the glass is such a smooth surface – so its amazingly even colour-wise. I think to get the same effect on a wall would be nigh impossible. Other problems will be mounting the glass, as anything applied to the back will show through – not to mention dust or insects getting behind the glass!

    I would suggest you get a couple of small pieces of normal glass and do some experimenting – I wouldn’t be surprised if with the right preparation you will see the effect with normal enamel paint – or even spray paint in a can? Maybe this will help you decision process – good luck.

  11. WONDERFUL Post.thank you share..more wait ..

  12. Melinda says:

    Must the glasss be a toughened glass as it wont “carry” any weight?? Cant I use a normal 6mm

  13. Tim says:

    Hi Melinda

    If your glass is anywhere near the stove like ours, it gets surprisingly hot in very localised areas, my understanding is that if it isn’t toughened glass it would simply crack from the stress. I guess if it is just the back to a counter and it is protected from knocks you might be able to use normal glass, just be warned if it does break it will be dangerous as it would break into shards unlike laminated or toughened glass which doesn’t.

    Good luck – Tim

  14. Marta says:

    Great idea, I´m planning on doing one of my bathroom walls with the glass. How do you install it, without damaging the color?

  15. Tim says:

    Hi – the paint once 2 layers were sprayed on, is actually quite thick + no light is actually coming from the back so I just used double sided tape and mirror mounting silicone and you cant see it at all. Good luck.

  16. Banetsi says:

    can’t I was get a stick on glass sticker for the colour effect or differentprint effects?

  17. Tim says:

    Hi – suppose you can try – just remember most of the effect is that the colour is at the back of the glass – rather than just on the surface. If you use a sticker then you will be looking at the “glue side” which probably wont look as nice.


  18. Naz says:

    Hi – I’m quite interested to know how your DIY job has been holding up? As the paint faded or peeled at all? I’m quite keen on installing a glass splashback in my kitchen but the prices are so steep.

  19. Tim says:

    Hi there Naz – honestly its as good as the day I put it in – no problems what so ever !

    Just wish the rest of my DIY stuff held up this well 🙂

  20. Naz says:

    Happy to hear that Tim! I’ve passed your blog onto my builder and he’s quite excited to try out this project, your blog has probably saved me thousands!

  21. Ian says:

    Anyone now of a reliable and cost effective installer of glass splash backs for a Kitchen. We are in Johannesburg

  22. Antonius says:

    Hi, me again. Yes the actual product is very expensive. Remember, it is not PVA, it is an automotive paint. The reason why it is so expensive is that the activator that ensures that the paints sticks to the glass costs about R10,000/250 ml. That activator comes from the tyre manufacturing industry. So it is a completetly different ball game. Some good advice doing a DIY job. You can use Rust-Oleum products to spray on glass, they are the best can-spray-paint products available. Make sure that the wall that you are going to apply the glass is treated with bonding liquid. That will prevent any moisture coming through and damaging your paint, which will start pealing if kept in damp conditions. Also do not apply too much silicone. If your paints starts to affect the paint, you will be able to remove easily. My suggestion for DIY job is just add silicone to the edges. If you want to remove the glass, it is easy to do. If there is a plug, so much the better since the plug will keep the glass to the wall. Good luck with your DIY jobs. Antonius

  23. wasi says:

    Hi Guys ,
    found a Dulux product called Supergrip Primer (R168 for !lt frm Builder warehouse , Tint – R20) can be used on glazed surfaces , melamine and glass as a primer , comes standard in white but i have added a very pastel shade of lemon tint to the white and gonna apply it directly to the glass. should hold as its purpose made for glass and tiles.No need to sand and according to instructions only requires 1 coat. Gonna give it a try this weekend and will let you guys know how it turns out

  24. Tim says:

    Sounds good – let us know how it goes

  25. Marianne Doczi says:

    Are you going to brush it on? I’d like to paint a pattern on some glass for a splashback so will be interested to hear from you as to how your painting goes. Marianne

  26. Marianne Doczi says:

    Can you paint on the glass with a brush, or do you have to use spray paint? I’m interested in painting a design on some glass for use in a shower.

  27. Tim says:

    I am sure you can – worst case just scrape it off and try again.

  28. Nurcan Keskin says:

    Hello Tim,

    I have a lot of plugs where my backsplash will go and I can not cover them, (against the code or something), so I need to have couple of cuts for those so I can not use tempered glass , I need to use regular float glass which may not stand to heat. Any suggestions?


  29. Tim says:

    Hi – I am told cut outs can be done before it is tempered – if the glass wont be heated you will be fine – but behind a stove top you may pick up problems with un-tempered.

  30. Gary says:

    Hi, how did you guys go on with the glass edges? Did you mask them off or paint them?

  31. Tim says:

    Hi – I just ignored them – since I was spraying very little went on them and mine were hidden anyway as it is bounded all 4 sides.

  32. Robyn says:

    Hi Tim,
    do you know anything about perspex splash backs?

  33. Nomfundo says:

    Wasi – can you please let us know how it went?

  34. Tim says:

    Hi Robyn

    I would be worried about the temperature, not sure what this would do – mine gets pretty hot at the stove and perspex also scratches much easier – apart from that juts guessing sorry.

    I do remember that I priced perspex for a skylight project and was surprised to see how expensive it was vs laminate glass.

  35. Ana says:

    I have researched and researched and almost everyone says that spray paint will not hold up in the long run. After experimenting on glass with spray paint, I found that it’s very easy to peel it off, but I’m hoping that because the paint is not exposed to anything this won’t be the case. I do have a question about the sanding. My husband and I purchased a small piece of glass from Home Depot to practice on. We found that after sanding, we saw the scratches from the non painted side. Did you have this problem?

  36. Tim says:

    Hi I used 1200 grit water paper which is very fine – I remember there were very fine scratches but the paint filled these in very easily – maybe the key is to use as fine as you can find ? Cant comment on normal spray paint though although seemed to have worked for someone else though. Good luck

  37. Alexandra says:

    Hi Tim

    I’ve read all the comments and have been researching this for a few days now and have got mixed reviews…

    Been told that an additive is important for durability. its 2015 now how long did yours last?? did it fade or peel in any way?


  38. Tim says:

    Hi had a careful look last night – definitely no peeling and pretty sure no fading. Its basically a good quality automotive paint I used – cant see it fading esp since it gets no direct sunlight.

  39. Judy says:

    Afternoon Tim
    May I ask how you applied the Acrylac spray paint? By ordinary spray can or pressure spray gun?
    Many thanks

  40. Tim says:

    Hi I used a spray gun with a compressor (like car shops use).

  41. Graeme H. says:

    Hi there. Nice job. Looks a million dollars. But , was concerned about the heat from gas cooker. Not on the glass, but the paint. Was the paint a heat resistant type or just normal acrylic auto.?

  42. Tim says:

    Hi – just good quality automotive paint – I think your car can body get pretty hot in the sun – anyway no issues to date and it has been a good few years

  43. Ilsa says:

    Hi, I am a graphic designer and designed my own splashback behind my hob. I looks lovely, but the glass started to crack because of the heat from my stove. Is there a specific glass I should use?

  44. Tim says:

    HI Ilsa – yes it needs to be toughened / tempered glass to handle the localised heat. Normal or laminated will likely crack.

  45. Leslie Barr says:

    Ilsa – we are wanting to put some sort of graphic design on the back of glass for our backsplash. How are you puting your design on the glass?

  46. Igesh Naidu says:

    Please can u tel me.what did u use to stick to the wall.didu drill or use glue.if you used the glue, can u see the glue lines throw the glass

  47. Igesh Naidu says:

    Where did u get the glass from.what is the cost.

  48. Tim says:

    Most glass outlets will sell toughened glass – I cant remember the price but I am sure it was under R1,000. To stick to the wall I used double sided tape with Mirror Silicone – no marks visible.

  49. Tiny says:


    How can I put a design like bon appetite or a picture behind the backsplash .

  50. Tim says:

    I guess you could try a vinyl transfer ?
    Only worry would be that its the back side you looking at – suggest talk to signage guys?

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