We have a painted wooden backsplash by our kitchen faucet. Sadly, the wooden is now swelling because of the moisture around. Note that the wood doesn't normally get water on it directly - it appears to just be the water that lands on the countertop below it.

The obvious solution would be to sand it flat and paint with an enamel paint to resist the water. Are there other solutions I should look at?

Bubbling Painted Backsplash

  • That is MDF behind the sink?
    – DMoore
    Sep 18, 2013 at 4:06
  • From what I can see it looks like a nice countertop. Why not remove the wood and go with tile? Looking for an easier fix? Sanding and repainting will get you there but this will happen again. If you go that route I'd prime and seal it with a kilz type product.
    – hortstu
    Sep 18, 2013 at 5:30
  • @horstu Yes - there's tile everywhere else. The issue here (that's not in the photo - sorry) is that the wood makes up part of the window frame that's directly above the sink. It's a fair bit of wood, maybe 4 inches, but it matches other windows.
    – Sarge
    Sep 18, 2013 at 17:14

1 Answer 1


There is a reason that painted surfaces are generally not used for backsplashes, and you have discovered it.

The standard approach to both counter and backsplash is to have an impervious surface and a seal between them. This is virtually impossible with paint. Occassionaly you will find heavily sealed wood (clear epoxy, marine varnish, etc.) used for either the counter or the backsplash, but they need constant monitoring and repair if scratched or chipped.

You should consider using tile or metal as a backsplash (as suggested by hortstu in his comment). It should also be sealed to the countertop at the base (clear silicone at the bottom edge of the tile/metal).

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