I have to be completely honest and say I don’t really understand backsplashes. To me they always just seem like more work. I like white walls. Actually I love white walls. So having more white wall behind my cabinets has just always made perfect sense to me. Plus, I’ve never really loved most of the backsplash options I’ve seen.
So, in short, I had no desire to do a backsplash project. It was not on my list of renovations for this kitchen. However, I made the terrible decision of painting my walls with flat paint before we moved in. I love flat paint. Especially for pictures. There is no glare whatsoever so it is perfect for spaces that will be photographed. What it’s not perfect for is basically anything else.
Flat paint, while gorgeous, is not durable or washable. It scratches and comes off at the slightest touch (even with primer underneath). Dirty handprints are easily visible and can be hard to remove. Food stains don’t wipe off well and even a wet rag with no chemicals can wipe the paint right off. Basically, it’s a terrible solution for a kitchen. And I know this. I’ve read it many times and I just didn’t care. I did it in my last house and it worked out fine and I just love the matte finish so much!
But, what ended up being the death of my flat paint obsession forever was this kitchen and dining area. We painted the house first thing because we were sure that what was there was lead-based. Then, other projects ensued. Other projects that required taping off these walls for various reasons. And here’s what I learned: it doesn’t matter how high quality painter’s tape you use, flat paint will come off with it. Especially if it’s been painted over a glossy oil-based paint (again, despite primer).
So that’s exactly what happened in this room. Much of the paint was torn off when I taped off the doorway to work on my acid stained floor and then all the paint around the countertops was torn off when I removed the tape I had put up while doing my concrete counters (review of that coming up!). So, the seemingly unnecessary task of doing a backsplash became a priority. I could have just re-painted the backsplash area. But, I honestly hate painting. And I really felt that I could come up with an even easier solution.
So, the pretty marble and subway tiles at the store were out. I was not willing to do a project of that calibur. I wanted easy easy easy. I brainstormed a while, came up with lots of ideas (I’m not sure all of them would be possible..). And then I remembered marble contact paper! This stuff has amazing Amazon reviews. And even though I had never used it and worried it might not do so well on a wall, I knew Malissa had had great success with it on a bunch of projects. So I decided to give it a go and it was exactly what I wanted! It was literally the easiest thing I could have thought up for a backsplash. It was easy to place and replace, it was very inexpensive and it’s pretty nice lookin’, right?
- Marble contact paper //
- Scissors //
- Xacto knife //
- Measuring tape //
- Flat edge of some kind
1. Remove all outlet covers.
2. Measure the length and height of each section of wall.
3. Use the grid on the back of the marble paper to cut it to the correct length and width.
4. Remove just the end of the contact paper backing and stick this to the wall at one end. Pull backing off while pressing paper onto wall. Use a flat edge tool of some kind to press it well onto the wall and smooth out any bubbles.
5. Cover outlets and then use scissors or an xacto knife to carefully cut it away. I was not particular about cutting it perfectly along the hole in the wall. I just cut away enough to expose the outlets and called it good! It’s getting covered anyway!
6. Use Xacto knife to cut away any paper that might be overlapping your counters or cabinets.
7. Replace outlet covers and you’re done!
A perfect solution for this project that I didn’t want to turn into an all-week thing. This paper washes off easily and it keeps the space light, which is essential in this kitchen that doesn’t get awesome natural lighting. This project was basically impossible to mess up. Imperfections aren’t readily visible and you can’t even tell where seams are (like above my oven where the space is wider than my paper was) without looking closely.
What is your opinion on backsplashes? Have you seen any amazing ones you’d love to have in your home?!