Penny Backsplash

7 Materials
3 Months

We bought an old home and remodeled. I had painted mahogany cabinets cream colored and antiqued them and the next project was the back splash.I wanted a copper colored back splash and when browsing through the internet, pennies came up. After researching, trying different patterns, and learning from my own mistakes, we completed our project.
penny backsplash
the walls weren't exactly flat so I cut 1/4 inch backer board (Luan) to panel sizes, obtained uncirculated pennies for the bright part of the design and sorted pennies for dark brown lines.
penny backsplash
To know how large to cut the boards, I divided the area by the number of panels I thought would be easy to manipulate. I used brown construction paper to cut to the size of the wall opening as a template, using an exacto knife to cut out the areas for outlets or switches. Then cut up the boards and spray painted them black. I could finish a board in 2 to 3 evenings after work watching TV
penny backsplash
I wanted a 'featured' design over the sink and designed a layout slightly different from the rest. I learned the hard way that you couldn't let the glue flow from beneath the penny, it would be opaque under lighting once coated with bar top epoxy. I used q-tips and elmers to glue the pennies.
penny backsplash
I poured a very thick layer of bar top epoxy over all the sheets (we did 1/2 of the kitchen at a time) and let it cure at 76 degrees for 3 days in a heated room. I actually had finished 1/2 of the kitchen when I realized the glue turned the clear opaque, we had them under the lights and could see huge splotches of creamy opaque. I had to start over.
penny backsplash
We lined up the panels where they would mount, and used Loc-tight construction adhesive to put behind the boards. I had to use shims to keep the boards above the counter until it dried enough not to slide down the wall.
penny backsplash
I was very careful to line up the designs so that it look like one line started at the same place on the next board (easier than it looked, this pattern is easy to do).
penny backsplash
I bought quarter round (only used it on the bottom of the boards and 1 inch trim boards. Both were spray painted black, then cut to size for trimming each panel, I also beveled the edges at 45 degrees to add a finishing touch, and glued the trim boards in place. I bought light switches and added some copper paint to increase the copper color.
penny backsplash
The feature over the sink turned out great, this is before trimming and adding outlet covers.
penny backsplash
The finished look was awesome.
penny backsplash
I choose a larger trim for the sink feature and added some copper highlights with paint on the roped design.
penny backsplash
The new plank flooring was a huge change over the retro green and yellow vinyl. Total number of pennies? 10,400 give or take 10 or so. $104.00 worth of pennies, and many hours in front of the TV gluing pennies! Total time, about 2 1/2 months after work and on weekends between other projects. Total cost under $400.

Resources for this project:

Luan, 1/4 board 4x8 2 sheets
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 27 questions
  • Do you have a pattern stencil you could put up of in front of your sink?

    • Sandy O'Konek
      on Jun 17, 2018

      Hi Tracie, I didn't have one, I saw a photo on line of a floor, printed it and added in the crosses to the design. I played with it till it looked right. :)

  • Margaret Mc Parland
    on Dec 19, 2018

    how to clean brushed steel cooker and extractor

  • Debra Wells
    4 days ago

    Beautiful job! I have two questions for you:

    #1. You said you used uncirculated pennies; was that hard to find; did you have to collect them over time?

    #2. I have wanted to do this to my kitchen floor every since I say it online do you think doing a back splash with copper pennies would be too much with a floor with copper pennies?

    • Sandy O'Konek
      3 days ago

      #1 So I was very blessed to find a whole box of uncirculated pennies at one of the banks I stopped at (didn't have an account there and the 2nd time I stopped by they wouldn't even sell me pennies, so see what I mean about BLESSED!) It was $25 worth of pennies, 2500. The rest was just buying pennies and sorting, over and over again, to get the shiny ones and dark brown. We took back 45 worth of pennies I didn't use at the end.

      #2 No I wouldn't think so. I think I would just put the pennies on the floor without thought to patterns. There are tons of videos of folks doing a whole floor and putting epoxy on top.

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