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Penny Backsplash

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.
Time: 3 Months Cost: $350 Difficulty: Medium
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
The feature over the sink turned out great, this is before trimming and adding outlet covers.
The finished look was awesome.
I choose a larger trim for the sink feature and added some copper highlights with paint on the roped design.
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.

Materials used for this project:

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Ask the creator about this project

  • Wendy
    on Dec 18, 2017

    I love those patterns!

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth Medford, NY
      on Jan 4, 2018

      Lol -- I probably have close to that many in containers and banks throughout the house! This is such a neat idea, isn't it? I loved her use of mixing the bright and used ones to create her patterns.

  • Kimberly Valentino
    Kimberly Valentino Van Nuys, CA
    on Dec 23, 2017

    this is sooooooo sharp!good job!

  • Luanastowe
    on Dec 23, 2017

    Turned out just as good if not better than a professional and that's coming from a professional in the business. Www.3Gtileinstall.com

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth Medford, NY
      on Jan 4, 2018

      PS: back in the day I did many a backsplash using floor tiles - figuring it out as I went along AND using quarter round molding as a frame as well, and remember how tough it was to keep the weight of the tiles from sliding down the walls, lol. You did a phenomenal job in this --great idea to mount the pennies on boards first --and then plan the whole thing out ahead of time. As the pros say: preparation is 90% of the job. You've proven that. ;

  • Heather
    Heather United Kingdom
    on Dec 23, 2017

    Wow! Great work. Enjoy :)

  • Carole White
    Carole White Canada
    on Dec 23, 2017

    Wow...this is awesome!!!!!

  • Kcgeyer64
    on Dec 23, 2017

    Quite the idea. It amazes me how people come up with all sorts of ideas!

  • Jjfischer_2006
    on Dec 23, 2017

    WoW!!!! AWESOME!!!! And VERY interesting!!!

  • Theduke1234
    on Dec 23, 2017

    It is a job VERY well done with patience galore!!! I can only think of the song, "Pennies from heaven"......look it up, I forgot who sang it.....you will never be broke.. ..lol. Keep your umbrella turned upside down.....I love your rug that matches and your cupboards are my kinda look!! Your kitchen is beautiful. Merry Christmas!!

  • Carol
    Carol South Dennis, MA
    on Dec 23, 2017

    That looks awesome it was worth all your effort!!!!!!!!

  • Ann Cassler
    Ann Cassler
    on Dec 23, 2017

    Love the job! Great thinking to use luann instead of trying to go directly to the wall. haha. Depending on how you installed it there's a chance that you can take it off if you move or want a different backsplash down the road.

    • Sandy
      on Dec 23, 2017

      No way, it is so permanent that the walls would have to be cut out with a saws all. LOL

  • Theresa Shumaker Monroe
    Theresa Shumaker Monroe
    on Dec 23, 2017

    Just gorgeous! Great job, and fabulous use of your imagination.

  • Karen Voorhees
    Karen Voorhees New Egypt, NJ
    on Dec 23, 2017

    Beautiful, but I'd never have the patience! lol

    • Garv
      Garv Naugatuck, CT
      on Dec 24, 2017

      me neither... :)

  • Ken Mer
    Ken Mer Independence, OH
    on Dec 23, 2017

    For the look of uncirculated pennies, just drop circulated ones into a pan of CLR and in 10-15 minutes, bright shiny pennies.

  • Lsherbach
    Lsherbach Amityville, NY
    on Dec 23, 2017

    Wow wow wow

  • Sally Gillies
    Sally Gillies Ormond Beach, FL
    on Dec 23, 2017

    Fantastic. I chose another route ... I glued on 6574 pennies and stuck each of them directly on the wall with E-6000. They’ll never come off!

  • Kfjfavor
    on Dec 23, 2017

    Beautiful! and we all have jars of pennies we save!

  • SandyG
    SandyG Mount Alto, WV
    on Dec 23, 2017

    That is amazing. What a labor of love. Great skill in matching design edges and love the color contrast. Even your kitchen runner somewhat matches the design and color.

  • Cindy Patrice
    Cindy Patrice Canada
    on Dec 23, 2017

    Beautiful and unique. I love it!

  • Debra Ridley Hurst
    Debra Ridley Hurst
    on Dec 23, 2017

    You did an amazing job!

  • Wow, that is so beautiful! You have a lot of patience!

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