Asked on Aug 11, 2018

How do I repair or fix up the backsplash area in this very old house?

JewellmartinRachel's Trash~2~TreasuresShuganne


I'm a disabled nurse looking for advice,suggestions or help on trying to fix this area between my countertop(for a better word, it needs help too). My parents left me this house I grew up in and it needs lots of work and my income is fixed and I have some physical limitations from my accident. Now, I'm trying too fix it up! A family member had squirted some expandable foam too seal up air leaks from the basement. This foam is as hard as concrete and is really stuck. Theirs a thin layer of fiberglass between the counter and cabinets. Should I keep it or remove. Should I paint or try tiles!! Please help! I appreciate any and all suggestions! Ty

4 answers
  • Dwp7470b
    on Aug 11, 2018

    Contact Paper!

  • Shuganne
    on Aug 11, 2018

    Foam sealant was a great idea for blocking air leaks, until it wasn't. But it's fixable, no worries!

    I suggest you buy a blade cutter for two reasons. First you're going to run the blade along the wall and cut off any foam sticking out beyond the window frame. The packaging should say it's able to be cut with a knife.

    Then I suggest you buy 12 inch squares of preglued laminate. You can use that on the wall and countertop. Follow the directions on how to install it. This is where the single blade cutter comes in, to trim and cut the laminate. (Use a piece of paper to trace exactly what needs to be cut - no house is a ever built square or level and yours may have settled over the years.)

    Now the fiberglass was also a good idea but you don't want to have it exposed near your food prep. Leave it there and make sure it gets covered by the laminate completely.

    There are some more things you can add to make the kitchen look more finished. An interior quarterround where the wall and countertop meet. A metal edging for the front of the countertop edge. You may need a hacksaw to cut that. There may also be plastic alternatives for that.

    The laminate I'm suggesting may actually be in the floor or wall section. Get a good clerk to ask the right questions to get you set up; go at a slow time of day so he/she can give you good service.

    I tried to insert a pic of the utility knife, to make sure you have a strong tool, but so far it's not showing up. Let us know if you have any other questions and then on to the next project!

    • Shuganne
      on Aug 12, 2018

      It sounds like you are connecting with Jewel and that's terrific! I haven't read her blog yet, but I'm going to yet today. In your last picture we get a good look at your back splash and all that loose stuff needs to go. Make sure whatever is behind there is dry and sturdy so it will support whatever you decide to put up there.

      What you have on your countertop is what I call laminate. It looks to be in good condition although you may see problems the camera doesn't catch. To me laminate seems the quick and easy way to get your backsplash and that whole wall back in business quickly and it should last a good long time.

      I'm not sure what your color scheme is for the rest of the room, but I'm going to suggest white or near white, maybe a cream or tan, to lighten that area. It might be just the pics but it seems like you have enough dark in there between the dark cabinets and countertop. Please don't let anyone tell you to paint those cabinets!! It's rare to see classic cabinets like that that haven't been "upgraded" with paint. In my humble opinion, paint should stay on walls. Are they hand made? Even more reason to cherish them in their original state (although I will give you permission to strip, restain and seal them with clear polyurethane if you have a yen for that.)

      Good luck with this project! Once you have that first project completed, your confidence that you can do it and the DIY bug are going to keep you busy!

  • Rachel's Trash~2~Treasures
    Rachel's Trash~2~Treasures
    on Aug 11, 2018

    That expendable foam is sandable, just like wood. You can also cut it with a razor or a knife first to level it out. If there's no rot or water damage just cover it up. What have you got for tools? You can put down wall paper and put a sheet of plexiglass right over the top of it. You can have the hardware store cut it to your specifications too. If that's too expensive (as plexiglass can be) you can also have them cut plywood to your specs then paint it or seal it up. If you choose to cover it with plywood the surface won't have to be so smooth. quarter round on the edges and seal everything up with caulk. Good luck!

  • Jewellmartin
    on Aug 11, 2018

    Go with durable paint and Contact paper. Peel the wallpaper if you can, but if it is smooth, paint or paper right over it. Use trays on the counters under the coffee pot or toaster (metal tray) and even for dirty dishes to keep scratching down. Use chalk paint that you can wash. I just saw the third photo. Pull that stuff off. Do scrub or sand to get any residue off the wall. This has been redone more than once. My email is and I would be glad to discuss all the little details of keeping house with multiple, chronic health issues. My blog is gloryallaroundme,, but those are all old articles. Best wishes to you, Brenda. ☺️

    • Brenda Bravard Singler
      Brenda Bravard Singler
      on Aug 12, 2018

      Oh, that's wonderful about your blog and I will be sending you an email! I was in a near death accident in 2013 and now have limitations! I never gave up and today I can walk!! Thank you So much!

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