Barbrie
Barbrie
  • Hometalker
  • Pensacola, FL

Seashell Backsplash

3 Materials
$135
4 Hours
Easy

I had been searching for a backsplash idea that I liked for my kitchen. All the tiles that my big box stores carried just didn't seem right. Because I live in Pensacola, FL, I have many shells that I have collected over the year. I've been striving to make my traditional cinder block house more beachy, so I decided to try my hand at a seashell backsplash.


This project was definitely a figure-it-out-as-you-go job, and I am a very poor videographer, but I hope that you can follow the process if you decide to do something similar. Enjoy!!

This is a start to finish video of the project.

Before of right side of kitchen


Progress: painter's tape and primer


Tape marking backsplash height on counter.

I wanted to be able to lay out all of my seashells in advance of affixing them to the backsplash area. So I measured the height of the wall area and taped that off onto the countertop. Next you'll see where I have laid down the shells approximately where I hope they'll end up on the vertical wall space above them.

Shells placed on countertops


Mapei Porcelain Tile Mortar

This is the mortar we chose to use. I liked that it is very white since the beaches in Pensacola are sugar-white.

We mixed it as directed with a mixer drill bit. I give the directions in the video.

Mortar and shells are in place.

It went much faster when my husband helped mix batches of mortar and applied it to the wall in small sections while I placed the shells. It was actually very easy and I was able to stick them up with both hands. I did back-butter the larger, concave shells to be sure they would stay in place.


We debated if we wanted any grout, but decided we loved the sandy look of the mortar. We did decide to add two coats of polyurethane.

This is the Polyurethane we used.


I love how many of the shells are so glossy with the polyurethane on them.

Many shells were from my own collecting, although I did spend just over $100 at a seashell store for the larger signature pieces. The mortar was $22 and the poly $12. So this was a very economical project.


My seashell backsplash has been up in my kitchen now for 5 years. Not a shell has come loose, and it has been super easy to keep clean, even near the stove and sink. I love it and it is one of a kind.

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

15 Things To Do With Scrap Material
20 Easy Concrete Projects You Absolutely CAN Do!
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
17 DIY Projects You Can Start And Finish Tonight
15 Pieces Of Furniture That DIYers Built From Scratch
17 DIY Projects You Can Start And Finish Tonight
30 Reasons We Can’t Stop Buying Michaels Storage Crates
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
27 Gorgeous Update Ideas For Your Bedroom
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
17 Faux Brick Ideas For Your Home
Craft Organization Ideas Mom Will Love
15 Things To Do With Scrap Material

Have a question about this project?

3 of 8 questions
  • Bobbi
    on Sep 28, 2019

    Nice, how do you clean it????

    • Susan Thurlkill Rhodes
      on Oct 2, 2019

      I really thought I was going to dislike this when I heard what you were doing but I LOVE it! It's completely beautiful. GREAT job. Very creative, very beautiful, very timeless, and the fact that you live in Florida, it's just PERFECT. Very impressive!

  • Allison Velez
    on Sep 29, 2019

    Hi Barbie! Navarre here! Nice to see you. Allison

  • Michelle Herman
    on Oct 10, 2019

    My mom says that there’s also a way to transform her old 80’s style countertops into a modern Granite look with just product..

    Do you happen to know how to do it and exactly what products I’m gonna need to get for me to be able to transform her kitchen countertops..??

    If anyone knows What is needed and step by step directions Please let me know ASAP she wants to get started by this weekend 🤔

    • Patsy47
      on Oct 19, 2019

      Ck out YouTube instead of waiting here for an answer....you can find tutorials for ANYTHING on there....be proactive and do research!

Join the conversation

3 of 161 comments
Your comment...