A Beautiful Backsplash for $10 and a Little Elbow Grease

Hubs and I are still saving for a glass tile backsplash. But for now, we bought a $10 roll of DUCK Brand adhesive vinyl paper, and went to work in our builder basic kitchen.
This is an AFTER picture. We also recently re-did our upper cabinets. The final kitchen project will be the lower cabinets that are still the basic orange oak with flat doors.
This is a BEFORE shot of the wooden/formica backsplash. I don't have a good shot from the kitchen, but this same technique is in our bathroom shown here.
When we removed the old wood strip, we discovered it hid a few builder's mistakes. This ugly nearly 3/4" bowed, gap between the wall and the countertop, under the window. The gross, dirty middle area is the gap.
We used LOTS of Goo Gone to loosen up the remaining adhesive on the counter top, and gently scraped it, then wiped up with clean cloth.
We sanded off built up paint layers, patched any bad areas in the wall, and then painted the white area (that had been behind the wooden strip. If we had left it white, that would have been noticeable through the contact paper.
Here's another final result photo. To remedy the gap problem, we painted and applied quarter round cove strips. See full details and more pictures over at our website. Thanks for looking.

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Cheryl @ Artzzle

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Debbie
    on Mar 20, 2017

    Hi Cheryl, What brand is your small sander? Are you happy with the job it does? If you had to buy another, would you buy the same one? I have been looking at them for a while but since I know absolutely nothing about any kind of power tool, I need to ask for opinions. Also, I'd like to ask if your Duck brand paper was actually labeled a shelf liner? Thanks!

    • Debbie
      on Mar 24, 2017

      Thank you, Cheryl. You've been very helpful and answered everything I had questions about. I'm going to order my sander and get to work! Thanks again :-)

  • Cheryl
    on Jul 11, 2017

    I been looking into this for some time now. Since I live in an apartment any changes I make our temporary & I can't afford to damage the wall. Does contract paper come off cleanly or does it take paint and/or gyprock paper with it?
    • Cheryl @ Artzzle
      on Jul 11, 2017

      Hi, Cheryl . . . Cheryl here, too! Nice to see we both spell it the best way, right? LOL. The paper I used was actually shelf line (Duck Brand), and it IS a stronger adhesive than Contact Brand. The stuff I used WILL remove bits of paint if you tug too hard, but should be fine if you gently pull a small area at a time. Another tip would be to check with manager about touch up paint in the wall color, of the space you're doing. If bits do come off, a simple light sanding and quick cover coat shouldn't be difficult, esp. in a smaller area. Otherwise, I'd suggest 1. a decoupage treatment with water based glue (Elmer's) which will wash off. 2. a liquid starch with fabric treatment which can be safely removed or 3. if it's for a small area like backsplash, simply buying a roll of removeable wallpaper.
      NOTE: In the apartments I've used contact paper, the managers/owners have always asked me to leave it up . . . it was a neutral design and they felt it helped when renting next time :D
      Hope this was helpful.

Join the conversation

4 of 39 comments
  • Suzanne
    on Jan 17, 2017

    Love it and the color of upper cabinets; the darker shade to come should be great. The brass canisters introduce another color that somehow just doesn't do your work justice. What would you think of black accessories? I know the work in this. My base cabinets are done but upper ones still waiting. I appreciate your great idea for backsplash. and the cove strips perfect solution.

    • Cheryl @ Artzzle
      on Jan 18, 2017

      Thanks, Suzanne. I've included 3 Afters pics below, with all done. Also is a B4 pic of the old kitchen.

  • Suzanne
    on Jan 18, 2017

    Now is see how the two accent colors connect. It all looks so lovely. The color you used on the base cabinets is practical but still lovely and the darker shade anchoriing as they say. I sure wish I had an island. I have a corridor kitchen and hate it. I like your white appliances with the taupe base cabinets for contrast.

    • Cheryl @ Artzzle
      on Jan 18, 2017

      Thanks, Suzanne. BTW those copper canisters were my mom's so don't want to change them, but your black accents suggestion would look great too. Also, we lived in another rambler years ago and it was a corridor kitchen. I'll see if I can find some pictures. Why don't you visit my website, too? www.Artzzle.com I will start following you here on hometalk too & vice versa if you want. So fun to talk with you. Later - Cheryl B

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