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.
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.

Resources for this project:

Luan, 1/4 board 4x8 2 sheets
Bar top expoxy
See all materials
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

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  33 questions
  • Alta Esterhuyse Marchant Alta Esterhuyse Marchant on Dec 23, 2017
    Oh wow Sandy! What a project. It looks great. How many pennies did u use?

  • Lilibet, HomeTalker Lilibet, HomeTalker on Dec 23, 2017
    Where did you get the uncirculated pennies from, and how did you calculate/know how many you’d need? Also, why uncirculated pennies? Dumb question here, but is it illegal to use circulating coins in decorating?

    • Kimberly Montgomery Kimberly Montgomery on Dec 23, 2017
      Uncirculated pennies are super shiny. They create the brightness that many people want in a backsplash. Unless something has changed, you can ask the bank for rolls of uncirculated pennies. As to the knowing how many she needed, I have no idea, but I am sure it is a fairly simple geometrical formula that was used.

    • Nan29958258 Nan29958258 on Dec 23, 2017
      She said about 10,400 were used.

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 23, 2017
      I had no idea how many I would need. LOL I just bought more as I needed them. We actually took back 44$ worth of rejects for color. I was lucky that I found a full box of uncirculated pennies at a bank, I found I couldn't ask a bank to order them for me, and would have to stop by multiple banks to buy $10 worth and sometimes there would be a row of uncirculated ones, or I just sorted them. Another crafter said that putting them in CLR for 10 min would have accomplished the same thing! I tried peroxide and baking soda, and vinegar. Doesn't get the same results.

    • Margaret Green Margaret Green on Dec 24, 2017
      My grandfather would soak the pennies in vinegar and then rub a pencil eraser over them. You could also try copper polish, similar to silver polish.

  • Mel10180584 Mel10180584 on Dec 23, 2017
    You said the design was easy to do. Will you please elaborate so I can avoid any unnecessary pitfalls?

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 23, 2017
      OH, and buy a cheap torch, you will need it to run over the epoxy to heat all the bubbles so they burst. I tried using my culinary torch for creme brulee's and it wasn't hot enough.

  • Nancy vlcek Nancy vlcek on Dec 23, 2017
    This is beautiful!!! How did u get the pionts? ... Dinner pennies are round?

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 23, 2017
      When you stack pennies inside of each other in the gap of the round pennies, the first row then makes a straight line and the top of the round penny becomes the point. If you could enlarge the picture you could see what I mean

  • JAN JAN on Dec 23, 2017
    I have to ask !!!!!!! How do you clean the dust and grease out of the holes between the coins.

    • Denise Denise on Dec 23, 2017
      She used bar top epoxy over the whole thing so there are no holes between the coins. She did a beautiful job!

  • Vicki Cunningham Vicki Cunningham on Dec 23, 2017
    Wondering if the pennies could be glued directly to the sheetrock wall and then grouted and sealed?

  • Edna B Whitmore Edna B Whitmore on Dec 23, 2017
    I have used epoxy glue previously, and with heat it does get slightly sticky....I am wondering how U plan on keeping this surface CLEAN. I thought about putting in expensive but very plain "subway tiles", but thinking about keeping ceramic tiles clean, forget it..I WILL KEEP MY PLAIN and easy to CLEAN BACKSPLASH !!

    • Edna B Whitmore Edna B Whitmore on Dec 23, 2017
      I have a small, Pullman style kitchen and and open wall separates it from my den. Both areas are done in six-sided off white "aged" ceramic tile. The glaze does wear down somewhat, and I can always have it reglazed.. It is easy to clean, but certain other flooring is much easier to keep clean.. Because of the light color, every speck of dirt, grains of sand SHOWS. It seems I am always sweeping or sponge mopping it.. Nothing put hot water is used on ceramic tile floor to keep clean, unless it is exposed to moisture like in a bathroom or spa.

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 23, 2017
      It isn't epoxy glue Edna, it is a extremely hard bar top that will scratch if you run a knife across it, fortunately I don't do that on the walls so it should stay shiny and pristine until I'm carted off in a hearse. You only take a dish cloth and soap to wipe off any food spatters. Since it is a hard surface, it doesn't even get warn enough to affect it around the stove.

  • Lin28108899 Lin28108899 on Dec 23, 2017
    Are you sure there isnt a law about using money in this way???

    • Jerie Jerie on Dec 23, 2017
      I have the same question

    • Linda Linda on Dec 23, 2017
      I believe it is illegal to deface money, but legal to use it in jewelry-type projects.

    • Barbara Baldwin Barbara Baldwin on Dec 23, 2017
      Some say yes, others say no..

    • Buster Buster on Dec 23, 2017
      That's a fair question that many of us might think of. I might have composed it differently, however. Perhaps something like:

      "Thank you for sharing the details of your project. Your attention to detail is admirable! As I read your post I wondered if it was lawful to use currency in this way so I did a little looking around and found this information which I cut and pasted from a Reddit post:
      18 U.S.C. § 331 states the following:
      Whoever fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the mints of the United States, or any foreign coins which are by law made current or are in actual use or circulation as money within the United States; or
      Whoever fraudulently possesses, passes, utters, publishes, or sells, or attempts to pass, utter, publish, or sell, or brings into the United States, any such coin, knowing the same to be altered, defaced, mutilated, impaired, diminished, falsified, scaled, or lightened—
      Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
      You are fine as long as you don't use the coins fraudulently. That is, with the intent to create counterfeit coins or to profit from the base metal (e.g., pennies made before 1982 contain more than one cent of copper, so you can't melt them down and sell as scrap)."

      When someone shares their creativity and hard work be kind and refrain from the impulse to respond with a "gotcha".

      Let's be kind and peaceful.

    • Judy H Judy H on Dec 23, 2017
      Buster, you said that beautifully and kindly. There is just no reason to be negative. This is such an awesome look she achieved with much hard work and creativity. I don't think the Department of the Treasury will make her tear it down. Thank you for your positive outlook.

    • Susan Snyder Susan Snyder on Dec 23, 2017
      It’s likely that Sandy got at least the uncirculated pennies from the bank, if not all of them. And it’s likely that she was excited about her project.
      Now, I can only speak for myself, but when I’m excited about starting a new project, I tend to share my plans with people at the places where I get my supplies. In this case, one of those places was the bank. I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that Sandy probably spoke with the bank clerk about her plans and reason for needing 10,400 pennies.
      Under those circumstances, I’m positive the bank clerk would have told Sandy if she was breaking the law.

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 23, 2017
      Actually I did go to a few and they loved the project when I showed them why I needed $20 or $10 worth at a time!

  • Barbara Baldwin Barbara Baldwin on Dec 23, 2017
    Where does one buy the pennies? A bank? Then you sort them for color later?

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 23, 2017
      yes and yes, we turned $44 worth of pennies that weren't the 'right' colors (dark brown and very new)

  • Kim Henninger Kim Henninger on Dec 23, 2017
    This is just amazing! How did you know every step to take? Did you get any advice or help?

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 23, 2017
      I read every blog I could find on creative ways to do pennies, I saw floors, entries, and kitchen back splashes and read them. A friend who is a fixer upper recommended using the luan for an absolutely flat beautiful surface. Plus the pennies get heavy, doing it in panels made sense. I learned the hard way not to let glue come out from under the pennies at all; finished all the boards for 1/2 the kitchen and when light hit it, it was opaque. I now have penny panels on my garage cabinets. I researched expoxy companies before selecting the one I did.

  • Elaine DiAntonio Elaine DiAntonio on Dec 23, 2017
    I'm thinking to do this around the edges of my blah square bathroom mirror. Would that need backer board?

    • Cherie Cherie on Dec 23, 2017
      I would definitely use cement board or backer board even on this project as when that luan gets wet, it will warp!!!

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 23, 2017
      No, you can do it right on the wall but you can't pour epoxy on it. You'd have to grout it. If you use luan and do the bar top epoxy, it will never warp or get wet.

  • Theresa Theresa on Dec 23, 2017
    what paint and colors did you use on the cabinets?

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 23, 2017
      I paid a friend whose occupation is painting to spray paint the cabinets a off white creamy color, and then used Valspar antiquing glaze, then put a coat of polyurethane over that.

  • Kyralee Kyralee on Dec 23, 2017
    I really like your spice and oil shelf above the stove. Do you have a tutorial for that?

    • David David on Dec 23, 2017
      That is really not the best place to store oil and spices due to the heat generated from the stove/oven. Makes them go bad/stale/rancid much faster.

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 23, 2017
      It came with the house, I painted it copper (it is stainless steel)

  • How did you clean the pennies??

    • LS.16783991 LS.16783991 on Dec 23, 2017
      If you want to clean copper use lemon juice and salt.

    • Renee Hammond Renee Hammond on Dec 23, 2017
      She said she bought uncirculated pennies for the bright part of the design and sorted pennies for dark brown lines.

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 23, 2017
      Yes, I tried using vinegar and salt, and hydrogen peroxide and ended up just sorting more pennies, never got them shiny enough.

  • Emily Emily on Dec 23, 2017
    You did a knock out job! Love the pattern of the over sink design and also the other but sink best. Is the pattern derived just from neglecting to clean some of the pennies? It is a fantastic look. Congratulations not only for your creativity but for your perseverance.

    • Renee Hammond Renee Hammond on Dec 23, 2017
      She said she bought uncirculated pennies for the bright part of the design and sorted pennies for dark brown lines.

    • Sheryl Gregory Sheryl Gregory on Dec 23, 2017
      She said in the beginning that she used new pennies fir the bright parts and sorted pennies for the dark lines.

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Jan 01, 2018
      My only regret over the sink was using some of the really dark black pennies, it detracted from the pattern.

  • Emily Pomrenke Emily Pomrenke on Dec 23, 2017
    It's beautiful, but I'm wondering how you keep it clean--like food splatter out of grooves?

    • Pam Pam on Dec 23, 2017
      She said she used epoxy to seal. It is the same type epoxy used on bar tops. No grooves to clean out, just wipe with soapy water.

    • Pam Pam on Dec 23, 2017
      btw...really great job. I love the creativity and hard working ethic that helped you stick with it through time ne error fixes.

    • Cindy Cindy on Dec 23, 2017
      It's beautiful and genius! Would love to try this as I have no backsplash and have been trying to come up with something to do for it.

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 23, 2017
      thanks Cindy!

    • Susan Cardie Susan Cardie on Dec 23, 2017
      I cannot add an answer but can I just say WOW love it

  • Charlynn Shanny Charlynn Shanny on Dec 23, 2017
    Isn’t it illegal to use money other than for what it’s supposed to be used for ?

    • She said she used uncirculated pennies I looks stunning!

    • Susan O'Hara Susan O'Hara on Dec 23, 2017
      Pennies are still money?? Lol!

    • I have a crap load of coins sitting in a large money jar, it's just sitting there. Maybe she's using her back splash as her piggy bank, lol!

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 23, 2017
      Charlynn, the short answer is NO. Theres an answer in the thread since you didn't bother to google what is illegal use of money someone else already answered perfectly. You can find it or google it

    • Dottiewilkie Dottiewilkie on Dec 23, 2017
      Charlynn, it’s only illegal if you alter it to pass off as a different denominatioN. Perfectly fine to make things out of it.

    • J.b. kelly J.b. kelly on Dec 23, 2017
      If you want you can use you bills for wallpaper,as long as it's not a criminal activity
      Save more spend less

    • Barb in Texas Barb in Texas on Dec 24, 2017
      J.b.-The table top I'm doing (mentioned above) is using about $2 in Canadian pennies, which cost $5US a roll!

    • Cathy Cathy on Dec 24, 2017
      Good thing, wouldn’t want the penny police to show up! Your kitchen is absolutely gorgeous!

    • Rose Rose on Dec 24, 2017
      It's yours money do what you please with it.penny cops won't be chasing you down!

    • Tabatha Huber Tabatha Huber on Dec 24, 2017
      It is illegal to use Canadian money for anything other than currency. I don’t know about American money.

    • Shannon Helfer Sabin Shannon Helfer Sabin on Dec 24, 2017
      At least she found a use for pennies! You did a beautiful job!

    • Marneta L Gabriel Marneta L Gabriel on Dec 24, 2017
      Canadian pennies are no longer used as currency, it is NOT illegal. A wicked job!

  • Vicki Sybert Vicki Sybert on Dec 23, 2017
    Will the uncirculated pennies stay bright colored?

    • Margaret Green Margaret Green on Dec 24, 2017
      I think the epoxy will prevent the oxidation that would discolor them

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 25, 2017
      Margaret is correct. If you use grout, they will continue to oxidize.

    • Elizabeth Elizabeth on Jan 03, 2018
      the bar top epoxy is a solid 'film' which protects anything, so Margaret is right--it will keep them bright and shiny (the entire point of making a pattern and using the epoxy in the first place--otherwise Sandy could have simply glued up thousands of pennies and let them all oxidize, occasionally using copper cleaner to brighten them up! :) The pattern is the thing--so she used what she did to preserve it. I love the ingenuity (and perseverance)! I quite like the look of the panels sitting on the counter prior to installation, so think it would also make a great 'hot plate'.

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Feb 13, 2018
      thanks Elizabeth!

  • Barb in Texas Barb in Texas on Dec 24, 2017
    I'm trying to cover my coffee table with pennies, and can't believe how long a 2x2 foot area takes, I admire your perseverance! One problem I have is I can't find an easy way to cut them where needed, to fit them in. Did you cut any of yours? This is stunning, btw, I just love the patterns you put in!

    • Mcc29598066 Mcc29598066 on Dec 24, 2017
      You can get them from Harbor Freight (where I got mine for about $3 many years ago) or from Amazon or probably many other places. Take a look at this link for an example of what Amazon currently has (also these look to be higher quality than my Harbor Freight ones):

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 25, 2017
      I used the large tin snips you can see on the table in the photo where it shows the panels half completed. They provided great torque to cut through the pennies.

    • Dpbeee2 Dpbeee2 on Jan 01, 2018
      Wow and wow and wow!! Now that is truly a labor of love. Beautiful and unique. Thank you so much for sharing this. I plan a penny project but on a much smaller scale to begin with. Thanks for inspiration.

    • Dpbeee2 Dpbeee2 on Jan 01, 2018
      Amazing creativity!

    • Sandra Allen Sandra Allen on Jan 29, 2018
      Look for tutorials on penny ides and you will find tons of ideas on making trays, tables, lamps and so much more. This is amazing!!!

  • Miranda Flood Miranda Flood on Dec 25, 2017
    Do you have a video or link on how you completed your cream cabinets with antiquing? They look absolutely amazing too. Great work. If you've shared how you did your cabinets and what colors, supplies you used, Etc please post the link. Thank you!

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 25, 2017
      I'll post it today Miranda!

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 25, 2017
      It's posted Miranda, took a while!

    • Miranda Flood Miranda Flood on Dec 26, 2017
      Oh thank you Sandy. Your cabinets look absolutely amazing too, and since I'm such a novice and don't have confidence in my own abilities, I would really really appreciate a step by step instruction on how you did your cabinets, exactly what paint and color you used, brand, your technique, top coats or wax and colors, etc. Yours look absolutely amazing. My kitchen is so blah and since changing the black granite counters and island is not in the budget, I'd like to at least update the cabinets. Thanks so much Sandy.

    • Miranda Flood Miranda Flood on Dec 26, 2017
      Oh thank you Sandy. I was just replying one your new message came through that you already posted it. I will try to find your video now. Thank you so much!

    • Miranda Flood Miranda Flood on Dec 26, 2017
      Hi again Sandy. Would you please put the link to your cabinet video here? I can't locate it now. Thank you so much

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Dec 30, 2017
      Here you go Miranda!

  • Barb C Barb C on Jan 21, 2018
    Awesome job. How did you keep epoxy contained on the boards till it dried? It is poured on, right? I've never used it.

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Jan 21, 2018
      Yes, poured on, spread with a brush, it pours off the edges, have to have plastic under it, I used old shower curtains

  • Glenda Harding Glenda Harding on Feb 03, 2018
    Could you possibly add pennies with tile and grout them on like tile?

  • Dff11150295 Dff11150295 on Feb 07, 2018
    Did you have to cut any of the pennies? And would a polyurethane product also work as a sealer?

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Feb 11, 2018
      Yes, I used the tin snips (large ones) to cut the pennies; those had highter torque to cut the pennies. Some of the pennies are easier to cut than others. I'm not sure about the polyurethane products. I don't remember reading about anyone using that to coat them with after.

    • Tracie Lyn Strain-Price Tracie Lyn Strain-Price on Jun 13, 2018

      It should work I say put a couple on a board and try it before doing whole kitchen

    • Jenna Perone Jenna Perone on Aug 12, 2018

      Bar top epoxy is equivalent to 70 coats of polyurethane

  • Kathy Carpenter Kathy Carpenter on May 05, 2018

    I've stained my kitchen cabinets black onix but now it's too dark I'm want them light color so do I have to sand all that off first before painting I want them to look destreesed like yours do can you help plus my walls are orange color countertops are brown beige mingled colors help please

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on May 07, 2018

      Kathy, I googled lightening kitchen cabinets and there's a ton of information on line. I've never done that so I can't be of much help.

    • Sandra Jean Adkins Sandra Jean Adkins on Dec 12, 2018

      Paint over your cabinets with a cream color and then sand the edges to give it a worn look. The deal with a satin water based polyurethane. Painting is one of the most affordable remodeling jobs you can do and it makes a huge impact. Look at a color wheel and colors across from each other co-ordinate best. You can always go up or down a shade. Never paint everything the same color. Good luck. You may want to start with using the lightest color in your countertops.

  • Tracie Lyn Strain-Price Tracie Lyn Strain-Price on Jun 13, 2018

    Do you have a pattern stencil you could put up of in front of your sink?

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Jun 16, 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 Margaret Mc Parland on Dec 19, 2018

    how to clean brushed steel cooker and extractor

  • Debra Wells Debra Wells on Jan 07, 2019

    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 Sandy O'Konek on Jan 08, 2019

      #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.

    • Jewlee Wedgeworth Seidl Jewlee Wedgeworth Seidl on May 20, 2019

      I don’t think so. All depends on the pattern you choose for the back splash . Try to not make it too busy.

    • Ruthann Nissly Martinez Ruthann Nissly Martinez on Jul 13, 2019

      We did a penny floor in our bathroom. I glued the pennies on to mesh (the kind used for tile). I made A template using my Cricut on circles & used that as my guide. We then used quickset to adhere the “tiles” to the floor. Because the pennies are so thin we weren’t able to use a dark colored grout so I then used a grout color stain to make the quickset dark. I then put 4 coats of polyurethane over the whole floor.

      It was a lot of work. I spent days on the floor of the bathroom but it is beautiful!

    • Veronica Veronica on Aug 10, 2019

      Would you mind posting a picture? I’d love to see your floor.

  • Jennifer Prather Jennifer Prather on Mar 13, 2019

    When you poured the epoxy on the boards, how did you keep it from flowing over the sides and onto surfaces? Did you build temp boxes?

  • Della Tompkins Della Tompkins on Jun 27, 2019

    Can you tell about how much each panel weighed?

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Jun 28, 2019

      I never weighed them, the small panels weren't very heavy but the ones over the sink were quite larger and heavier. I'd say 5 lbs maybe?

  • Michelle I Michelle I on Aug 17, 2019

    i did a small penny floor without a pattern, yours came out so incredible i may have to do a back splash. I see you didn't mention grout just that you spray painted the board black and used clear coat over it. is this correct?

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Aug 18, 2019

      That's correct, I found a really good bar top expoxy where you mix the hardner and resin, not clear coat like polyurethane. The epoxy is like putting 100 coats of poly on it at once. Pretty easy to do, but you will have to sand the back of the boards after they cure 3 days to remove the drips, took 2 minutes, sands right down.

      My only regret is I followed all directions EXCEPT where it said to do 2 coats over things like pennies. It turned out stunning, but if you look down the back spash at the same angle as the back splash, you can see where the coverage isn't as thick as it should be in areas, dimpled in a couple of places, and a little rippled. Should look like it has a 1/2 inch cover over it. Whatever you do, don't let the glue come out from under the pennies! I used elmer and tried monkey glue too. The lights under the counter showed the glue as milky white if it extended past the penny!

  • Amy Ramsay Cartright Amy Ramsay Cartright on Jan 29, 2020

    Did you do any type of “cleaning” to the pennies? If so, how? I didn’t know if dirty ones would not hold the glue as well.

    How many bank did you have to check at before you found a significant number of uncirculated ones? You were blessed the bank let you buy the pennies the first time. Some bank policies are very odd, (that’s my nice word), like not being able to buy change with cash if you don’t have an account!

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Jan 29, 2020

      No, didn't have to clean the pennies whatsoever. They held the glue fine.

      So I really lucked out with the first bank I went to had a box of $25 worth of uncirculated pennies, even they said it was odd for them to have received that. Once I went through those, it was back to sorting pennies to pull the shiny ones out of rolled pennies. And you are right, several banks refused to sell me pennies since I didn't have an account with them! Which just confirmed in my mind that I would have an account with them!

  • Philip Hopkins Philip Hopkins on Apr 20, 2020


    If I decide to hang my copper penny backsplash with luan, will the luan adhere to the grout? I would rather not use bar too epoxy.

    What kind of glue did you use to attach pennies to the luan?

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Apr 21, 2020

      I used elmers glue to attach the pennies. I'm not sure about using grout on the luan, you'd have to try it.

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Apr 28, 2020

      Phil, keep in mind 2 things, grout is heavy, and will add significant weight to the pennies. Secondly, cleaning the backsplash easily is key to using the bar top epoxy. It's like wiping off a counter. Food splashed don't touch the pennies, or the grout this way. It is very easy to sanitize with a wipe or soap. You can't do that with grout. I used grout on the penny design over the stove on the shelf. Totally different look. Hard to clean since the grout doesn't come up totally to the top of the pennies. I keep my salt, pepper, liquid condiments up there and salt and pepper get between the pennies.

  • Mandi Shuler Mandi Shuler on Mar 19, 2021

    Hi Sandy,

    I'm getting ready to do a penny backsplash and was wondering what type of border did you use? I've seen pencil liner but uncertain if that is what I should use or not.

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Mar 19, 2021

      Good luck Mandi! After I did the boards and covered with bar top epoxy, I purchased black glossy spray paint, yellow pine lattice moulding and quarter round moulding. I painted them black before cutting to size, and touched it up with a tiny artist brush if needed. I only used the quarter round at the bottom of the piece where the back splash didn't quite touch the top of the counter back edge. The quarter round was large enough to gap the space nicely.

    • Mandi Shuler Mandi Shuler on Mar 20, 2021

      i just love your craftiness! Thanks so much for the inspiration and ideas!


Join the conversation

3 of 166 comments
  • Bonnie Bowness Bonnie Bowness on Jul 20, 2020

    Hi Sandy,I just needed to tell you, I just saw this today,and was so surprised at how beautiful your penny back splash is.Your design is so perfect.It is the prettiest back splash I have ever seen.You should be very proud of yourself.Great job Sandy! Keep those talents rolling!!!!Cheers Bonnie

  • Espie Tamayo Espie Tamayo on Aug 17, 2020

    I know I don't have the patience or the stamina to do this project myself (i'm 80) but must tell you how great it looks. I have a small side table with a removable clear glass top and I think your penny design would look really great there. Thanks for being an inspiration.

    • Sandy O'Konek Sandy O'Konek on Aug 18, 2020

      Espie, thanks so much for taking time to say so! I appreciate you! May God bless you with a VERY long life!