Contact Paper ‘Tiled’ Backsplash

by Karen

First of all, thank you for the feedback on our first change to the backyard. I am absolutely tickled that you guys take the time out of your busy day to comment on my silly little blog. Thank you!

So you may remember my discussion on the wonderful world of backsplashes and exploring various rent-friendly backsplash options. A lot of you shared some ideas and some of you balked at the idea of doing any sort of temporary backsplash while renting. Psphft. Poppycock, I say. What is the fun in that? All kidding aside, I knew that I didn’t want to spend anymore than $30 for the entire backsplash, a fairly big order in the world today. After all, some people pay $30 for just a single tile for their backsplash. But not us. And speaking (typing?) of our backsplash, here it is in all of it’s glory the day we got the keys.

{BEFORE}

Isn’t it lovely? And every time I look at this picture, I am so happy we painted the kitchen and living room ASAP. The backsplash isn’t in too bad of shape but my biggest complaint is that no matter how often I clean the surface, it always looks just a little bit dirty. Not cool. Here is a close up of the tiny square pattern. Don’t they look like little specks of dirt? If you lean in close, you can hear them saying, “Clean me. Clean me. Clean me.”

{BEFORE}

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a roll of silver contact paper at Lowes for $7. I knew I wanted to experiment with it on the backsplash and I was just waiting to work up the nerve. Contact paper is notoriously difficult to work with and I was trying to figure out how I was going to combat the seam issue. The horror. The roll sat on top of the refrigerator taunting me. Finally, I summoned the courage.

You see, I had an idea. What if I made ’tiles’ out of the contact paper and ’tiled’ the backsplash? Simple law of physics states that a smaller piece of contact paper is easier to work with than a larger piece of contact paper, right? Perhaps this is an age old decorating trick but I have yet to come across it on the Internet. If you stumble across something similar, let me know so I can link to them…I don’t want people to think I am stealing ideas!

The grid on the back of the contact paper made the project a heck of a lot easier than if there were no squares. I cut 6 square X 6 square (as per the back of the contact paper) ’tiles’ while watching a DVR’ed episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I had to stop because I realized that I was cutting 5X6 ’tiles’. Oops. I blame Ashley. And myself for watching such drivel.

Once I had enough 6X6 squares, I began sticking them on, using the square pattern on the existing backsplash as a guide. It is tough to tell in this picture, but I alternated the grain of the contact paper with each square and I just continued the pattern across the length of the counter. I used a credit card to smooth air bubbles and a knife to cut around the outlets and to trim the edges. The process was a tad time consuming but very easy…very little skill involved. I bet even Paris Hilton could handle the task. Then again, maybe not.

And without further introduction, here is the result…

{AFTER}

Not too bad, right? I love how much the ’tiles’ reflect light on the countertop, which practically changes the color. What an added bonus! I am so glad that I decided to alternate the grain because it gives the backsplash a slight checkerboard pattern as you move throughout the kitchen. At some angles, the ’tiles’ look blue and even sometimes green, I assume from the kitchen paint color.

{AFTER}

What do you think?

We’re going to live with the backsplash on this one counter for a couple of weeks. This will allow us to see if contact paper will work okay in the kitchen before committing to the rest of the counters. I estimate that it will take three more roles to finish a kitchen so that will put this project at $28 if we decided to pull the trigger. But so far, I think contact paper ’tiled’ backsplash is a cheap and easy project for renters or people are saving up to renovate their kitchen…a fairly decent temporary solution to an ugly backsplash.

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