Our Farmhouse: An Easy Wall Paper Back Splash! {a farmhouse remodel how-to} | The Speckled Goat: Our Farmhouse: An Easy Wall Paper Back Splash! {a farmhouse remodel how-to}


Our Farmhouse: An Easy Wall Paper Back Splash! {a farmhouse remodel how-to}

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We bought our 1930's farmhouse a few years ago, and between work, play, and having a baby, we've been chipping away at remodeling and reclaiming it. We really bought this house for the land (21 acres of Iowa gorgeous!)--- the house needed quite a bit of work. From refinishing the hardwood floors (quite a project), carpeting the living room, and painting EVERYTHING, we've made some good progress.

But there was one major eyesore that we couldn't decide how to remedy... the kitchen back splash.

I'll start with a little history--- when we moved into the house, the kitchen was carpeted (oh yeah) and there was what you could call a back splash in place. The former owners had adhered plastic coated sheeting to the wall, and then taken adhesive linoleum tile meant for flooring and stuck it to the sheeting. Creative and cheap, yes.

However, through the years, the adhesive on the tile couldn't hold the weight any longer (because the tiles were meant to be installed on a floor and couldn't hold their own on a wall) and the tiles began to shift and fall off, leaving the walls looking like this...


So, when we started on the home remodeling projects, the perfectionist in me started going crazy looking at the uneven tiles and decided anything had to be better than this... so I took my trusty multitool and went to town taking them down.

I ended up gauging the plastic-coated sheeting, leaving cardboard exposed, and the adhesive on some of the tiles remained stubbornly stuck on in large black streaks.

Despite washing and washing and washing it, my kitchen back splash looked like this:

Ew. Worse than the tiles in the first place.

Then we got busy with painting, refinishing the floors, putting in a carpet... and then we spent six months in Colorado, came back and had a baby... and all the while the nasty looking kitchen walls taunted me and made doing dishes even more of a chore. Because when your walls look gross, no amount of cleaning the kitchen is going to make the kitchen look clean. Yuck.

Part of the reason it took so long for us to get rid of this problem was that I really didn't know what I wanted to do with it.

We are thinking about restructuring the layout of the kitchen eventually- maybe within the next five years or so- and that means taking down walls and moving counters, and I didn't want to spend a lot of money or a lot of time doing something to the kitchen that would be destroyed in a few years, anyway.

I also wanted to stay true to the farmhouse look of the kitchen, while keeping it as bright as possible to combat the small size.

One day while pregnant and aimlessly wandering around Walmart, telling myself walking is good when you're pregnant and I wasn't just wasting time, I stumbled upon this wall paper...

And we bought it immediately to use for the back splash. I had big plans of getting the back splash done in the next week or two, before the baby arrived, and then the baby thought he'd had enough of the whole "in the womb" thing and was born two months early.

So the back splash had to wait for a while longer.... but this past week, we finally got it done!

Here's how we did it!

1) First, using a utility knife, we cut the old remaining silicone caulk from the counter tops and walls. This made it so that we didn't have to mess with any caulk bumps  I washed down the walls with TSP.

I'd washed the walls a whole bunch right after getting those tiles off, but it had been a while, so I washed em again to make sure any cooking grease or dust was removed before we adhered the wall paper.

I let it dry- about six hours or so, but that's in part because I got distracted by a cute baby.

2) We determined the way we wanted the wallpaper to hang. We decided on hanging the wallpaper with the boards vertically, because it was a little simpler to make sure it was straight and involved less cutting around cabinets.

3) My husband measured the height between the counter and the cabinet; and using a square like this one, a utility knife, and my rotary cutting mat; he cut the wallpaper to size, adding a quarter inch extra length.

4) We removed the paper backing, and starting at the bottom (so, at our countertops), my husband smoothed the paper onto the wall, his hand going upward in a semi-circular motion.

5) After the paper was on, he used his fingers to push any bubbles remaining under the wallpaper to the edges, making sure that the paper was well adhered to the wall.

6) We repeated this all the way around the kitchen. The trickiest parts were the random narrow spots next to the counters-- here, my hubby made sure to line up the repeating wallpaper pattern so the "boards" matched.

7) If you'd like to, you can finish off this project by caulking around the bottom and top edges of the wallpaper. We didn't do this step, yet- our edges look pretty good and very well stuck down- but if you have any gaps or uneven spots, or if your edges look like they might peel up, then you might want to do this step.

And there we have it! It only took about two hours (including a couple breaks to get a baby back to sleep), and my kitchen looks sooo much better. This wallpaper is washable, so I can wipe it down from time to time to get kitchen grease and grime off if I need to.

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There are a few bumps here and there, but the wallpaper pattern we chose is very forgiving, and unless you're looking super close, you can't tell.

Cheap, easy, and effective!

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