Kitchen Backsplash Facade - How To Easily Dress Up Your Kitchen with Decorative Panels (No Special Skills Needed)
My wife and I were watching HGTV's "Get It Sold" program and they showed this project. It uses backsplash panels available at your local home improvement store that provide an elegent solution for a kitchen backsplash. The official name for these panels are "Facade Decorative Thermoplasitc Panels - Backsplash" from ACP. The give the look of a stamped tin panel with the easy clean up and installation of a plastic panel. The best part is that no special tools or skill are required. If you can use a utility knife, cut a straight line, and use a measuring tape you can do this yourself.
We wanted to spruce up our kitchen but are planning to update our counters so did not want to do a large tile backsplash just to replace in a year or two. There are a dozen colors and several styles. We also noticed the different stores carried different colors and styles. We used the smoked Pweter panels which is special for Lowe's.
The project cost us about $300.00 for the panels, tape, trim pieces, and we splurged on new antique bronze outlet and light switch covers (these add up when you have 10 outlets / switches in your kitchen). We got it done over a weekend and a few weeknights, working on it a little at a time. I would guess you could do this in one day if you planned ahead.
- Sharp utility knife and extra razor blades
- Straight Edge
- Measuring Tape
- Kitchen shears or decent set of sciccors
- Cutting Board - We used an old 2' x 4' piece of plywood
- Thermoplastic Panels from ACP (available at Lowe's or Home Depot). We use 12 panels (24" x 18") at ~$20.00 each plus trim.
- Matching trim pieces for the ends and any exposed top pieces (not under a counter). They have corner molding and end molding.
- Double stick tape, glues, or liquid nails
Here our our step by step directions (see photo below for more details)
Step 1 - Clean wall and Remove wall plates (Shut off breaker first!)
Install the Panels
Step 1 -Layout panels on counter and measure your cuts.
Step 2 - Measure the cabinet height.
Step 3 - Transfer measurement to panel with straight edge and marker (can mark on front since it has a plastic film). Use a square to make sure lines were straight. Use utility knife to cut panels to size
Step 4 - Measure outlet location from end of wall and from top of counter. Transfer measurements for outlet to panel. Use straight edge to transfer to panel. Mark area to cut out with X.
Step 5 - Use utility knife to cut a triangle out in center of outlet hole. Use utility knife to cut to corners, then cut out perimeter of hole.
Step 6 - Dry fit the panels to the wall. Some special trim cutting may be needed around the edge of cabinet.
Step 7- Apply double stick tape to wall in three stips - Top, bottm and middle. Make sure walls are clean or tape will not stick.
Step 8 - Carefully place panels on wall. Add an extra strip of tape where the two panels overlap. Re-install switch faceplates (may want to replace with a matching plate or use cover material). Note: You may have to add spacers on your outlets since the panels add depth to the wall.
Repeat for the rest of your walls and you're done!
This project is a quick and easy way to give your kitchen a new look.
Example Panels on Amazon, Check Local Stores for More Options
Tips and Tricks
- Always measure twice before you cut. Also, make sure the panels are the right side up before you cut it. We had a few mistakes but were able to work most of them out. Only had to scrap one panel
- You only need trim on exposed edges. The edge along the counter and under cabinet typically don't need trim. We added trim to the ends and under the windowsill
- The outlets are a pain. We tried several methods to cut these out and found the easiest is to follow the mfg directions to cut a small triangle out in the center of the hole, use shears to cut the X to each corner. We then scored the perimeter of the cutout with a utility knife and were able to snap the pieces off. Be careful since you can tear the plastic but it does make a clean cut.
- Around edges of cabinets we made small tweaks with shear to fit. Do it in steps so you don't cut too much off.
- Under the cabinet you can paint a black border. We tried using a sharpy and black tape. We decided unless you still you head under the cabinet you can't really see it so we ended up not doing this on the whole project.
- The tape is really sticky so be careful when setting the panels in place. Get the bottom edge right since this is what you will see. Also around the stove area make sure the walls are clean, any residue from cooking will cause the tape not to stick.
- Take your time and have fun. For a little effort and money this project makes a big change in the appearance of your kitchen.