Oh no, not another DIY project…
Let me preface this post with a couple of things:
- Mike and I have no clue what we are doing when it comes to any home renovation; we just bought our house last year and are learning along the way.
- We are poor twenty-somethings. We cannot afford to do much and what we can do, we do cheaply. My taste is not as poor as my wallet, unfortunately.
When we bought this house, we were thrilled because it didn’t NEED a ton of work. Everything functions, it is solid, and it was move in ready. However, there are always things I WANT to do. We started saving to replace the counter tops first. I knew we needed to hire help there. I really wanted to replace the cabinets and get something “prettier”, but the budget laughed in my face, so no new cabinets. We figured, hardware and backsplash shouldn’t be too hard, those we would do ourselves.
Want to see our BEFORE photos? (My iPhone camera was on it’s last leg, so please forgive the color/quality of these pictures.)
We did have the counters replaced with granite (which was a huge production- I won’t bore you with those details today; let’s just say I had to use my teacher voice). We did the hardware (ourselves) then, too.
Shortly after, I went to Italy and Greece with my mom (another day, another blog) and came home to decide on a new career, teaching (also another day, another blog). Needless to say, the project was put on the back burner.
Now, almost ten months later, we finally got around to the backsplash!
I initially spent some time in my homes-away-from-home, Lowe’s and Home Depot. We inspected tiles, grout, tile cutters… until I calculated the price. Umm… it was frightening. So, I decided to look at those tile-like stickers!
Bear with me… this is definitely a shortcut and probably doesn’t appeal to everyone, but it was way more affordable! I remembered having seen it in other homes during the house hunting process, so we took a chance and ordered some sheets from Amazon (Tic Tac Tiles). The cutter we bought? Just the thickest paper-cutter we could find at Michael’s. The “tiles” are packaged with multiple sheets per box, come in many colors/patterns, and seem to range from $20-$40.
The first step is to thoroughly clean the wall with a de-greaser. This is important, especially if you are doing a backsplash in the kitchen; the tiles need to be able to adhere properly. This is the cleaner I found laying aorund our house (I used it with a magic eraser and then dried it with a towel):
Next, it was time to start sticking! The sheets are designed to overlap and create the brick pattern. I don’t believe our counter tops are perfectly level so we had to keep checking as we placed each sheet. The biggest challenges were cutting out rectangles for the outlets and working around the cabinets and corners. I am terrible at straight lines, so Mike did that part wonderfully! (In fact, in school, I used to let my friend, Shauna, cut stuff for my projects so it would be straight. Even just last week my teacher friends laughed at my slightly crooked lines in my Happy Planner! We all have talents, this is just not one of mine.) This process takes some time and attention to detail, but it was so much easier, less time consuming and certainly less expensive than the alternative. Here are some in-progress photos as Mike maneuvered around the obstacles:
I have to admit, as we progressed, I was getting disappointed. I didn’t like the color. The “tiles” were too gray and the counter was too yellow… it just didn’t “go”. I kept thinking, “That’s what I get for taking the cheap road” and “Well, you picked the color from Amazon, what did you expect?” However, it’s grown on me! Now that it’s finished, I think the room looks more complete, more polished and more inviting. Ultimately, I want to paint our interior walls gray (instead of beige) and that will pull it all together, too.
For now, I’m really happy with it and it feels great to cross another project off the list!
What do you think of our AFTER pictures?
Any good tips- share your projects in the comments below!