Saturday, February 6, 2010

Another Project

I’m cheating just a bit today…..okay more than a little bit.

This is a project that I actually initially completed several years ago.  However, in early December, I repainted and thought I would share with all of you…….

My all time favorite super cheap fix of alllllll times!

Before most of us were repurposing or repainting or reusing, there was a very talented young woman who was a thrift store  and DYI whiz.

Her name was Kathryn Elliott

I Googled her last night and came up with nothing.  I can’t imagine what may have happened to her, she was super talented and actually wrote two books.

The first of these books was…….

unk chic

This was my thrifting, redoing, repainting, everything,  bible back in 2001!  She had projects that I had never thought of doing before. 

One of those project was the following……..


My kitchen backsplash.

Think this is vintage tin that I cut to fit?


It’s wallpaper.  Yep.  Wallpaper that I hung right over my existing ceramic tile.

But not just any wallpaper.  This is what they call in the “biz” expanded vinyl or textured paintable wallpaper.

When you purchase it, your paper will look like this…….


Pure white with a raised puffy pattern.

It’s available  HERE for $13.99 a double roll.  If you have ever purchased wallpaper you know that this is super cheap.  I did my entire kitchen with one roll!

Now I have sworn off wallpaper forever but I would do this project again because when you’re through, it looks so much like real tin that when people see it, they have to actually touch it to tell that it isn’t.  HONEST!

So here’s how you go about creating this look.  Sorry, there are no pics. with this tutorial.

First, you want to prime your wall.  This project will work with Formica backsplash, ceramic tile, or drywall.

Be sure and use primer that is made specifically for wallpaper.  This is very very important.  Don’t let anyone at the paint store tell you otherwise!  Wallpaper primer has “sizing” in it.  Sizing means that when the primer is dry, it will have a tacky feel to it and allow your wallpaper to stick to the wall better.  Wallpaper primer also seals the previous surface better.  This means that if you wanted to, you could actually hang over glass.

So……..Step 1.  Prime your backsplash!

Next, measure and cut your pieces.  This paper doesn’t have much of a match at all so it’s very easy to cut.  Be SURE and leave yourself at least an inch on the top and bottom.  You will cut this off later with a razor knife.

So…….Step 2.  Cut your paper to the proper length

Next begin wetting your paper.  After it is wet, “book” your paper and let it sit.  Booking is merely folding the paper in half wet side to wet side and letting the paste activate and get good and gooey.  Don’t get too far ahead of yourself if you are an inexperienced paper hanger.  You don’t want wet paper sitting for too long.

So…..Step 3.  Wet and book your paper.

   Hang your paper matching your pattern as you go.  Cut off excess at top and bottom as you go.

So….Step 4.  Hang it baby!

When your paper is DRY, and I mean good and dry, you want to caulk your seams and along the bottom where it meets the counter with a paintable caulk.  This is not something that you would normally do, but in a kitchen with all of the water, it’s a good idea.  I did this and I have never ever had any of my paper come loose.  Even back behind the sink.

So….Step 5. Caulk it Honey!

Paint your paper a dark color like black or chocolate brown.  Don’t worry about it being perfect, it’s just going to show through a little anyway.

So…..Step 6.  Paint away!

Now it’s time for the silver metallic paint.  Modern masters has a nice selection of silver metallic paints.

mod masters 

Just Google Modern Masters and you should find a paint store in your area that carries it.

Brush on your silver and while it’s still tacky, grab a cloth and rub gently over the raised areas of the paper to give it a worn look.  You might also dab here and there with your rag to take a little off in different areas.  There’s really no way to mess this up.  If you take off too much silver, just paint back over that area.

So…..Step 7.  Paint it silver and dab away!

After you have achieved the look that you want, clear coat your backsplash with the acrylic sealer of your choice.

So…..Step 8.  Clear coat to protect!

And there you have it!  A backsplash that looks like you paid a fortune to have it installed.

This has saved me a fortune while I wait for those beautiful granite counter tops that I want.  Which I’ll probably never be able to afford!  Aaahhh welll……….

Hope your weekend is going great!



  1. Denise -
    I loved this post. I've been wanting to cover my ceiling in the kitchen in tin...but this would certainly be easier and much more affordable. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Great project!! Is that link to purchase the paper correct??? I don't see any products listed at the site it sends me to and I'd really love to have the same paper you used. Does it have a pattern name? Thanks, LindaSonia

  3. That is fabulous. You did a wonderful job.

    I have that book, too. I still like to look through it now and then.

  4. Interesting Denise. I was just looking at my back splash wall. Actually the whole wall, it's not that big really. I was going to paint it the same colour as my little guest cottage, which is Tiffany blue. With all my pastel colours inside I thought it would work. Now, with this idea I'm re-thinking it.
    I have seen this paper many times. Maybe the Tiffany Blue over the wallpaper would look great.
    Thanks again.
    Love Claudie

  5. Hello Denise,

    I remember when this paper came out...seeing the entire ceilings done in it and that aged tin or copper patina added was just fabulous!!

    We have a finished basement and it has one of those aweful lowered know the ugly drop in panels??

    Lowe's sells the tin ceiling panels but it would cost thousands to do all the ceiling I've got down there.

    You've given me another idea now that seems like it would work just fine to transform this ceiling from ugly to pretty.

    Thanks for the tutorial and a solution for my you like to come do it for me? hehe :0)


  6. The backsplash looks great and I luv the music. Thank you Have a great sunday..

  7. Denise amor, I have both of her books :) She is a wonderful artist with some of the best ideas! I want to redo my bed in the antique gold she had hers in :) She used to live here in Ca then moved...but I forgot where. I think your backsplash came out gorgeous and I am glad you shared it because I too am waiting for granite that might never come and my backsplash looks ever so blahhh and I have about 6 rolls of this kind of paper that I bought at Homedepot on clearance for $4 a roll, so I bought them all...cause even though I didn't know what to use them on or how to use them, I thought they were soo pretty :) I just worried about putting them in the kitcken because of water from washing dishes, what did you use? Think maybe using polyurethane would work?? I know I spelled it wrong :) but you know what I mean right :) maybe a few coats would make it alright since in my house the dishwasher be me...and I tend to wet everything :) Besos, Rose

    ps..please show more pictures...I just want to see more of your lovely work :)

  8. I think I will be adding these books to my Wish List! I just love doing things like that, and yes, before it became know by all the "fancy" words today. I just have always loved old junk! And your backsplash is beautiful! Right now, we are renting, but someday I might get to try it out. I have always loved the old tin ceilings...something I would love to have one day too!

  9. great project! i have used that kind of wallpaper in my hallway, but left it white. i think it is also called anaglypta? sp? anyway, isn't it rewarding to do a project on the cheap and get such fantastic results?! good job!
    happy sunday!

  10. She actually wrote 3 books--I have all three. The last was about reusing flea market items. Terribly talented person.

  11. OK Denise you are my new decorating hero. I think this looks awesome. I don't need a backsplash, but I have been looking for a place to buy this stuff forever. I found some at HD, but the patterns were very limited.

  12. Fabulous! I love the look of old tin. You did a great job. Hope you are safe and warm and having a wonderful day. :) Tammy

  13. I also wondered what happened to the author and have looked for her online. I love this idea and have wanted to do it on the ceiling in the kitchen...just hate working over my head and hoped hubby would jump on the band wagon and help me. We'll see.

  14. I have her books too. An amazingly creative lady. I also love Modern Masters metallics. Wonderful job. If you here of Ms. Elliot still out and about creating let us all know! I used her books for inspiration often.

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