Beadboard Backsplash Phase 1

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  January 20, 2014 — 8 Comments

Y’all, I am so excited. This is probably the most intense DIY project Nick and I have ever taken on and it’s going so well! We are not naturally handy, detail oriented, or at all skilled in this sort of thing, but with some determination and a lot of googling we’re getting it done. Friday afternoon Nick brought a truck home from work and we went to Lowe’s to pick up two panels of beadboard ($40), a jigsaw ($40), some brads for the brad gun that someone gave me secondhand a few years ago ($5), and an L-shaped straight edge thingie to help with measuring and marking ($4). Our total after tax was just under a hundred dollars. That night after Jack was in bed we dragged the panels into the living room and I marked out where to cut all the pieces with a sharpie. I’d already measured everything and drawn it on a piece of graph paper to help me make the most efficient use of the two panels so I just referred to my diagram to transfer the cut lines. Then I resumed my normal Friday night activity of wine and television. The lighting is all kinds of terrible in every single one of these photos so please forgive me. I guess I was too excited for photography!

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Jack is well past the age of playing happily on a blanket while we go about our business and we don’t have any family here in town to keep him, so we were limited to working during his 2-3 hour afternoon nap. On Saturday we brought the panels out to our back deck and set them up on our makeshift sawhorses (a pair of ice chests) and got to cutting. I’d brought the clamps out thinking I would need them to clamp down a straight edge, but Nick said it was actually not too hard to cut a straight line with the jigsaw. This man could not even hammer a nail when I met him and I was so impressed to see how quickly he got in the groove of this project (especially since I’d initially assured him that I would do it all myself!). Let this serve as an example that if we can do it, you can do it.

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With the pieces all cut out we brought them in and checked to see how they fit. We had to make lots of tweaks and little corrections and this was definitely the most time-consuming part of the project. In fact, this is as far as we got on day one.

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The minute Jack was down on Sunday we started cutting out all the holes for outlets. We did this by putting a rolled up piece of painter’s tape on the outlet, pressing the beadboard into place, then pulling it away to reveal where the tape stuck on the back. We would mark the spot and then Nick would cut a small rectangle (drilling into the corners first to create a space for the jigsaw blade), then line up the plate cover with the (now visible) outlet, trace it, and cut just inside the perimeter. This post does a much better job of explaining it, but I didn’t have any lipstick and wasn’t confident enough to cut a big hole without being able to visually confirm that we were in the right spot so we modified her technique a bit. Even with our careful cutting there are still a few spots where the hole will be visible after the face plate is replaced. I’m hoping that I can fill them in with some scraps and caulk.

I should note that my original plan was to cut all the outlet holes at the same time after marking them based on my diagram, but I’m glad that we took the time to mark them in place. Nothing fits perfectly in my 90 year old house and we probably would have had lots of mismatched holes. I also was going to paint them all before installing but, yeah, that didn’t happen.

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We worked one piece at a time double checking the fit, cutting the outlet holes, and then nailing it to the wall. Most tutorials I read mentioned using adhesive in addition to nails, but honestly it seemed unnecessary to me and I imagine that someday beadboard will beĀ sooooo ten years ago and the future owner will be able to remove it much more easily if it’s secured only with nails. We used 3/4″ brads along all the edges of each piece and trust me, they aren’t going anywhere unless they’re pried off intentionally.

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We replaced the outlet covers temporarily for safety but we still need to install spacers to bring the outlets themselves forward to be flush with the beadboard in addition to installing trim, filling random gaps, caulking all the edges and, finally, painting!

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Big time gaps happening over here. Nothing some scrap pieces and caulk can’t fix. The old backsplash only went up a few inches but I decided to bring it all the way up to the height of the pantry over here. I’m going to hang some shelves on either side of the range as my next project, so just imagine them floating in front of the beadboard.

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The tiny little gap under the pass-through is what held me back from doing this project for a long time, but once I started reading tutorials and learned that I would need to use trim along all the edges I realized that I could just use a thick trim that would cover the entire space. That’s Phase 2!

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It’s still very much unfinished but I can see it coming together! I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can get all the trim installed this week, but I don’t move nearly as quickly working on my own as I do when Nick is helping and, of course, I’ve got other responsibilities. If I don’t get ‘er done by next weekend at least I’ll be able to take advantage of Nick’s reluctant assistance, haha.

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


8 responses to Beadboard Backsplash Phase 1

  1. It looks so lovely! I love following your projects. : )

  2. Looks great! You guys are quick learners, I could never have cut out
    those outlet holes.

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap January 21, 2014 at 8:46 am

      You could do it! I didn’t do a good job of explaining it but you just put a hole in each corner with your drill and then connect the dots.

  3. Yay, perfect timing. I found your blog searching the internet for kitchen ideas. We are getting ready to install granite countertops. I love the look of bead board and trim as a backsplash for granite countertops. I’m a little concerned about this behind the sink though. Have you found any comments or feedback from other home owners who have done this? Does it hold up well exposed to water? Did you find any helpful pictures to get your ideas from? I can’t wait to see your finished project.
    Thank you and have a lovely day :)

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap January 21, 2014 at 11:15 am

      I’m so glad you found it helpful! Our counters are actually quartz. The previous owners installed them but I think it’s a little but cheaper than granite and there’s no need to seal them. As for the backsplash, I found this tutorial ( really helpful even though she was just applying it over her tile instead of directly to the wall. We used the big fiberboard panels and I’m not really worried about the moisture, but if you want to be extra safe you could use the smaller vinyl panels. Good luck with your kitchen!

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  1. How to Develop DIY Skills if You Have No Idea What You’re Doing | Living Well on the Cheap - January 22, 2014

    […] not busting our budget. We were driving to Lowe’s the other day to pick up supplies for our beadboard backsplash and we were almost there by the time he turned to me and asked as if it’d just occurred to […]

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