Orange Sherbet Backsplash

January 18, 2011 § 2 Comments

You may remember that we found our house before it was finished. Even though we didn’t inherit previous residents’ choices for fixtures, colors, and finishes, we inherited our builder’s choices. Some details provided were basic, including the backsplash. In fact, there was none. Just the drywall painted with the same yellow in the same flat finish as the rest of the kitchen. Flat paint doesn’t wipe well, of course, so after two years we had a rather unsightly wall:

Backsplash Before

Ugh, right?

Time to talk about different backsplash options. We didn’t want tile. I’ve always hated grout lines, and Mr. E’s no friend of them either. We considered stainless steel, stainless steel tiles, paintable wallpaper, and paint.

A sheet of stainless steel looks attractive:

Steel backsplash

100 Ideas Real Rooms Fall/Winter 2009.

Steel backsplash

Better Homes & Gardens 11/2009.

Steel backsplash

Woman's Day Budget Decorating 1/2008.

Wide steel backsplash

Small Room Decorating #73, 2005.

We didn’t find a source to our liking, however. Stainless steel would also be a pain to keep neat (as our dishwasher front can attest). We then considered steel-lookalike thermoplastic. It would be easy to cut and install and easy to keep clean. Unfortunately, there were some bad reviews, and we couldn’t find a selection of good patterns or sizes for our needs.

The major hardware chains (blue and orange) have faux stainless steel peel-and-stick backsplash tiles available. Despite the ‘grout lines’, we thought they were attractive enough, plus easy to install and clean. I made a rough mockup, once we agreed on a pattern:

Tile Backsplash Mockup

The tiles would be costly (about $100 for our space). We also weren’t delighted with the thought of cleaning all those gaps between tiles.

I saw some paintable wallpaper at the Fresh Home Blog. Again, it’s an easy, inexpensive way to add a little interest to the space. I wouldn’t try wallpapering a whole wall, I don’t have that much confidence in my technique and reach, but a small space is surely doable. Like thermoplastic, we didn’t find a pattern we both loved, and like the faux steel tiles, the thought of endlessly wiping all those little grooves turned us off.

In the end we went with paint, at least for now. Paint is by far the simplest, easiest, and cheapest option. The finish would have to be satin, semi-gloss, or glossy for durability and wipeability. We got some paint chips. After trying several yellows against our walls at different times of the day and in different lighting conditions, we chose Valspar Orange Sherbet.

Valspar Orange Sherbet

Valspar Signature Colors.

The swatch above looks far too peachy. In reality the color matches much better than on the screen. What do you think?

Backsplash After

It’s not a perfect match, since our builder’s wife created this custom color for the house, but it’s pretty close. Our Orange Sherbet sample size can came in satin finish. The difference in sheen also makes the new backsplash stand out more.

Here’s a before & after:

Backsplash Before After

Not bad for a $3 investment. The only problem is that the new paint makes the walls around it look dirty. Maybe we should switch it out for a duller yellow? Ohwell. We’ll live with it for a while to see how it holds out and how we like it.

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§ 2 Responses to Orange Sherbet Backsplash

  • pj says:

    Looks great! You might want to try a low-tech/everyday sort of solution: propping up a cookie sheet or similar piece of metal behind the stove top to act as a shield/backsplash. You could make that disappear any time you wanted to look more sophisticated. Grandma Dotty miscalculated when she designed the Cragmoor kitchen. She had a varnished wood surface to the right of the stove top and blistered the varnish the first morning they were in the new house when she turned on the burner. She did the cookie sheet trick and it worked for the next 40 years! No more damage to the varnished wood. P.

    • ekoti says:

      That’s a good idea. Unfortunately the back of our stove isn’t flat but forms a peak. Anything we’d try and balance back there would fall down behind the stove. Meh.

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