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As you can see in the above picture, my kitchen had a hideous green paint that looks like it survived a time machine trip from the 1970s! That paint, along with the Formica counter tops and oak builder grade kitchen cabinets made me cringe every time I walked into the kitchen. Here are some more pics of our hideous kitchen:
We do plan on remodeling the kitchen at some point in the future, once we have time and funds to do so, but in the meantime, I wanted to do something to make the kitchen look at least a little more up-to-date. As I was searching Pinterest and reading other blogs, I found quite a few people using a vinyl tile backsplash, specifically Smart Tiles, which are adhesive vinyl tiles. They looked easy to install and since they are just adhesive, they won’t be too hard to take down when we finally do remodel the kitchen someday, unlike a real tile back splash which would be much more time and labor intensive to put up and take down. So, off to Home Depot I went… And unfortunately my local Home Depot doesn’t carry them in-stock, only online. So… off to Lowe’s I went! And I found one pattern of Smart Tiles there that was on clearance, and luckily I liked the pattern, so….. SCORE! (Although even on clearance they were still around $7 for each 10×10 “tile”. I purchased what they had left in stock, and then the rest I had to purchase from the Smart Tiles website.
Here is what the packaging looked like for the pattern I purchased:
You can purchase them on Amazon here:
When I had to make cuts to a mosaic, I used my paper cutter to make sure I was cutting straight lines (since I cannot cut straight with scissors or an exacto knife if my life depended on it!):
In the process of “tiling” the kitchen, I did remove all the electrical back plates on the wall. To tile around the outlet, I held the “tile” up to the wall in position (with the backing still on), and I used a sharpie to trace the location of the outlet on the back of the tile. Once the outlet location was traced, I used scissors to poke a hole in the vinyl tile and then cut out the rectangle for the outlet:
I then put the tile up around the outlet, and put the back plate back on the wall.
Once I had most of the tiles up behind the sink, I realized the green molding above the Formica counters stood out big time, so I decided to paint the molding prior to finishing off the “tile” work (that way I wouldn’t have to tape off the walls, only the formica, since the walls would soon be covered in “tile”. I used a tan color Behr paint (same color we used in our front bathroom remodel), and it matched wonderfully!
I then continued on my “tiling” journey until all of the hideous green paint was gone, yay!!!!!! And I must say, the back splash has dramatically improved the appearance of our kitchen, even with the ugly oak cabinets and Formica counters. We have gotten many compliments on it and everyone has thought we put up real tile! It looks SO much better. Here are some pics of the finished back splash:
To “tile” the whole kitchen back splash, it cost about $300 total for all the tiles. It only took a few hours to complete the kitchen (I worked on it for a few hours over two days). But the difference in my kitchen is pretty dramatic and now I don’t have to cringe when I walk into my kitchen!