Using Perforated Metal for a Kitchen Backsplash

Using Perforated Metal for a Kitchen Backsplash

I’ve always loved the perforated metal that is normally used for radiator covers.  When we started the planning for our kitchen renovation I wanted to use it somewhere, but I envisioned I would be adding it to the front of the cabinet doors.  That’s not the way it ended up:)

Since we were getting to the last steps of the renovation and the metal still hadn’t been used, the metal sheets were my first idea for the backsplash. However, I still did quite a bit of research for different ideas and styles. I didn’t want tile because it seemed too permanent.  I didn’t like the look of the peel and stick tile, and the PVC panels weren’t something I wanted either. I kept going back to using the metal for the backsplash over and over again. I finally decided to go for it, and then spent a week second guessing the decision while we were waiting for the metal to get here. I ended up buying two sheets of the metal at Decorative Iron in the “boxes” pattern, since I liked that look with the craftsman theme that we ended up creating. With shipping, the total came to $130.00, since one sheet wouldn’t have been enough, even cutting it in half.

This is what we started with.  Basically, when the old backsplash was removed, some of the glue tore the top of the sheet rock paper off. Is it just me, or does anyone else see two rabbits playing together on the right side of the torn sheet rock?Torn Sheetrock from backsplash

Anywhoo…We hired a person to come out and tape and mud the back splash area, because we aren’t very good at mudding anything. This is a picture of his process , as he had to put a solution on it to get the paper to stick to the torn sheet rock. We probably would have missed this step:)Mudding process

And this is the final product. Yay!Mudding done on backsplash

Finally I could paint the backsplash, which was Castleton Mist from Benjamin Moore. It’s the same color that we did for the entire kitchen.Castleton Mist from Benjamin Moore

Now it was time to start installing the backsplash.  At our local home store, they had PVC trim already painted to match the colors of the PVC panels that we did NOT get. They were only available in 18″ pieces, and brushed nickel was one of the colors in stock.  However, those were more expensive at $1.10 apiece than the white, 8 foot PVC trim that we found on the next aisle for $2.49 apiece.  We bought five pieces of the 8′ J trim, as well as one piece of the divider trim, and one piece of the inside corner trim. I laid them in the garage, and painted them with the Rustoleum Satin Nickel that I already had from painting our light fixture.Satin Nickel trim pieces

To protect the metal surface from rust, the company puts some sort of oil on it.  We kept getting it everywhere, so I washed the metal with a stiff scrub brush, and soapy water.  This got the residue off, and I did make sure I dried it completely immediately after I was done.  Next, I gave it a nice coat of Rustoleum’s clear enamel.  Hopefully, that will be enough to keep it from rusting. I thought about using the floor sealer that I’d used for the cabinets, and someone else suggested wax.  The spray enamel won out, due to ease.

We started measuring the area we were working on next to the sink, and cut the first piece with tin snips.  Those seemed to work just fine, although it was a slow process.cutting perforated metal

We leaned it up against the wall to make sure it fit.  We made sure we kept the line of solid metal at the bottom for each piece. At this point we realized we needed to cut out a bit on the left side to notch into the quartz sink backsplash.  Measuring and cutting

From here, we were able to cut the openings for the outlet and switch. This was pretty easy, since we could see through the metal to cut around each.Cutting metal for outlets

To install the metal, we measured and cut the pieces of the J trim for the bottom and the notched area. We attached those two pieces with staples. We also cut the J trim for the top and the cut right side of the metal, and pushed that onto each. Because this one was behind the refrigerator, we were able to pull that out, and slide the trim into the J trims attached to the wall. We then stapled the top and side trims to the wall. Whew!  One done. PVC J trim

Next, we started on the left side of the sink.  This is the finished result, with the corner piece installed. Since we couldn’t slide this one in, we had to tip it into the bottom J trim that was attached to the wall already, and staple at the top.Backsplash part done

The next wall was the longest one at 96″.  We stapled one piece of the PVC J trim along the counter top, so that it could hold up the metal sheeting behind the oven too. Tipping the metal pieces into the trim seemed to work fine, so we thought it wouldn’t hurt to have one long piece here.Long piece of PVC J trim

The metal sheets were only 78″ long, so we knew we’d have to split them up somehow. Since there was a natural break where the vent hood is, we decided to use one piece of divider trim on each side of the vent hood, especially since that piece would be a bit taller than the rest.Trim for stove

And here’s a picture of how that wall turned out. I don’t mind where the divider trim is, since we wouldn’t have been able to find an exact middle point that looked good.metal backsplash

At this point, we just had one more to put on the wall to the left of the stove. Here’s a close up of the metal and the paint color behind it.  If I had one thing to change about this process, it would have been to lay something heavy on the rolled metal some time in advance, so that it would straighten out a bit.  You can see in this picture where it isn’t quite laying flat.  Live and learn. Perforated metal closeup

I think it took us about four hours to do the complete install, but finally we were done, and I was in love.  It is so pretty, and we found out it is magnetic as well:) Here’s a picture with the under cabinet lights off.Perforated metal done

And one with the under cabinet lights on. I still wander into the kitchen just to look at it, and I’m so glad that I went with my first idea. Love it!Under cabinet lights with perforated metal

Thanks for looking!


To read other posts in this kitchen renovation series, see:

Creating Craftsman Style Crown Molding for Kitchen Remodel

Tired Cabinets get a Facelift with Chalk Paint

Kitchen Makeover on a Modest Budget

Wood Cornices Built for Revamped Kitchen

Note: I did have someone ask about grease getting behind the metal onto the wall, and the cleaning process for that.  I’m not sure of an answer on that, except to say that I don’t really cook with grease, and that I’ve had bare walls for 11 years behind the stove.  I’ve never needed to do more than swipe at them to get them clean.  I think it helps to have a stove with a backsplash panel on it too, but I will be watching to see if any accumulates. Something to keep in mind, though.

Also, I had another person ask about water damage behind the metal if something spills.  Valid question, and I guess we can always put a thin bead of caulk around the bottom edge if it is a problem.  Really, the only issue we had with water damage was behind the sink, which we solved by replacing the previous backsplash with quartz.

Linking up to Funky Junk Interiors, Between Naps on the Porch, Domestically Speaking, A Stroll Thru Life and Home Stories A-Z:












2 responses »

  1. I have certainly enjoyed viewing your kitchen project through the many steps it took to get the awesome finish/Love your new kitchen!/the backsplash was the icing on the kitchen remodel/you are so talented and D does a remarkable job at getting “er dun”/love you both

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