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Budget Kitchen Ideas

Budget Backsplash Project: Cottage-Style Salvaged Molding

A plain backsplash is given a rustic-chic look with the use of scrap wood. This low-cost project is perfect for renters because the backsplash can be taken down in just a few minutes.

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Courtesy of Susan Teare

We covered a thin piece of plywood (luan) in salvaged wood, then attached the plywood panel to the wall. The different shapes and finishes of the wood give our kitchen a rustic, architectural flair.

Tools and Materials

chop saw
measuring tape
wood glue
a 1/8" to 1/4" luan panel
scrap molding and trim
paper bags and a marker to make a template
optional: 1/2" wood trim for edge around the backsplash

Create a Template

Make a template of the backsplash area with a large piece of paper (we used paper bags taped together). Make an exact cut around edges and double-check the measurements.

Use the template to outline your cutting area on the luan panel.

Cut the Luan Panel

Use a jigsaw to cut the luan. Double-check measurements and make sure the panel fits properly in the backsplash space.

Cut Scrap Trim to Size

Use a chop saw or miter box to cut the pieces of scrap trim to fit the length of each luan panel.

Glue Scrap Wood Onto the Panel

Glue the pieces of trim onto the wood panel with wood glue. Place something heavy on the wood to weigh it down while the glue dries.

If necessary, use a jigsaw to cut any scrap wood that is overhanging the luan panel.

Attach the Panel to the Wall

Place the panel onto the backsplash area. Find the wall studs and use drywall screws to attach the luan panel along its edges and into a couple of the studs.

If you want, place a small piece of wood trim around the edges and nail into place.

When it comes time to remove the backsplash, just take the screws out and fill the holes with joint compound.

Joanne Palmisano is the author of Salvage Secrets (W.W. Norton, September 2011). Visit her blog, also called Salvage Secrets.