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Budget Kitchen Ideas

Budget Backsplash Project: Global Style Maps

Learn how to turn a plain backsplash into a display of your favorite destinations. This low-cost project is perfect for renters because the backsplash can be taken down in just a few minutes.

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We covered a thin piece of plywood (luan) in maps, then sealed it in shellac. The plywood was then attached to the wall to create a whimsical backsplash.

Tools and Materials

measuring tape
recycled/vintage maps
1/8" to 1/4" luan panel
adhesive spray
paper bags and a marker to make the 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 the Maps

Lay out the maps how you want them to appear on the wall. Cut them to size leaving an inch around the edges to fold over the back side of the luan panel.

Mount the Maps

Use spray adhesive to glue the maps onto the luan panel.

Apply a Protective Coating

Seal the maps with a shellac or sealer. Two coats may be necessary.

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.