We cut up strips of picket fencing and painted them all white. We then attached all the pieces to a thin piece of plywood (luan) and attached the plywood to the wall. The curve of the fence pieces gives our backsplash a unique shape and texture.
chop saw or miter box
glue gun with glue sticks
a 1/8" to 1/4" luan panel
paper bags and a marker (to make template)
optional: 1/2" wood trim for edge around the backsplash
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.
Use a jigsaw to cut the luan. Double-check measurements and make sure the panel fits properly in the backsplash space.
Use a chop saw to cut the fence pieces to 3" x 6" -- standard subway tile size.
Attach the wood tiles to the luan panel with wood glue. Place something heavy on the wood to weigh it down while the glue dries.
Use a jigsaw to trim the pieces that extend over the side.
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.