Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Favorite Feature---A Back Splash Alternative in My Knotty Pine Kitchen

I've been thinking about writing about my kitchen for a while.   My back splash alternative is my favorite feature.  I used faux snakeskin fabric and nail head trim to fill the space.

Yes, the 1970s called and they want my kitchen. 
Since we moved here we've wanted to redo the kitchen but just haven't decided how we want it and haven't been able to commit to an expensive undertaking. 
So, we're in a time warp.
Until we decide to take it on,  I'd like to share my efforts to make a silk purse from a sow's ear.
A few years ago I was able to finally convince my husband that knotty pine should be painted.  You know the story guys love "real" wood.  I wasn't blogging at the time so I didn't take a before picture, but this is the inside cabinet door which should give you an idea of how lovely the kitchen was.

I painted the cabinets gray before gray was hot.
It's Benjamin Moore Rockport Gray.
I used their Aura brand.  You don't have to do a primer coat first.
I removed all the doors and labeled and numbered each one.  Boy was that a life saver.  I never would have been able to assemble them again.
I sanded, cleaned them off, and painted them with a foam roller made for wood.
Very nice smooth finish.

Painted Kitchen
Notice that I didn't replace the horrible counter top.  I don't like the configuration of the room so I didn't want to spend money on a counter top that would eventually be discarded.  See that dark square in the upper right  corner.  That's the upper cabinet that I want to take a sledge hammer to.
When you're in the kitchen it totally blocks anyone seated at the table and anyone who wants to talk to the chef has to duck his head to see.

Blocked View to Kitchen Table

Blocked View From Kitchen Table to Chef

I changed the knobs.  I used pulls on the drawers and bird cage knobs.
I kept the ugly hinges because I was afraid if I changed them they wouldn't hang right.

New Drawer Pulls

New Bird Cage Knob and Original Ugly Hinge

Above the sink there was this awful scalloped wood valance.  I was going to tear it out, but it was toe-nailed in pretty tightly.  Instead of removing it I covered it with a carved wood section that originally would have been a back splash for an old wash stand or a small dresser.

Above the cabinets was a built in space.  Originally, there was a wallpaper border going all around this area.  Sorry, no picture.  I removed the border and painted it the same color as the cabinets so it would somewhat blend.  I did nail head trim where the board meets the beam.
No comment on the rough cedar wood trim.

Decorative Wood Panel Covering Ugly Scallops

Now to the point of the post--the back splash.

My favorite update  was my back splash alternative.  As with the counter top, I didn't want to go to the expense of a new back splash.  My solution was  Duralee Snakeskin fabric.  It's no longer available, but if you go to your favorite online fabric store and search snakeskin or animal fabric you should be able to find something similar.  I found this faux leather  lizard on  
My faux snakeskin already had a protective coating.  I applied it with wallpaper paste.
 It wipes clean and I love the look.
Notice that I finished off the edge where the counter meets the fabric with nail head trim.

Duralee Faux Snakeskin Fabric as Back Splash

Another View of the Back Splash and Nail Head Trim

Of course, you know me.  I'm ready for a change.  I'll be updating the window treatments, the lighting, and the kitchen chairs .  This update lasted more than two years.  I believe that's a record in this house.  
Be sure to follow along.


Update is done see the reveal here.

To see the update on the adjoining laundry/pantry, go here.


  1. This is a really great idea and the nailhead trim-looks super!

  2. What an amazingly original idea. I'd NEVER have thought of using coated fabric as a backsplash but look at your kitchen!! It looks so great!!

    Thank you so much for linking up to my Kitchen Favourites party!

    I've signed up as your new follower!


  3. Hey!! We have just ordered those drawer handles for our new kitchen! I love what you've done here.
    (visiting via Modern Country Style's link party)

  4. Great use of the fabric as the backsplash. I had a kitchen that had the same type of situation with the cabinets above the counter and pass through area. It looks to me like you have a section of paneling behind the cabinets. If you remove the paneling (carefully) you could pull down one or two sections of the cabinets and then cut the paneling to fit the remaining area. It might open it up for you and help you enjoy the kitchen until you're ready for a full redo.

  5. Great job Kathy...even though eventually you will have a brand new kitchen...I think it's very rewarding to be inventive and come up with such a great solution...and as you say you can change it all again when you get harm done. Visiting from Sarah's kitchen party...Robx