Moving On To New Backsplash Ideas For My Kitchen

Fair warning…this post is going to be a bit rambling.  My thoughts and ideas are pretty scattered, but hopefully I can get them all narrowed down to one great idea for my kitchen.

I’ve just about given up on the idea of a back painted glass backsplash for my kitchen.

testing the idea of diying a back painted glass backsplash - 13

I still love the idea, and if I were satisfied with a solid color backsplash, I’d press on with the idea.  But once you move on from the solid colors to a back painted design on glass, things get a lot trickier.  I’ve practiced and practiced, and I just can’t get it to look right.  I’ll get it to where I absolutely love how it looks on back, but then flip it over and the actual part that matters — the part that can be seen through the glass — doesn’t look nearly as pretty.  So I can just imagine myself wasting two months of my life trying to get an entire 10-foot length of glass just right.

I know some of you suggested painting on the wall, and then putting the glass over it, but that would give a completely different look from back painted glass.  Every bump and uneven area in the wall would show, and might even cast shadows.  There’s no way that a piece of glass would sit perfectly flat against a 10-foot stretch of wall in a 65-year-old home with lots of quirks.  Texture in the paint would show through the glass.  It’s just a completely different look than what I would get from back painted glass, which results in a completely and perfectly smooth look, regardless of whether or not the wall is perfectly smooth and flat behind the glass.

But somehow along the way, I’ve gotten it into my head that I need something soft and subtle on the backsplash that won’t compete with the green cabinets.  But let’s face it, this brass backsplash is bold and in your face.

cameron diaz kitchen from elle decorCameron Diaz’s Manhattan apartment kitchen as featured in Elle Decor

And it’s that bold look of not only the cabinets but also the backsplash that drew me to this kitchen in the first place.  So I’ve decided I need to go bold or go home.  Well, you know what I mean.

I also found another kitchen with very similar qualities on Houzz. This kitchen belongs to Iron Chef Jose Garces, and also has dark cabinets and an unlacquered brass backsplash. I also like that his kitchen gives an idea of what white countertops (mine will be white concrete) and white appliances will look like with dark cabinets, although his cabinets are black and mine will be green. And of course, his stove alone costs many times more than all of my appliances combined. 😀

Iron Chef Jose Garces' Bluestsar Kitchen, via HouzzModern Kitchen

Now here’s the deal. I could buy two sheets of brass, attach them to my backplashes, and call it a day. But that’s not really what I want. I mean, I do like the bold look of the backsplashes in the two kitchens above, and I want that same boldness in my own kitchen, but there’s just something about a solid piece of brass that doesn’t quite appeal to me for my own kitchen.

(By the way, if you want to DIY yourself a brass countertop or backsplash, it’s very do-able. There are many places online that sell sheet brass, and will even cut it to a custom size. Then you can find very helpful tutorials online, like this one, and adapt those to your brass countertops or backsplash. It’s definitely a more advanced DIY project, but it’s one that any really experienced DIYer could do.)

The issue for me is that I like pattern.  Specifically, I love herringbone.  And I just can’t shake this idea that I want a herringbone backsplash.  I’ve been toying with the idea, but when I saw Ayisha’s DIY herringbone chest, my jaw hit the floor.

herringbone chest from The Pursuit Of Handyness

That design meets so many of my “wants and needs” for my kitchen.  Of course, I think that herringbone design is outstanding.  I also love that it’s wood.  Y’all know how much I love wood!  There’s just something so warm and inviting about wood, and truth be told, I really miss my butcherblock countertops that I had in the condo.  So this would definitely add some of that warmth of wood into my kitchen that I’ve been missing.  The coloring is gorgeous.  It definitely has those brass and golden tones to the wood which I think would look beautiful with my brass sconces and main light.  The variations in the colors are gorgeous, giving it that “not too dark, not too light” look.

There’s so much I love about it!!  The problem?  She used IKEA Skoghall deck tiles for this project, which of course, have been discountinued on their website, and I don’t really have an IKEA close.  Sad Kristi.  🙁

So I’m kind of back to the drawing board.  I haven’t given up completely.  Ayisha said that even though the Skoghall tiles aren’t on the website, she found lots of them in the store near her, so it might be worth a drive to Austin or Dallas to see if they have them.

I’ve also toyed with some other ideas, like purchasing some brass metal leaf and creating my own “tiles” that I would then use to make a herringbone design.  I did find some brass leaf that would work.


brass metal leaf

But how do you seal metal leaf?  And if it’s sealed, does it look different?  And would it be durable enough to use as a backsplash?  I’m guessing probably not, but I don’t have any experience with metal leaf, so I don’t know for sure.  And again, I just don’t think I like the idea of metal as much as I like the idea of wood.

I also looked at all kinds of brass metal tiles.  Most of them all have such a cold, stark, and modern look to them, which I absolutely do not want in my kitchen.  I did find one that I thought had a really nice textured look to it, almost like metal leaf.

brass penny tile

I’ve requested a price quote on it, and I have a feeling it’s going to be quite expensive.  If it were something I absolutely loved, I might consider paying more and just considering it a splurge, although even on a splurge backsplash, I still wouldn’t pay more than $20/square foot.  (I’m not opposed to splurges on something that I absolutely love.)  But honestly, I’m not sure that I like penny tile that much.  When I find a penny tile I like, it always looks so good up close, but from a distance it kind of loses its appeal.  Actually, penny tile really loses its appeal to me when I look at it from a distance.

Update:  I just got the quote for the tile above, and it’s $41.45/square foot.  That’s more than I would pay for even a splurge backsplash on something that I absolutely loved, so obviously that’s out of the question.

So that’s where I’m at on this backsplash decision.

I want the boldness of the brass backsplash, the warmth of wood, the pattern of herringbone, and I want it to be durable enough for a kitchen backsplash.  I don’t want the coldness of metal, and I don’t really want ceramic or porcelain tile of any kind.  It needs to coordinate flawlessly with my green cabinets and brass lighting fixtures.  It needs to be bold, without demanding so much attention that it’s the star of the show.

Surely I’m not asking too much, am I?  😀



Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    1. I’ve been looking at those online, and it says they’re made of the same wood as the ones Ayisha used, but they look very different. Are they as dark in person as they are in the picture online?

      But those are still available online, so I could buy them there if I decide to go that route. I’m just a little concerned about buying them without actually seeing them in person first.

      I think I’m just going to have to make that drive. 🙂

      1. I can take some pics today and post it for you! They are darker than the ones on that dresser but there are varied in color – not all dark, and not as dark as the IKEA picture …

          1. Hi Kristi, the Runnen deck tiles are much darker than the Skoghall tiles. They are also wider and maybe a little shorter. I do believe they are also made of Acacia wood. I really hope you can pull this off cause I believe that this will look absolutely AMAZING as the backsplash in your kitchen. Also thanks for showing me some blog luv 🙂

          2. I just emailed them. Enjoy! I’m now thinking I should NOT return them and do something different than I had originally planned … hmmmmmmmmmm!

      2. I was just in Ikea the other day and saw those tiles as well. Not sure if they were the exact shade Ayisha used. BTW – so glad you loved her dresser and might use that idea. Can you put mortar inbetween wood for ease of cleaning kitchen messes or even dust?

  1. I like the idea of the brass. My concern…one of the best things about metals like brass, copper, bronze, etc. is how they change over time and develop a patina that can be absolutely beautiful. If you seal the brass without first creating a patina, it will always look like new shiny brass and that seems to ruin the whole point of using such a beautiful metal.

    1. I considered that for about two seconds. The problem is that pennies are copper, not brass. So they appear more orange than yellow. I held some copper wiring up to my sconces, and it clashed pretty badly.

  2. Wow, you do have a dilemma! You are about 1000 times better at this kind of thing than I am, but I do have one suggestion. Don’t focus only on the appearance of the backspash, and forget about the function.. A backsplash needs to be smooooooth, for easier cleaning. Anything with crevices, etc., is probably something I would learn to hate. For my own taste, I loved the back-painted glass you shared a while back. (I’m not into dated vs. current, I just do what I like). I’m just a little concerned that the herringbone – and I love that design too – would create too many little nooks and crannies for dust, grease, etc., and it would be hard to keep clean. But I’m sure you’ll come up with an inspired solution – you always do!

    1. You may have already considered this (and have a plan to address it), but I have to agree that from a practical point of view, it sounds like the wood herringbone idea would be hard to keep clean.

    2. I feel the same. However, the thought came to mind that you could cut the brass leaf into tiles and apply in a herringbone design on the back of the temperered glass. Modge podge maybe? Kind of like you did on your lamps. Then you would have the look and the benefit of it being smooth so you could wipe it. As always, I am enjoying your process and marveling at all you do by yourself. Oh….also you may be able to get a similar look by cutting wood veneer strips into tiles. You could install them over another board and attach to the wall,but, that would let you seal it to maintain it easier. Good luck!

      1. I was thinking something similar but find some sort of glass tiles and put the brass leaf on the back of those or on the wall so you could have brass and herringbone.

  3. Maybe you could just brass leaf the back of the glass you were thinking about using. It wouldn’t have to be perfect and would give you more vibrancy than the paint idea.

    1. Okay, that’s actually something I considered. But since I have no experience with metal leaf, I wasn’t sure if it would matter that the size (the adhesive) would actually show through the glass since I would have to apply it first, and then apply the leaf to it. Do you have any experience with metal leaf? And do you know if the size is completely clear, and if it changes color over time? If it’s completely clear and doesn’t change color, it might work. But if it has a color to it, or if it changes color over time, it might be a problem.

      1. Kristi,

        I have used silver leaf on glass and the sizing dries clear. I did not exactly do what you are planning on, but I’ll send you a picture of what I did so you can see it anyway. Just added a little metal leaf to a vase, but I loved the result.

        And to add my 2 cents to the back splash discussion…it would probably look really awesome!!! I love the idea of doing the brass back splash with the leafing. I also wanted to say that I think you are so incredibly talented and inspiring!!! You are above and beyond my favorite blogger and I am amazed at what you accomplish!!! Thank you for sharing your work and insights with us!


    2. This is exactly what I was going to suggest – brass leaf on the back of glass…or perhaps creating a herringbone paper, like on your lamps and then putting glass overtop of it. I’m sure whatever you choose will be amazing…Can’t wait to see what you decide!

    3. That sounds like a great idea. By the way Kristi you idea of glass backsplashes got me thinking for my kitchen, Since I’m on a farm and we grow and can our own food. There are all these reproductions of WWII, Victory Garden, and canning posters out there. I was thinking of getting a collection in the right size for a backsplash then covering them with class for easy cleaning.

  4. How about combining pitch-pine boards and brass rods in vertical stripes to mirror your beautiful new floor? It combines pattern with the heat and colour variation of wood with the metallic finish and chic ness of brass.

  5. Why not make your own wood “tiles”?? I’m sure you could find wood that you like and cut it into small tiles. You could stain it or just seal it, depending on the wood you choose. That would give you the wood you want and the freedom to create the herringbone pattern WITHOUT a drive to Dallas or Austin. And, come on, you did just post about the reasons you are a DIY-er, right?? 🙂

  6. This might be totally random, but what about brass thumbtacks? You could them seal it so that it would be easier to clean. You might even be able to use two types of thumbtacks or upholstery tacks to create a subtle herringbone look? Thinking two different sizes or textures maybe?

    I love your rambling. It is exactly what goes on in my head. I also love that you take such risks and they always turn out beautiful. I live vicariously thru you!

  7. If you really liked the back-painted glass, what about trying to incorporate the “tiles” you made for the herringbone lamps and adhere them to the back of your glass?

  8. Hi Kristi! Sometimes we just have to keep working projects and ideas like this until we find something that makes it JUST RIGHT. 🙂 No one else will spend as much time in your kitchen, as you will. What if you would do a herringbone pattern with tile- some gold, mixed with a lighter green (that compliments your cabinets?) I think that could be beautiful and I’m sure you’d figure out an awesome pattern…could be fun 🙂
    Maybe something similar to this…

  9. Idea #1 — How about having or a local company cut a big sheet of brass into small strips (similar to tiles) that you can attach to the wall in a herringbone pattern? Or, you could buy undrilled brass door pushplates or backplates for the same application.
    Idea #2 — you’ve seen “quilted” stainless, before, right? Maybe brass can even be pressed in the same manner, but in a herringbone pattern.
    Idea #3 (my favorite) — I have used Rustoleum’s hammered metals paint in many colors, and LOVE it. You could mask the back of your glass with narrow autobody tape in a herringbone pattern, paint with the metal-look paint in any combination of colors, remove the mask and fill in the “joints” with a charcoal gray to simulate grout and add depth. You’d get the best of ALL your inspirations — back painted glass, metal, and pattern!

    1. Ha! That’s actually what I was thinking- Your #2 idea! kinda like a tin ceiling tile but with a herring bone pattern and larger for the whole area, not components.. I totally called it on the herring bone for the backsplash. I just wasn’t sure how you would carry it out! I figured it would be some slightly metallicized glazed tile, in a mottled color (like your glass painting) 😀

  10. What if you recreated the look of the tile you loved by using brass buttons like these?

    There are a lot of options with round brass buttons, you could find a pattern you really love. I am sure the concept would be similar to the penny wall, but you could get the brass finish you are after this way.

    Just a thought.

  11. You’re certainly not asking for more than any self-respecting backsplash should offer! I can’t wait to see it in all its glory! I can’t believe how quickly you get things done — takes me months just to pick out a can of spray paint! kelly

  12. Love the wood idea – how about getting some floor boards of different colorings and cut to size if you can’t find the wood tiles from IKEA, or using scrap wood you already have?

    Another options in the glass area, have you considered using stained glass pieces or glass tiles to create the effect you want? Maybe glass tiles in a herringbone pattern.

  13. What if you painted a herringbone pattern either on the back of the glass or on wood that was then sealed using the two colors from your striped floor? There are lots of metallic paints that you could also incorporate.

  14. Metal-leaf can be a real pain to work with.

    In my opinion, the wood herringbone look is lovely, but I think it would take over.

    One of my criteria for a kitchen is that it be easy to clean. I recall someone I knew who did a money-is-no-object remodel so she could do her gourmet cooking, I loved (and coveted) her 8-burner professional stove, but was horrified by the copper-trimmed GLASS hood. I can’t imagine how it ever stayed clean.

    So many choices. . . .

  15. Have you thought about using paint stir sticks? I have seen lots of uses for these on the interweb. They meet some of the needs that you have. They are thin, wood and “tile” shaped and easy to cut. A possibility?

  16. What about using wood shims. Stained, or spray painted in the color or stain you desire. Place them in a herringbone pattern and use the glass over the top. Would create amazing texture but still be very kitchen friendly under the glass.

    1. Shims are a cool idea! If you ever see the Nelson Wood Shim brand, those are the original shim that my grandfather created, and my dad built the machinery for.

  17. ROAD TRIP!!! It will clear your head and refresh your spirit. Crank the radio up and sing your heart out. Then take in every wonderful thing IKEA has to offer. With all you have accomplished in the last weeks you deserve this. ( I recommend a trip there at least once a year.)
    Random thought…If you miss the warmth of your butcher block why are you going in the opposite direction with cold, white concrete? Are you sure you’ll love them in a few years?
    Further random thought…how is your cat? Recovering, I hope.
    And one more—when I use size for leafing, it dries clear. It’s not difficult, just fiddly. A completely wind/breeze free room is key. And you must be prepared for imperfections as that is the nature of leafing.
    Ok, I’m done rambling….

  18. I used ceiling tiles from this company.
    America Tin Ceilings. They have a variety of patterns and finishes. I used a brushed nickel that was white washed. You can also buy it unfinished and DIY.
    The tiles were also easy to cut with kitchen shears. (I do not work for them; just really happy with the product)

  19. I was wondering if you could ceruse the tiles, that would tie them in with white counter top and you could control the color and get exactly the effect you want, maybe even with more than one color….

  20. I’m So disappointed that you’re reconsidering the glass backsplash! I’ve been so eager to see your finished results because I absolutely love the sample pic you have at the beginning of this post. I know that whatever you decide to so will look amazing, but have you considered painting your look onto a thin board and placing the sheet of glass over it rather than painting directly onto the glass?

  21. Usually when a leafing is used a Poly is used and it doesn’t change the color at all. Maybe they have something durable enough that you could use similar to that?

  22. I thought shims, too… or flooring? You could mirror the pattern you plan yo use on your hallway ceiling, but on a smaller scale?

  23. I love your idea of back painted glass. Why not a pretty pearl white or something with a little metallic like a champagne color. My other thought is to go back to what you love – subway tile. Don’t avoid it just because you think it’s overdone if it’s what would work for your space. Personally I wouldn’t want wood just for clean up purposes. I can’t wait to see what you decide. I love how you share your thought process and change your mind. It makes me feel normal when I can’t decide on something as simple as paint.

  24. This kind of goes along with my earlier rants (about being married to certain unwritten rules and assumptions and about functionality coming first), but I’ve never understood the concept of needing “sturdy backsplashes” like tile, etc.

    Let’s face it… Most of us aren’t running commercial kitchens–even those of us who love to cook and spend lots of time in the kitchen. So unless you’re a really really REALLY sloppy cook or dishwasher (as in you’re swinging your arms wildly while they’re coated in tomato sauce), your backsplash is not going to take a terrible amount of abuse. All it really needs to hold-up to is an occasional sponge-down with some soapy water, a wipe with mild surface cleaner, or the occasional splatter of water from the sink. The one exception might be a splatter guard behind the stove (from grease), but that’s only if your stove or cooktop doesn’t have back-mounted controls (which makes the splatter guard moot).

    All of this is to say that any surface that can be wiped-down with soap and water should be “sturdy enough” for a backsplash in most homes. In my last kitchen renovation, I removed the old tile (and 1960’s formica underneath it) and simply used a gloss or semi-gloss finish paint (Behr from Home Depot) and it worked just fine even on the wet wall. As long as it has enough enamel in it to stand-up to being wiped, it should work fine. That, and be sure to seal really well between the wall and the countertop with silicone caulk so water won’t drip down behind the cabinets.

    Given that, I’d think your options are a little wider. You could do something like that paper trick you did on the lamp and seal it well with poly. You could “tile” with a thin product similar to how the groutable stick-on tiles work. You could even paint the wall or a piece of veneer with metallic paint and then seal it with a clear coat. Sky is the limit, really.

    BTW, this just popped into my head… Have you thought of checking to see if they make a metallic Formica that’d give you the look of brass or copper? They make some pretty realistic stuff these days. It’s not your Grandmother’s laminate. And used in conjunction with solid surface counters, you may not be able to even tell what it is. Just a thought…

  25. I have experience with leafing. I have never used it in reverse on glass so I can’t say for certain that the sizing won’t change color however I have shellacked over it and it turned out great. I used gold leaf on a metal table and wanted to make sure that it would be durable and it was. You could always experiment with the leaf on some clear glass and see what happens.

  26. Asking too much? Nah! Oh wait, yes, you are! lol And you know what? That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. So let me try and make you laugh about it: I was confused to the point I went and did online tests to tell me what I like! (And let me tell you, this is definitely not like me). And then two totally unrelated tests basically told me that my style is to live in a luxurious farm (I kid you not)! Oh, with a touch of classic, too. And elegance. In the farm.

    So anyway, just have fun with your confusion like I do with mine, and it will eventually come to you, and it will be brilliant.

    And (to say something that might actually be helpful) you can send me photos to photoshop a preview for you if you want!

  27. I love the look of that wood herringbone, and especially the colors. Just one thing. Even if you do seal the wood, you would still need to cover it with glass, because there are just to many seams and grains for dust to gather in. But it would be BEAUTIFUL.

    Also, if you decide to use brass metal leaf, you should apply it to a very thin vaneer, seal, and use glass over it also. You would definitely get the bold you’re looking for.

    Both the brass leaf and the wood in colors shown will add warmth to your backsplash.

    You can’t go wrong here if you use what YOU love best.

  28. Even though I know you will figure it out cuz you always do and it looks wonderful…

    -How about stenciling/painting/applying (like your lamps) a detailed herringbone pattern on the backside of the glass? I know it wasn’t turning out like you wantedwith the other, but that was a more “vague” look. You could do the detail of the Herringbone like your lamps on the backside and still have the look and the glass that you wanted? Or maybe even the little cutouts? Just a thought…not sure its doable..

  29. Kristi,
    Something I did years ago for a client was take limestone tile and faux painted it with a product called lusterstone. Gave me the color I wanted along with a metallic shimmer.
    You could to the same thing and make the tile look like wood but have the ease of stone for clean up.

  30. Well, a fine pickle you’re in! I have never been one to cast aspersions on anothers ideas, since mine have been way out there, but end up making me happy and surprising some nay sayers. This is one of those times that I feel as though I should offer some thoughts. First off, I did not see the articlr describing Cameron what’s her name’s kitchen, so you certainly know better than I, but on my computers (3) her backsplash sink et all are copper. They have a totally different look than the chef’s kitchen below which does look like the color of brass. OK so here goes, no room should have more than three major design elements. By that I mean three “WOW”factors. Everything else shoul blend with those elements. If you go beyond the three you risk a roon that becomes caotic. By the same token you don’t want everything to be matchy matchy. A design rule of thumb has always been no more than 3 pairs of 2 in a room. When you see a rooml i ke that it usually comes from a lower end retailer. You don’t want to frrl like you are living on Noah’s Ark. I digress, your kitchen has three WOW FACTORS #1. The green cabinets, #2. The two tone painted striped floor, #3. Major white elements, fridge, stove, dishwasher, countertops. When visulizing these three factors, and adding in your cabinet pulls, sconces and ceiling fixture, you have created a stunning one of a kind kitchen. The next step, IMHO, is where you make or break it. I don’t think you can have a brass backsplash without making it a 4th WOW factor, which could throw the whole design balance off. Again, IMHO, I would try to find something that adds to the beauty of the kitchen, rather than worrying about something that no one else has, or hasn’t been done that much. I know one of the responses I might get is that your floor is white. Yes, it is somewhat whie, but looking at it you really don’t see whie, you see white and a light taupe stripe. That is how the two white paints read next to each other. I love the floor and what you have done with stock cabinets. So bottom line think even longer and harder than you have. This is a big project that you have undertaken and it has been an amazing journey for all of us~Blessings

  31. A crazy idea to throw out there BUT what about taking those brass sheets, cut down, and do a herringbone pattern?? I think that would give the color you want as well as the pattern.

  32. I am near the IKEA in Katy. I could go see how many they have for you and then mail them if they have enough.

  33. What about wallpaper with glass over it? You could find a herringbone pattern in a color that you love. Or what about tin tiles? They could be in a brass color. Go to Pinterest and type in “Unique Backsplash” in the search field. Lot’s of fun ideas!

  34. Kristi,
    I live 5 min from the IKEA here in Round Rock…happy to go check on anything if you want. Will be heading to Waco one day soon to take kids to zoo or TX Ranger Museum so could possibly bring with me if you decided to try. And if you didn’t like I could bring it back! Or if days don’t match up, I don’t mind meeting you halfway in Temple!

  35. Well you’ve gotten a lot of advice and some I really like and others that make me think harder. Honestly I’m such a visual person I have no clue until you put it all together. I’d have to take up the offer to photoshop the kitchen as finished and see what looks best to me. I don’t know how you do it. I really likes the herringbone tile that someone linked, it looked awesome. But then another talked about too many WOWs and I can understand that too but not sure what’s a Wow and what’s an accent. Good luck.
    Off topic, I can’t wait for the cabinets to get painted. Like I really can’t wait, so will you paint them today? LOL

  36. There is a company that makes small metal look subway tiles that can be laid in a herringbone pattern. They carry them at many Home Centers. I know here they carry them at Menards. They are similar to the faux tin ceiling sections. But this company has brushed and shiny tiles. That might give you the look you want. The display shows them set in a herringbone pattern with alternatins brushed and shiny.

  37. Or wallpaper grass cloth? Since you said you don’t really cook all that much, I’m not sure that it would matter if it’s not super durable.

  38. I know just how you’re feeling. It took me a long while to commit to a product. Did you search tiles on Amazon? I put in “copper tiles” and the results without sorting looked pretty tempting. I looked at the following product thinking that that looks pretty “diy artist” friendly.

    This landed in inbox this morning, maybe you’ll find it inspirational, she used Pergo on the inside backs of her built-in cabs. I mean even if flooring isn’t the answer, maybe wood grain tile or vinyl might be?

  39. Just an idea here … I recently sanded and painted my mailbox using Rustoleum Hammered Copper and it’s gorgeous. Looks different depending on sun, shade, etc. What about spraying that (or something similar) on the back of the glass ? That might look stunning with the green cabinets. Frankly, I think the wood herringbone would compete too much with the gorgeous green cabinets.

  40. Love the reverse paint on glass. Could you use the same technique you used on your lamps? Paint the colors on a stronger base then let dry . Cut to the dimensions you like, adhere to the walls and cover with the glass to protect.

  41. I am hearing that you really want the smooth, easy care surface of glass.

    Wood will leave you with crevasses and might not meet your local fire codes for backsplashes near your stove, etc. Would need sealing.
    Tile, which you don’t want, would be durable, but you’d need to seal the grout, if it showed at all. It does come in many wood styles and colors, as well as metallics, and glass.
    Laminate in brass metallic?

    On the brass leafing option, some suggestions.
    Why can’t you try the leafing technique on the glass from thrifted picture frames?
    That size of precut glass would give small test surfaces and they’d be easy to flip to and fro to check coverage and so on. Would also be easy to check different products and sealers. Also, you could try the spraying paint options on a small scale and possibly mixing some of those metallic colors to your taste. You might even add in some faux bois details….

    What about metallic epoxy on the wall sides of glass? Might be worth chasing that idea for facts, colors, costs from the sellers.

    I am in love with copper and some day we will be re-doing our 1972 kitchen. I am leaning toward copper backsplashes in some form that is easy care. I’ve admired the custom cut glass tiles with copper leaf on their backs found on pinterest, the epoxy floors and counter tops, the metallic tiles in tin, plastic, and ceramic and so on. I understand where you are coming from. Pinterest can satisfy any metallic fascination. sigh. Yes, there are even brushed copper laminates from WilsonArt that feed my fantasy.

  42. Rub n buff the back of the glass? Is that possible? I’ve see n furniture done and sealed. However, I live the herring bone and plan to make my shudders in that pattern.

    Couldn’t you make the wood, using stain and your crazy good skills? (Can you tell I don’t like a drive either?)

  43. WOW Kristi,
    Thanks for bringing Ayisha’s chest to my attention. It’s awesome. I also love, love, LOVE the copper countertops you pointed out here. (I also looked at them the first time you pointed them out) I think you’re right that with the hard, stark concrete countertops you plan, that the wood would bring some warmth to the design.

    I called my local Ikea to see if they have the tiles that Ayisha talks about, and they told me they DO! SO not sure how far you are from Dallas or Austin, but you could always call before making the trip. Ikea doesn’t have the most helpful Customer Service, but I was able to get thru after a little wait.

  44. Have you heard of encaustic painting? I don’t know if it would work here but the PRINCIPLE might with layers and scraping and layering again.

  45. Verre églomisé! It’s the process of gilding the back of glass and often creating patterns or even paintings using etching, paint etc. I think that reading up on this technique would provide a lot of answers to questions posed above, such as what adhesive to use and so on.

    I think it might also explain why you’re unhappy with the painted backsplash right now. If you were painting a person on paper, you’d start by filling out the face, then adding features such as lips and eyes. When you’re painting the back of glass, you have to work in the other direction, because it’s viewed through the other side. So if you were painting a face, you’d start with the features and then paint the skin on top of it – from the front, it’ll look correct but not so much from the back.

    To address the dilemma at hand, I’d perhaps suggest brass leafing on the back of gold, then etching a herringbone pattern perhaps. If you’re after something less uniform, as in your glass samples, perhaps consider distressing or some other effect. I found a sample gallery that I’m linking to below – I think colour glazes might be key to getting the paint effect you want!

  46. What about using real pennies? you can even use them in a herringbone pattern. I’ve seen a picture of them used on a floor,……

  47. What about using faux ceiling tiles like these: (I’m looking at the 3 plain ones close to the bottom) cutting them and applying in a herringbone pattern? You might also be able to use a vinyl or laminate flooring material to do the same thing. Also, I’ve seen a lot of pallet ideas and I wonder if you could use the wood from them to cut up, apply in the herringbone pattern and seal well. They seem to take on stain well and you could do them exactly as you wish. I also saw a neat project using wine corks for different things. I don’t know if they would take stain or not but just throwing out another idea.

    I see people are talking about the wood being hard to keep clean. I would agree but only for the area behind the stove. If it were me, I would do a metal or tile back splash behind the stove only, just to make clean up easier, but I think that if you sealed the wood well, it would clean up just fine. People only use mineral oil and soap and water on butcher block and that is enough to keep it in great shape.

    I’m sure you’ll figure it out. Love how it’s coming together!

  48. Yet another idea, brass sheets taped off in a herringbone pattern, next use a dremel wire brush attachment to “etch” the herringboned “tiles” then oxidize and seal.

    1. Go to aspect tile and Lots of metal back splashes. Some on sale right now. I saw bronz and gold. Also did you google metal back splashes. The photo gallery had lots of stuff I think you would like with links.

  49. Pinterest has some interesting real penny backsplashes. I could see it looking great with all brand new shiny pennies, but would probably darken over time. Good luck….can’t wait to see the final decision!

  50. If I may say so, I think you’re overdosing on herrigbone, besides the cleaning factor.

    If it helps, I recently spray painted a laminate countertop in our bath with copper paint, and I love it. It’s holding up great.and looks cool. Not sure of the brand. Probably Rustoleum. On a smooth, well-prepped wall, it might work for you.

  51. OK can’t stop dreaming up other ideas that I’ve not heard you mentioned and since you want sparkly how about mother of perl tiles? Would still be a color that would tie in your appliances and floors, but would shimmer and sparkle and you could use some that lean towards gold/brassy. Lots of shapes available too so you could do a herringbone pattern if you want.–TLdPmsASS8IHQCQ&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAg&biw=1103&bih=445

  52. what would happen if you applied the brass to the back of the glass? you could paint the wall a dark color… so any areas that aren’t totally covered with the brass leaf wouldn’t be obvious
    and make it be a leafing job? but leaf the back of the glass?

  53. Taking a break from the packing nightmare to see what you’re up to. 🙂 Here’s a crazy thought- how about sort of combining your ideas, have glass cut in rectangular pieces, back-paint them, and do your beloved herringbone? Too much?

  54. You could use pressed metal ceilings.. They can be left metal or painted & have some very pretty patterns. Used a lot in Australia lately. 🙂

  55. Hi Kristi: What about using pieces of stained glass for your back splash. They come in amazing colours and patterns and no painting required. Just a suggestion. have a great day.

    1. That’s what I was trying to find. I think I saw a product like this at either Home Depot or Lowe’s. It looked like it was just peel and stick like what you found.
      They had several colors. It was really pretty and would be easy to wipe down, etc.

  56. A friend of mine did her back splash with pennies. She even did a pattern with worn and brand new pennies. I wish I would have taken a picture so I could show you….it was warm and looked phenomenal!

  57. You have a lot of good ideas and I will be very interested to see what you choose in the end. I personally LOVE the painted glass and am wondering is just a bit of brass paint with the green/blue mix would work out well. Just a thought.

  58. Kristi, I only just got my computer back from the hospital so I’m behind on your posts, so I just read your laughter post and know where you’re at right now on the backsplash. However, I love the look of the herringbone timber/tile look as well. I know you’ve run into trouble both with the time/work/effort/cost thing on the make your own timber herringbone, and are most likely going to go with subway tiles laid on an angle… However, reading this post about sealing and treating the timber, I thought I’d weigh in with my thoughts. I recently just pine lined my entire kitchen wall. I painted it with a semi gloss soft white and then I painted the backsplash area (the bottom 3 timber slats) with polyurethane. Its almost invisible and its given the timber a high gloss and made it so much easier to clean. Have you considered making your herringbone backsplash out of the horrid pine (I too hate the natural look of pine) and painting it? That way you still get the look of the pattern and you can pick the colour you want, seal it well, gap fill to your heart’s desire, etc. I’m sure you’ve considered it and part of your design was a variation of colour shades due to the material you use. If you painted the herringbone timber you’d end up with a flat colour, but you’ll get that with tiles as well… Just a thought! 🙂

    1. Hi Kristi,

      I’m new to your blog but love it! I have many times opted for making my own custom designs from pine. Recently my husband and I made a counter top for a bathroom vanity using this approach. I chose three shades of stains that complimented each other and used this to create the contrast I was looking for for each piece of wood. When it fit together, it was much better than anything I could have purchased and way less expensive. Good luck!

  59. What about using that same technique you used on your dining room table? I know it’s not in the same room, but that is definitely something that you can get the feel of wood but some how color it to make it bold.

  60. Awesome. Kristi, I know you are creative. You have a lot of good ideas and I am very much interested to see what you choose in the end. I Love the backsplash in that kitchen. Love the reverse paint on glass. Thanks for sharing this.