Kitchen Living Room

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dad's Kitchen, Part...Whatever I Lost Count

This is the end of the kitchen updates on my dad's house! Since I'm basically out of vacation time at work, there won't be anymore updates this year. Unless my dad transforms overnight into a DIYer. Not gonna happen.

So first off, I want to mention the challenges of doing home improvement in Fairbanks, Alaska. It's not super challenging - don't get me wrong. There's a Home Depot and a Lowe's after all. But I am spoiled. I'm used to having over 10 convenient home improvement stores within a 10-15 mile radius of my condo in Atlanta. So, if I see something online and I want it for a project, I can pick it up somewhere and be back home in half an hour. Not so in Alaska. If they don't have something you need in stock it takes weeks (sometimes months) for them to order it and get it there. And this is even the case if you're willing to pay extra for expedited shipping. The piece I needed for this project was not available to be shipped to Alaska at all (even slowly). Which brings me to the specific challenge of this project. I had to leave it a TEENSY bit unfinished (sorry, dad), because the store was short one piece of backsplash. Whoops, I gave it away. I installed a kitchen backsplash! Anyway, I'll finish it up next time I'm in town. 

I decided to install a kitchen backsplash because the wall was damaged a little behind my dad's stove. You can see what I mean in the picture below. I also mentioned it in this post about installing the lights in his kitchen earlier this year in March. 

I didn't want to go with tile because it takes too long to install. I had a lot of work to do at the Comic Shop, and I was only there for a week. So I chose to install thermoplastic backsplash pieces with liquid nails. Here's what they look like. They're about $20 a piece at Lowe's. Liquid nails is only about $3.50 a tube and I used less than one tube.

Fasade 24-1/2-in Oil Rubbed Bronze Thermoplastic Multipurpose Backsplash

My first step was to measure the area I wanted to cover - behind the stove up to the cabinets and underneath the cabinets along the wall, ending at the wall with the kitchen sink. Then I cut the pieces (one by one) and placed them up on the wall before I used the liquid nails, just to make sure I measured accurately. I didn't make any mistakes (besides being one sheet short!). 

Adding Liquid Nails (I returned the extra tube for a refund when I was finished!)

I made sure to cover each piece in an adequate amount of glue - but not too much. I just went back and forth with the tube until there were multiple lines of glue covering the back about 2 inches apart.

Sticking up the first piece of backsplash!

I kept gluing and gluing. Cutting and cutting. Oh, and by the way, I used regular kitchen shears to do the job. Any scissors one step above simple paper cutting scissors would do the trick. 

Cutting the backsplash

Liquid nails on the backsplash

Making progress!

And now for the final before & after pictures. With knobs and pulls included! 


And After!

With the new light fixture!

Now my dad definitely needs a new microwave to match his awesome kitchen. Don't you think?!

I want to mention that I think this transformation will be a bit controversial. It was difficult to work with the state of the cabinets as they are. I couldn't do anything that would take more than a few hours, which obviously left me unable to work on the cabinets' finish or the countertops. My hope was to work off of the new oil-rubbed-bronze finishes in the kitchen and the deep red of the tile countertops. I hope you like it! I think it was a leap of faith, but in the end it works. 


  1. wow...I think I like it! It does darken it up lots. I put what looks like the same backsplash behind the stove in Chickamauga and the heat warped it...hope that doesn't happen here!

  2. Uh oh. Well then I might have to replace it when I go back. What do you recommend?

  3. We ended up putting up some leftover ceramic tile. Real tin will work too. And maybe it won't be a problem; I'm not sure if it failed under normal cooking conditions, or not, although the tenants didn't appear to have overtly abused anything else.

    We only put it up behind the stove; if the material you used does cause a problem there, you can replace only behind the stove with something else and leave the rest. Would be sorta a bummer, tho, to not have it all match.

    Tell your dad to just use the front two burners!! LOL...seriously, maybe it will be okay, but in the pics it does look like the same stuff we used....

  4. Well if it messes up dad won't care unless it's a fire hazard. But the wall was already burned back there. But he says that was because he didn't know how to use his old stove properly yet. I guess we will see how it goes.