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Kitchen Backsplash & Shelf Project

I am so excited to share this budget friendly kitchen backsplash and shelf project. In case you missed it, we painted our kitchen white last year, you can check that post out here. I love how much brighter it made my kitchen but I still didn’t love our counter or backsplash. But, obviously replacing either of those would be a huge renovation and expensive. So, I had a vision of doing a German smear on it to create a brick looking backsplash. German smear is when you coat a surface with spackle or wet mortar. It gives it a whitewashing, cottage look. I am obsessed with the character it gave my kitchen. I also wanted to update our white open shelves to wood.

kitchen decor Kitchen Backsplash & Shelf Project
kitchen decor Kitchen Backsplash & Shelf Project
kitchen backsplash Kitchen Backsplash & Shelf Project
a close up at the texture

How we did the backsplash

Would you believe me if I said this project cost less than $10 and under three hours!? Almost seems to good to be true right!? You can get the exact spackle we used here for $7. Essentially, we just ran the spackle over the backsplash to add a whitewash textured look. We have not sealed the backsplash yet but we definitely need to, in its current state getting it wet is not ideal. I will keep you posted on how we end up sealing it.

kitchen decor Kitchen Backsplash & Shelf Project

Tips & Tricks

Spackling is almost fool proof. I applied it thin and from every which direction to add texture. Originally, I was considering painting the backsplash but I decided to do a German smear to add texture and character to the space. I wanted it to look more like brick and I’m so happy with how it turned out. When you’re thinking of a project in your home, take risks and try something new. I’m so glad I stopped outside the box on this one and trusted my gut. My husband thought I was nuts but he loves it too.

kitchen shelf Kitchen Backsplash & Shelf Project
kitchen shelf Kitchen Backsplash & Shelf Project
kitchen decor Kitchen Backsplash & Shelf Project

Wood Shelf

While doing this project we also updated this shelves in our open shelving. When we painted our kitchen we left one of our cabinets open. I knew I wanted to replace the white shelves eventually, and we followed The Blooming Nests tips for these. It was seriously SO SIMPLE. We used 2×12’s that we trimmed down and stained. As suggested by The Blooming Nest we used the stain Behr Cordovan. I think the thick wood shelves make them look much more intentional and less like we just took cabinet doors off. If you’re looking for an easy way to update your kitchen, I suggest adding some open shelving.

Links to shop

These are both budget friendly, quick and easy updates anyone can do to their home. I am all about creating spaces I love throughout my home and incorporating different styles. I hope this kitchen project inspires you to update a space in your home.

always tina


  1. May 14, 2020 / 2:24 am

    Hello very nice blog!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Amazing ..

    I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds also? I’m glad
    to find a lot of helpful info here in the publish, we need
    work out extra strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing.
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  2. Abbey
    September 17, 2020 / 3:59 pm

    What did you use to seal the backsplash spackle?

    • Teeenzy
      October 5, 2020 / 3:25 pm

      We haven’t sealed it yet. So far it has held up really well. It is a very forgiving look, so even slight water splashes don’t mess with the overall look.

    • Cynthia
      April 19, 2021 / 1:33 pm

      Hello there, is there a tutorial on how you did the German smear?

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