Chevron Painted Backsplash

I mentioned in this post that I wanted to spice up the wall above our kitchen sink, the “backsplash” if you will. Well, I decided on a painted chevron pattern and I spent about 6 hours on Monday completing it.

Yes, 6 hours. This was not a project for the faint of heart. Or those with serious spinal issues. I was cramped up, crouched on the counter, for most of those 6 hours. There was a lot of tedious tracing and taping and then touching up. I like to think that those 6, back-breaking hours were worth it though :)

Just for reference, this was my inspiration photo…

The first thing that I did was to make a template out of cardboard. I’ve seen other chevron painting tutorials where people just measured and taped, but I don’t own a laser level, or even a regular level, so tracing a template on the wall and then taping was the best method for me. I wrote down my measurements on the cardboard to show how I made it symmetrical.

It’s a bit tough to see, but all I did was draw a line 30 centimetres long, then measure the sides to be 4 cm, then found the 15 cm mark and measured up 10 cm to find the top of the chevron. I then measured down 4 cm from that point and then joined all of the points together to make the chevron shape. I hope that makes sense. It could obviously be any size you want, this just seemed like a good size to me for the size of the wall.

(I would also like to point out that I realized while writing the post and looking at the pictures again that I wrote inches on my template when in fact the measurements were in centimetres. I am Canadian, and therefore grew up with the metric system but there are a lot of things that are still measured with the Imperial system and I tend to go back and forth between the two, hence the confusion.)

Next, I tirelessly traced the chevron on the wall. I traced the top and bottom for the first one and then just moved it up so that the bottom of the template lined up with the top of the last one that I had traced. I just lined up the sides to continue tracing the pattern along the length of the wall.

I won’t lie, this step sucked. It was monotonous, and it was a bit tricky when I got to the cabinets. I had to sort of bend my cardboard template to fit into the weird spots so that my pattern was consistent.

Guess what sucked more than tracing?? Taping. Oh. my. word. This step was pretty awful. I used scissors to cut each piece that I needed so that I always had a straight edge to work with instead of a ragged edge where I might have had to fold the tape under. This added to the amount of time it took me, but I think it was a necessary step for clean edges. This tape is not cheap (about $8 for the 1 inch tape, which is about double what regular painter’s tape costs) so be sure to really use it correctly to get your money’s worth (more on that below). However, it was the only thing I bought for this project so an $8 investment ain’t bad in my opinion :)

I bought Frog Tape Multi Surface to tape off my lines to try to have nice crisp edges. I’ll get into how that worked out in a bit….

Just as a reference for anyone thinking of attempting a similar project, I used almost an entire roll of the 1 inch tape for this size of wall. I did have to use 2 strips of tape per row to completely cover the areas that I didn’t want painted, so using the 2 inch tape may have made the taping process a bit quicker and probably would have used less tape.

I also made sure to tape slightly inside of my pencil lines so that they would be painted over and I wouldn’t have pencil lines left over on the wall afterwards.

Another factor that added to the overall time of my project was that I thought that I had small foam rollers to apply the paint, and it turns out my craft hoard stash isn’t as good as I thought and I didn’t have any. So I ended up using a cheapo foam brush. It still worked, and the paint still got on the wall, but I think it definitely took longer than a foam roller would have.

The colour in our kitchen is a dark blue-grey and I painted the chevrons with a light grey that we have on the walls throughout most of the rest of the house. Neither paint is a kitchen paint, so probably not the best choice for a backsplash area, but the colours were bought in large quantities, and we weren’t going to paint the rest of the house with kitchen and bath paint. So I used what we had, please don’t judge my not-very-scrubbable kitchen walls. The only thing that would usually splatter on this wall is water though, so it doesn’t really need to be cleaned regularly so this paint seems to be ok. Here is the wall after paint and before the tape came off…

I started pulling off the tape while the paint was not completely dry to avoid pulling off any of the paint with the tape.

Now I’ll go into more detail on that whole Frog Tape situation…I could definitely see once the tape was off that the Frog Tape can absolutely give nice crisp edges because I had several of those spots, however I believe there was an operator error in several places. Since I had already spent a lot of time tracing, I probably wasn’t as thorough with pressing down the edges of the tape as I should have been. I think if I had made sure to really press down the edges, I would have had little to no paint bleed under the tape. Since I was kind of lazy during the taping stage since it was taking forever and I was so ready to be done with it, I guess I didn’t take the time to ensure all edges were sealed securely to the wall. Lesson learned.

UGH. Thankfully, not every line looked like this but there were enough spots that had bled under the tape that it took me another 30 minutes or so to go over the wall with the dark grey paint and an angled craft paint brush and do touch-ups. Yikes.

Do you think it was worth all of the effort and hassle??

I’m really into the new look of the wall. It adds some fun and interest to the kitchen, and the wall doesn’t look so bare now. The Mr. likes it too, so I’m a happy camper :)

I have a stencil project in mind for the downstairs bathroom, so hopefully that doesn’t end up being as labour intensive as this one was. I’m definitely happy I stuck with it though and gave up one Monday afternoon of my life for it. I haven’t done anything else in the house with chevron, so this was definitely a large area to introduce this popular pattern to for the first time!

Anyone else into the chevron thing lately? Has anyone else ever been crazy patient enough to attempt something like this?

*Linking to Serenity Now*

Update: This project was featured at Serenity Now‘s Weekend Bloggy Link Party!

This post was also featured at The Ironstone Nest’s Transformation Tuesday link party!

23 Responses to “Chevron Painted Backsplash”
  1. Great idea! I love how it turned out.

  2. This came out fantastic. I love it. I can totally relate to the whole tape issue. I too always had problems with bleed through and that was with good quality tape. I then used the more expensive tape and still had bleed through, but not as bad. I’ve learned to run a clothe covered spatula over the entire design before I paint, that helps some. True, taping off a design is the most tedious part of many painting projects – but Id say your day and time was well spent! great job.

    • nwbnstr says:

      Thanks! I definitely think it was worth it as well. It adds a nice fun element to the kitchen. I definitely think the issue was that I didn’t take the time to really press down the edges of the tape, but I’ll know for the future if I do something like this again!

  3. I think it looks fantastic! Well worth the effort:)

  4. eskibs says:

    This is adorable! Anything Chevron in my opinion is pure perfection! Great work.

  5. Morgan says:

    It turned out SO cute! But I hear you on how tedious taping chevron patterns are! It took me forever to put up the yellow chevrons in my pantry. I was so glad I was leaving them on the wall and didn’t have to bother with the painting step, because I was so ready to be done too!

    • nwbnstr says:

      Thanks!! I’m really happy with how it turned out, but yes…the taping was AWFUL! I loved how your chevron pantry turned out, but you are definitely smart for making the pattern with the contact paper so that no extra steps after putting that up were involved!!

  6. Miranda says:

    Great job!! I did a chevron backsplash a couple of weeks ago, but I used a stencil. It was total PITB, but very worth it. For taping, the best tip is to paint over the tape with your main color because it seals the edges down, let it dry and then paint the accent color and peel off the tape while it’s wet. You should have nearly perfect lines when you’re done.

    • nwbnstr says:

      I had read somewhere about painting the edges of the tape with the main wall colour first, but I was impatient and figured the more expensive tape would do the trick haha I’ll know for next time, but it was definitely still worth it!

  7. Heather Anderson says:

    I have always used a blowdryer while I pressed tape down. We have very textured walls and I find that slightly heating up the tape works to help with bleeding! Great project!

  8. Vel says:

    what can I say but AWESOME!!! love the finished product and the effort, man, I commend you for that! Keep ’em coming!

    Linking back from “Serenity Now” blog

  9. lisalynn says:

    wow girl.. that was a lot of work.. but it sure turned out beautiful :-)

  10. Looks great! I think yours look more precise than my painted penny tile version because you actually did it right (measured, used frog tape, etc.).

  11. Traci says:

    That looks great! I have been reading up on how to do chevron, and your experience gave me some good tips! Now I just have to figure out the colors, where I want to paint, and get the husband on board :) Great job I love it!!!!

    • Steph says:

      Thanks! It was a great solution for that backsplash at the time and was a really inexpensive update. It’s now been covered up with something new (I have decorating ADD haha) but that’s definitely still one of my most popular posts! Good luck with getting your husband on board, mine kind of just lets me do what I want which is great! :)

Check out what others are saying...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: