Rob and I spent the past 36-ish hours installing a new backsplash in our kitchen. Here’s how we did it–and if you read closely, you might find some helpful hints for accomplishing the same thing in your own home.
Step 1: Drop your kid off at daycare and go to Home Depot. Due to the fact that you have several gift cards to Home Depot, you are absolutely not willing to go anywhere else.
Step 2: Spend fifteen minutes wandering around Home Depot. You can sort of look for the backsplash section, but you should be mostly focused on the Whoville decorations and the utility carts-turned-sleighs. That cardboard cutout of Cindy Lou Who sure is cute!
Step 3: OH! Right. You’re looking for backsplashes. Locate the kitchen department. Locate backsplash section. Choose the backsplash of your liking. (We chose “Traditional 1” from Fasade Panels.)
Step 4: Ask reluctant Sales Dude if they have any more of the backsplash panels you want besides the two on display. Stare at him as he tries to find a way out of going to the back to look. Wait until he realizes he has no choice but to go check.
Step 5: When Sales Dude returns with bad news, react appropriately. An eyeroll and subtle accusation that perhaps he did not look as carefully as he should have will get you nowhere. (Good thing I didn’t do either; I might have ended up as an unwilling participant in the Whoville display.) Take Sales Dude’s advice and go to an alternate store where, allegedly, they have TWENTY of the panels you want.
Step 6: Get in car with husband. Map alternate store. It is 18 miles away, so grab your canteen and your sleeping bag, kids, ’cause we might not make it back before nightfall.
Step 7: Arrive at alternate store miraculously intact. Navigate unfamiliar, foreign Home Depot layout until you locate the backsplash panels. Hey! Sales Dude was right! There ARE lots of them! Select the twelve that you believe are superior to the others. Ignore that nagging doubt that maybe they’re all identical and the ones you chose aren’t any better than the ones you didn’t. Oh, and also buy some super-adhesive glue. Three cans of it.
Step 8: Make the treacherous drive back home. Immediately send husband to Wal-Mart for box cutter and measuring tape.
Step 9: Attempt to begin installation while he is gone. Read instructions on super-adhesive glue. Glue is scary. The instructions say you have to wear work gloves. You don’t have work gloves. All you have is furry gloves.
But furry gloves > chemical burns and “possible skin discoloration,” so you put the gloves on.
Step 10: DADGUMIT. Glue requires some sort of elaborate glue/caulk gun. Also, glue is super scary and not worth buying any type of GUN. Skin discoloration? Really?
Step 11: Husband arrives home with box cutter and measuring tape. He finds you at the table, checking Twitter, with furry gloves laid neatly next to the computer. He raises an eyebrow. You explain that you’d like to use double-sided tape instead of the glue.
Step 12: Get back in the car with Scary Glue and receipt. Drive to Home Depot. Exchange Scary Glue for Less Scary Tape. Drive back home. Meanwhile, your kitchen still looks like this:
Yes, that is Twitter you see on my computer screen.
Step 13: Successfully install first panel over sink. YOU ARE AMAZING! GO YOU!
Step 14: Cut out holes for outlets in second panel. Cut them really, REALLY wrong. Curse and stomp around kitchen.
Step 15: Regroup and try again. Second time is much more successful. LOOK AT YOU, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING.
Step 16: Spend the next three hours measuring, cutting, taping, and installing panels. Soon you’re covered in a thin layer of sweat and shouting commands at your husband that don’t make any sense. Eventually he sidles out of the kitchen because, let’s face it, you’ve turned into some sort of weird home-improvement animal. But look! Now your kitchen looks like this:
Is that a cup of dry cereal on the counter? Why yes, yes it is. Have I never told you that I DO NOT put milk in my cereal and that I also eat it out of juice glasses instead of bowls? Huh. Well, now you know.
Step 17: It’s time to go pick up Baby Girl from daycare. Abandon project halfway through.
Step 18: Arrive home. Husband watches Baby Girl while you maniacally try to finish installing the panels. At this point you’ve made so many mistakes that you completely hate yourself and you’re ready to rip all the panels down and set them on fire, but alas, you do not.
Step 19: Collapse from exhaustion at the late hour of 6:45. Force yourself to stay awake until 8:00. Go to bed.
Step 20: Wake up the next morning. Bide your time until Baby Girl naps and your husband goes to the gym. Then, when it’s just you and those panels, lose yourself in a frenzy of cutting and measuring and taping. WORK UNTIL IT IS DONE. THERE IS NO TIME FOR WATER. STOP CRYING.
And lo, this is what you will have:
There you have it, folks. Twenty easy steps. Really, what could be simpler?