Ideas to cover z-brick backsplash

brendainnjMarch 5, 2010

This is my first time posting on the deco forum...I think I have the ugliest backsplash imaginable! It's the faux brick that was popular in the 80s. It's red with black "mortar". This is not cheap plastic cover; it's like half bricks that were put up. It is my MIL's house(deceased) and my DH put it up for her--he can't understand why I don't like it! I know the best case would be to tear it out, put up new sheetrock and have a CHOICE of backsplash. BUT, my DH is really not inclined to do that no matter how much I hate this stuff. It becomes the "someday" project which I know I'll never live to see. So, is there anything to cover the brick? My concern then is that the outlets would be too recessed to be usable. My DH suggested painting the brick, but a lighter color would just show more dirt and still be impossible to clean properly. If anyone has successfully done this I'd love to hear about it. Pix would be great too!

Thanks!

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sweeby

"My DH suggested painting the brick, but a lighter color would just show more dirt and still be impossible to clean properly."

I'm inclined to try your husband's approach first...
In a glossy paint, the brick should be much more cleanable, and painted brick is a classic look...

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 10:21AM
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amysrq

My Mom did hers in white and it was so cute. The texture and shadows of the brick did a good job of hiding day-to-day dirt. I suppose how you cook and what kind of ventilation you have should be taken into consideration.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 10:37AM
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projectsneverend

We painted ours. (Re-do on a budget.)
I haven't noticed the need for any excessive cleaning of the brick.
I had considered a tin backsplash to put over the brick because it would be thin. But figured I'd try painting first and was happy enough with the outcome.

Here's a before and (blurry) after:


    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 10:42AM
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graywings123

The painted bricks look lovely, but it sticks in my craw that the person who probably spends less time in that room is calling the shots.

With a hammer and a chisel, you could do a pretty good job of breaking those bricks - or at least threaten to do it if he refuses. There is something to be said for making things worse in order to ultimately make them better.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 11:00AM
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jlj48

Projectsneverend: Great redone kitchen! It is really pretty!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 11:04AM
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terriks

BUT, my DH is really not inclined to do that no matter how much I hate this stuff.

Well, my solution to that would be to do it myself. But then I'm the "project person" in my house.

If you aren't comfortable with doing it yourself then I'd try the paint first - or hire it out.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 12:29PM
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teacats

projectsneverend: EXCELLENT JOB! Really well done indeed -- what a huge change!

Yes -- another vote for simply painting the bricks first. A fresh start -- and may help to spur on the final project.

Jan at Rosemary Cottage

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 12:38PM
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lukkiirish

You could put tin tiles over it. They're thin and that would solve your issue regarding the wall sockets. The tin tiles at HD are reasonably priced and I think there are a couple of styles to choose from. They clean easily too.

Here's a link to a website that sells them with pictures for a visual.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tin Tiles

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 12:52PM
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dilly_dally

I would paint them first. What do you have to lose? I think using an oil based high gloss paint would make them easy to clean. If they do not work out functionally then try 'Plan B' - covering them or ripping them out.

-------------
That is an amazing transformation Projectsneverend! Just beautiful.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 12:55PM
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projectsneverend

Thanks for the compliments!

Painting our brick allowed more money to upgrade our countertops - so I got the granite that I wanted. And I like the way our backsplash is understated and doesn't compete with the granite - so it all worked out for us. And, at the time, it was worth the effort to at least try painting. DH and I were both a bit intimidated by the mortar, too. :)

However, brendainnj, aside from painting or tin tiles, I think you'll have to rip those puppies out to get whatever look it is that you're going for. What appeals to you?

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 1:37PM
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brendainnj

OK, I have to admit, the painted bricks look better than I thought they would...BUT, it looks like from the picture that your "mortar" is smooth(?). There is probably 1/2 - 5/8 inch between my bricks and the mortar is not smooth at all--think of frosting on a nice fluffy cake! So I think it would be a bear to paint. How difficult is it to chisel it? Could I do it in a weekend? Oh, I forgot the window frame (vertical & top) is also bricked! I'm trying to avoid having to replace the drywall, as that is the killer that makes this something my husband won't touch until "someday". I did look into the "tin" at HD, but for the $, what I'd really love to have is beadboard.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 3:39PM
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graywings123

If you do a google.com search of "remove z brick" you will find that you are not the first person to want to do this.

One person seemed to be able to do it while just damaging the drywall, not destroying it (see link below). As someone who taught herself to drywall, I say you could repair the drywall yourself if you are patient and determined. It is similar to icing a cake.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aftermath of a z-brick removal

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 6:05PM
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dawn8b

I've painted a few fireplaces in my time, some several times. Painting the brick and mortar would be done in much less time than tearing it out. It's not hard to paint rough mortar. Use a fluffy roller and then go back with a brush for anything that gets missed.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 7:20PM
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megsy

I love my z brick backsplash. /paranoid

But we installed it LOL -- tho I think I'd hate black mortar.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:43PM
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projectsneverend

I used a brush to do the mortar first and then rolled over the bricks. It wasn't the quickest undertaking - but not the most horrible, either. My mortar is definitely not smooth.

And megsy - your z-brick is pretty. The black mortar is definitely a bummer. Maybe the black could be pulled off in the right kitchen, too - but it definitely wasn't great in mine!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 11:32PM
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bulldinkie

Maybe color just motar???

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 2:58PM
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