Beadboard backsplash regret!

jiggreenAugust 3, 2009

Several years ago I installed a beadboard backsplash and I must say, I was very pleased with first! In hindsight though, I would choose a different type of backsplash. It is VERY difficult to clean and keep clean! It seems like all of the splatters aim for the grooves!I have to use a scrub brush and go up and down each groove..what a pain! I find myself frequently repainting this darned backsplash just as a means to keep it fresh and clean looking!

Does anyone else have a beadboard backsplash and what are your tips for keeping it clean? My husband suggested doing some sort of lacquer coating over it, which would (maybe?) fill in the grooves and give more of a uniform smooth surface?

Any ideas?

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Fori is not pleased

Like a thick polyurethane over the paint? I think that would help a lot, and protect the paint when you do have to scrub, but if you decide to paint again, you might lose your grooves!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 10:32AM
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Ohhhhhhh! I didn't think about that!! :(

Hmmmm.....might have to come up with a new plan!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 11:14AM
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Do you have beadboard behind your stove? Where do you end up scrubbing the most? I ask, because I am considering beadboard, but I will have a piece of stainless steel behind the range (it has a high riser, too).

What kind of paint have you used?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 12:15PM
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I have the beadboard behind the stove as well as behind the sink and countertop areas. It's not the stove area that's the's the beadboard behind the sink and countertop prep areas.

Whenever I cook or wash dishes, I always wipe the backsplash down immediately afterwards..and that works pretty well. The problem I have is the people I live with ( family!) My husband washes paint brushes and car grease off his hands in the kitchen sink (no matter how many times I tell him not to! and he's a big splatterer!), and my kids (18 and 20 years old) like to cook, but not clean up after themselves!

The paint we use is Behr Premium (latex), in a semi gloss finish. Spaghetti sauce, normal grunge and grease splatters (I use my deep fryer pretty frequently) are really hard to remove without scrubbing hard or using really harsh chemicals..both tactics damage the paint.

I'm thinking of maybe using some sort of oil based enamel type might stand up to the scrubbing better. It's be nice if there were a paint of some sort that magically repelled grease and assorted splatters!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 12:58PM
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Im going to try those plastic panels that look like old ceiling tile. They come in copper look, tin look, pewter look. You get the idea. They also make a paintalbe one that comes in a 4 foot panel. You can adhear it with double faced tape, and its completly wipeable, no grooves. Maybe could tape a section up right over the beadboard and see how it works for you. I purchased mine at Menards,($16) if thats any help

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 1:35PM
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We have kids, too, and they are usually the ones who do the cleaning up (several of them like to cook and bake, too). I can see that the area behind the sink could be a problem!
We used SW Pro Classic enamel in the bathroom for a wainscot, and it is holding up well to scrubbing.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 1:42PM
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jiggreen, I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I love the look of beadboard but I can see where it could become difficult to maintain.

We don't have a lot of backsplash because of tall cabinets and windows but the little backsplash we do have is painted (latex) beadboard that was installed 3 years ago. The cabinets we've had for 4 years contain stained beadboard on some of the sides.

I think beadboard has been successful (I feel as though I should add, "knock on wood") in our kitchen because:

1. We don't have beadboard behind the range or above the sinks.
2. We have a powerful vent hood. Grease and gunk does not disperse over our walls and cabinets like it did with our old kitchen. I rarely have to clean anything off of the walls and cabinets other than dust.
3. We use a peninsula (away from walls) for most of our prep work.
4. The beadboard side of our tall baking cabinet is inches away from our stand mixer. I'm aware of the splatter from the mixer and wipe it off before it hardens.
5. We have a 4-5" strip of stone at the base of our backsplash (same material as our counter) and I think this helps catch some of the lower splatter. This stone spans the vertical space between the counter and low windows behind our sinks. I've noticed at least one beadboard backsplash on this forum that used a 4-6" band of wood at the base of the backsplash painted the same color as the backsplash (serving the same purpose of keeping the beadboard a little above the counter instead of having come all the way down.)

I realize this doesn't help you, jiggreen, but thought it might help anyone else considering beadboard. Good luck with finding a solution!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 1:56PM
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I have seen glass/ plexiglass installed over beadboard. Not exactly the look you want, but definitely easier to clean.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 7:35PM
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Thank you so much for saving me!!! I was going to put a beadboard backsplash in my kitchen!! It looks great, but with 5 kids I feel blessed that you posted your comments. You just saved me from some major frustration. Thankyou!!!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 8:26PM
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Thanks for all of the responses! You're welcome mightyheidi! I wish someone had saved me way back when....!

Here's a picture of the beadboard. (taken shortly after a fresh coat of white paint!) I really want to paint my cabinets white..actually an off white or creamy white color, so I'm thinking perhaps of painting the beadboard a darker color. I will be repainting the entire room and am not particularly married to any one color. I am stuck with the blue countertop for a little while longer, but it will hopefully be replaced by the end of the is certainly not something that I am planning on decorating around. I really haven't seen many (or any that I can recall!) pictures of beadboard painted anything but white, or stained. Would it look stupid to paint it an actual color? (a darker color would show less grunge!) I'm thinking perhaps a red, or cinnamon color. My island is also white beadboard, so I would probably paint the island to match.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 11:05PM
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Your beadboard fits your kitchen style so well!

I think if your cabinets are painted white, you could try a color for the beadboard. I saw pictures of a kitchen with quartersawn cabinets in a medium brown, and they had a fairly bright red beadboard backsplash. I didn't like that it was painted with a high gloss paint, though. I might have liked it better if it wasn't so shiny.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 12:12PM
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If it's any consolation . . . . your bead board does look beautiful : ) I love your deep window sill shelf too . . . and curtains!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 1:16PM
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Use a better quality latex enamel paint such as Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. I know Behr receives high ratings from Consumer Reports but CR is biased toward better value vs better performance. You won't find reputable pros using Behr.

Beadboard looks great in any color. I've seen kitchen with it in slate blue and mustard yellow (not the same kitchen) and my bath has beadboard painted light beige.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 1:36PM
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If a new coat of paint, can make it look that good, then I think you should just consider it maintenance. I agree you should try a better quality paint. I recommend Benjamin Moore in the acrylic latex finish.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 5:37PM
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When you replace the counter top you may want to add a 4" splash to the new counter top along with a higher splash behind the sink and range area. If you are purchasing a stone or solid surface counter you can have the splashes attached to the beaded board with silicone. Seal the top edge of the splash with a small bead of clear silicone to stop any moisture getting behind the splash. You could have the splash sized to go right under the window sill at the sink & up to the hood behind the range.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 7:10PM
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I also painted my backsplash area using Behr semi gloss paint. What a huge mistake! It is the worst paint in terms of scrubbability. CU clearly didn't try cleaning it when they recommended it!

We have had the backsplash area painted for the past 2 years while we have been deciding what to do with the backsplash area. Keeping it clean has not been easy due to this paint.

Our current plan is to put up a beadboard backsplash but I will be going to Benjamin Moore and asking them to make the BEhr paint color that we have. I'm just not certain if we should get the paint made up in semi gloss or glossy.

Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 1:14PM
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We are installing beadboard currently as our backsplash. It is a planned interim solution. See my thread here on GW where I was asking for Backsplash suggestions for our current remodel:

Since we plan to replace the countertops and sink in the next year or two (or three), we went with beadboard - we like the "look" and it will save us from installing an expensive BS only to tear it our when we do the countertops. Plus, I think beadboard is a great looking backsplash. In fact, we are painting our beadboard today - we will use a solution (for the trim) that runs throughout our entire (4600 square foot) house:

step 1 - oil base primer
step 2 - oil based enamel (semi gloss) enamel (two coats)

All of our current crown molding, doors and all other trim and molding (corner cupboards, fireplace mantel etc.) had been painted and maintained this way when we bought the home - it is a beautiful long lasting finish. We tried Benjamin Moore latex (high gloss) in another area of our home (on the trim) and it is not nearly as long lasting or washable compared to the oil based paint. The oil based paint we are using happens to be Diamond Vogel - we use this because the previous owner had chosen this solution and it is a beautiful trim paint.

We (regrettably) also used latex (Benjamin Moore Aura high gloss) when we repainted our kitchen cabinets (which had been oak) and it is not holding up (aaaarghhh). We didn't do oil based because of the smell for this large project, but we should have bit the bullet.

We DID use oil based paint in our current remodel (see above link) - in the elaborate fluted trim that surrounds the cutout opened up area in between the kitchen and the family room - we just completed it but I know it will hold up as it will be the same oil based trim type paint as is in our entire house - which looks gorgeous and wears like iron.

DW & I are hoping the beadboard with oil based enamel will hold up well for our planned two years -I have a feeling with oil based paint it might last longer - and, it is very easy to wipe clean and it is TOUGH.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 7:24AM
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Sarends -- you work fast! The beadboard looks great -- can't wait to see it finished! I think you should start a new thread with this -- I saw the age of the original post and almost didn't scroll all the way down to read your post. Good info there on the paint, too. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 8:15AM
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I love beadboard and all your kitchens look great. I would clean the beadboard, making sure it was free of any grease and use the poly wipes to clear coat. Maybe satin finish, it will be almost a matte. I polyed the beadboard in my kids bathroom 11 years ago and looked like new when we sold our home. They have improved polyurethane products and they don't yellow like they used to.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 8:17PM
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yikes! Just realized the original post was from 2009! Oh well! Sarends, love your beadboard. Sounds like you have you work cut out for you. Good luck and post pictures when you are finished :)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 8:22PM
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