A backsplash is the area behind a sink that protects the wall from moisture. While most backsplashes are part of countertops and aren't visually striking, unusual backsplashes can be created very easily. Adding an artistic element to a backsplash can be done with found objects, or standard materials found at any home center. From hanging decorative plates behind a sink to turning a backsplash into a functional chalkboard, the possibilities are endless.

A backsplash can be made of simple tile or unusual decorative material.

Decorative Plates

Building a backsplash with plates is unusual and creative. Plates can be hung with framing wire and nails, or broken into pieces and set into the wall like ceramic tile. Plates can be found at garage sales and resale shops, making the project fairly inexpensive.


A backsplash made of mirrors can open up the room visually and add an unusual, yet artistic flare to a kitchen. Mirrors can be hung or set into the wall, or broken up into abstract pieces and grouted in permanently. Mirrored glass can be expensive, however, garage sales, resale shops and private sellers are usually willing to part with old mirrors for little money.

Magnetic Paint

Applying several coats of magnetic paint on a standard backsplash can be creative way to turn the unit into a bulletin board or other artistic canvas. Magnetic paint is sold at almost every home center, and can be applied using rollers or withe spray cans.

Chalkboard Backsplashes

Turning a wall behind a sink into a functional chalkboard can be unusual and fun. A chalkboard backsplash can be created using standard chalkboard paint or by installing smooth slate into the wall. The finished product can be a adequate place to jot down recipes, write phone messages or simply doodle to pass the time.

Unusual Wood

Scrap wood from barns and remodeling jobs can easily be used to make a unusual backsplash. Scrap pieces can be waterproofed and applied using glue, grout or standard hanging material. Wood can usually be applied over existing tile and will provide a slightly rustic look to the room. Bamboo and lattice are also unusual materials to set into a backsplash.

Family Photos

Covering a backsplash area with family photos can be a creative way to preserve the pictures and add a unusual look to the kitchen. Photos can be framed and hung behind the sink, or laminated to the wall with waterproof polyurethane. Photos can also be protected by a sheet of tempered glass.

Old Kitchen Utensils

If you're good with grout, old kitchen utensils such as forks, spoons, spatulas—even pots and pans—can be set into a backsplash and give the area an unusual look. Standard grouting materials and as many found objects you can find can get the job done, at very little cost.