DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

The kitchen renovation here at the Farmhouse has been a pretty long one.  And it is definitely far from done.  Last weekend, we decided to tackle the backsplash, which was something that we had left more or less undone since the bones of the kitchen went in several years ago.

You may recall that we had put a faux tin tile backsplash up along the sink wall of the kitchen:

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

Cute and functional as it was, these ‘tins’ were just a temporary fix.

We put this up, mainly, so that the view from across the great room looked ‘finished’.  I didn’t want to be staring at unfinished drywall, and I certainly didn’t want to be splashing it with any overzealous sink usage.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38This temporary backsplash gave us a nice view from across the house, but of course, when you actually walked into the kitchen and looked at the opposite wall (the stove and fridge wall), it was still unfinished drywall.  Strangely, I never took any photos of this.  Sorry.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

I do love the look of the ‘tin’ (but kind of hate that it’s actually plastic), but as much as it was a reflective surface, it really made the kitchen feel dark.

However, the tin bought me time: time to ponder what I actually wanted as a backsplash.  And trust me, I took my sweet, sweet time.  Tile is the obvious answer, but I could never seem to find a tile that I was crazy enough about to justify the expense and the effort of putting it in.

After awhile, I started contemplating a beadboard backsplash, which is intrinsically ‘farmhousey’, easy to install, and pretty darned inexpensive.  The problem?  It was almost too easy.  And ‘done’.  I’ve seen it too many times before. So I began to think about how I could put a different spin on it.  Literally.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

In a moment of divine inspiration (read: cocktail-infused inspiration), I realized that if we could cut it at a 45 degree angle and piece it together, it would create a pretty nifty zigzag.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

The math was a pretty daunting hurdle–not gonna lie.  When we headed down from the house to our workspace, we were both doing the despondent Charlie Brown walk (please refer to these clips from Arrested Development for an accurate visual).

After much debate, and me repeating the phrase, “Stop over-thinking it!” about 657 times, we figured it out.

What you’ll need:

-Figure out how many square feet of backsplash you need to cover, then buy that amount of beadboard paneling.  But you’re going to have wasted square footage on each panel, so buy a few more.  Our total square feet of backsplash roughly equaled two 4×8 panels, but we wound up needing about one and a half more.  It’s an inexact science…so we bought exactly twice the amount of panels needed for our square footage–it was enough for the project, as well as enough to have a bit extra for the inevitable missteps.

-An angle square is a must (like this).

-A super-long straight-edge is also kind of important.  We have one like this.

-A skill saw

-A measuring tape

-A pencil, with a good eraser (trust me)

-Liquid Nails (to adhere the paneling to the wall–if your walls are as uneven as ours are, you may need to tack the corners with a nail gun, as well)

-Painter’s Caulk

-Painter’s tape

-Your semi-gloss or gloss paint of choice

Here’s what we did:

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

With the 4×8 beadboard panel laid out horizontally (and though it is shown beadboard side up in this image, be sure to make your marks and cut on the BACKSIDE of the panel, as this will give you clean edges on the front side).

Now prepare yourself, because I am about to drop some math on you: the ‘triangle’ that this first cut forms is a 45-45-90 Isosceles triangle.  There’s probably an app for this, but basically, if we want the cut line (the hypotenuse of the triangle) to be 19″, then we have to find the ‘legs’ of the triangle with this handy little equation straight out of the bowels of Hell: Hypotenuse divided by the square root of 2. Which gives us 13.4350288425.  Isn’t that a nice, sweet number?  Meh.  Round up to 14, make a mark along each leg of the triangle at 14, and connect those two points with a straightedge.  Mark the line with a pencil.  This will give you a cut line that is a little over 19″ long, but that works–you can trim it to fit later.

Sorry about the math.  Seriously.  I’m really sorry.

Now, you’ve got to continue marking all your cut lines across the whole board before doing any actual cutting.  Here’s where you want to figure out how big of a ‘repeat’ you want your pattern to have.  I decided that 12″ sounded good (so basically, each section of herringbone will be a foot wide–you may decide you want yours narrower or wider–do what feels right), so measuring out at a perpendicular angle to your first line, you want to make a couple of marks 12″ (or whatever length you decide) from that first line.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

Once you’ve made a couple of marks 12″ from the first line, connect them with a straightedge (and check that the angles are 45s with your trusty angle square), and mark your next line.

Repeat this process until you run out of board:

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38


Go ahead and carefully make your cuts, and set your newly-made strips of beadboard aside in a tidy pile.  Before we can start glueing these into place, you’ve got to cut your next board. Why?  Because you need to do exactly the same thing, only on the opposite angle:

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

You need an equal amount of opposite beadboard sections.

Measure these out as you did on the first board, and cut these strips.  Place them into their own pile, so that you have one pile of strips with the bead running way, and another pile with the bead running the opposite way.  Don’t let the two piles mingle, for the love of all that is holy.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

The skeptic makes some careful measurements while I am entertained by his sawdust dandruff.

Now you are ready to cut and fit your first piece of backsplash.  It’s your choice which pile it comes from, but measure your backsplash area and cut the first piece to fit.  Before you glue it into place, you want to measure and cut your second piece *from the opposite pile*–this is a little tricky, as you need to cut it so that the pattern of the beads lines up like a chevron:

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

Make sure you line the beads up as closely as possible, then measure and cut your #2 piece from there.

Once your #2 piece is cut, you can go ahead and glue your #1 piece to the wall (if you are only glueing, hold it in place with painter’s tape while it is drying.  If you are glueing and nailing, hit it with some nails right after you glue it to the wall).

Using your #2 piece, now select a piece of paneling from the first pile, line it up, mark, and cut your #3 piece.  And so on a million times until your backsplash is done.  I’m not gonna lie: it’s a time-consuming process.  But even the ever-dubious Texan believed it was well worth the final product.

And, guess what?  Once your beadboard pieces are all adhered?  You’re still not done.  Now you need to caulk the seams and paint.  Caulking beadboard is a tricky business.  The caulk wants to smear into the bead lines and look pretty generally messy.  But here’s a few tips: tape along your countertop to get a really clean edge there.  Lay your tape about an eighth of an inch away from where the beadboard meets the countertop.  Once it’s taped, run your line of caulk, and then, working quickly, go ahead and schmear it with a damp finger, wiping the excess onto a damp paper towel.  Once, you’ve flattened it out, go along and wipe it down excessively with a damp paper towel; the water will thin it out, which will make it blend into the beadboard beads better.  As soon as you’ve done this, before the caulk has a chance to dry at all, carefully pull the tape up off your counter.  It should leave you a nice clean line.  If your vertical seams between beadboard sections are a little gappy and you want to fill them, run a very thin line of caulk, wipe it with a damp finger, and then wipe it down with a wet cloth.  Thinning the caulk like this helps it not get stuck in the wrong grooves.

Once your caulk has dried, paint everything with a good couple of coats of paint; this helps seal things against water and food splashes.  BTW, painting beadboard isn’t the simplest either–I use a paint brush and paint in the direction of the zig or the zag.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

It’s amazing how much more light and bright this backsplash makes the kitchen.  Gotta coordinate with the white dog.

And now I am going to do something unprecedented: I am going to show you the stove wall.  That is missing our 48″ range, hood, and pot filler.  I have never shown this wall in the history of this blog.

Here you go:

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

You are jealous of our awkward little temporary range and the accompanying 18″ counter gap, known as ‘The Crevasse’.

DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash from Farmhouse38

Despite its obvious missing links, this wall is pretty great with its extra-tall upper cabinets and schmancy new backsplash.

Someday, I will have my gleaming 48″ gas range, decorative hood, and long pined-for pot-filler. Until then, we have The Crevasse.  It is what it is.

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69 thoughts on “DIY Herringbone Beadboard Backsplash

  1. Liz September 26, 2013 at 7:48 pm Reply

    Absolutely brilliant and gorgeous to boot! I’m guessing this will be pinned all over the place.

  2. now at home mom September 26, 2013 at 7:49 pm Reply

    I really love how you used it as a backsplash it looks lovely in your beautiful kitchen! your hard work was worth it! 🙂 & oh the painting with a brush on a zig zag direction must have been really long to do too!
    your stove wall is not bad at all, you should’ve shown it before! 🙂 & hope you will have your 48″ gas range very soon! 🙂 It will look amazing there!

    • farmhouseK8 September 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm Reply

      Thank you so much! I know–I am crossing my fingers for the new range to happen soon…I just really heart those professional ranges and it has been a long time dream to have one!!! 😀

  3. home, garden, life September 26, 2013 at 8:12 pm Reply

    My head is reeling, yet the look rocks!

    What brand of flooring did you use and are you happy with it? Is it on the ceiling too. Yay to projects!

    FYI on gas ranges: I have many friends who purchased the boo-coo expensive ones and what did they find?? The flame would never go low enough to simmer! So be picky and insist on a simmer ability. Diane

    • farmhouseK8 September 26, 2013 at 9:28 pm Reply

      Huh–interesting! Thanks for the tip, Diane! The flooring is a laminate from Lumber Liquidators (as we needed it to be dog toenail-proof), while the ceilings are shiplap pine. The floor has really held up great–we’ve had it in for about 4 years now…my only regret is that the laminate floors that are available now are SO much better and more realistic looking!

    • farmhouseK8 September 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm Reply

      The brand of flooring is called Kensington Manor at Lumber Liquidators. I don’t believe they still have the specific color that we got–but I can’t remember what it is!!

  4. Charlotte Zweigoron September 26, 2013 at 8:47 pm Reply

    Looks like I’ll have to check back here to get the answer to the question about your flooring… I love this backsplash and, actually, all of your home that I have seen thus far. I am wondering if your “office” is that little spot next to the french doors? Is it possible to work in such a space or are there special hidden office storage spaces that look like kitchen spaces all around you? Hmm… inquiring minds want to know.

    • farmhouseK8 September 26, 2013 at 9:29 pm Reply

      Yes–that is my little office nook down there. And yes–it is a total challenge in the storage department. But it forces me to keep things really pared down, so that’s good. It also forces me to be fairly tidy since it’s always on display! I actually have an upcoming project in mind to add some interesting storage there–so stay tuned for that! Thanks for commenting, Charlotte! 🙂

  5. yvonne marie September 26, 2013 at 10:37 pm Reply

    Really like that! A little too much math for me!

    • farmhouseK8 September 26, 2013 at 11:20 pm Reply

      (It was too much math for me, too) Lol! Thanks, Yvonne!

  6. Vicki Brawley September 27, 2013 at 12:32 am Reply

    Your backsplash is awesome! I absolutely love it! It makes my brain hurt to think of the math you had to do to figure it all out! What stone is your countertop?

    • farmhouseK8 September 27, 2013 at 1:01 am Reply

      Thanks, Vicki! The countertop is concrete, actually, but we colored it to look like soapstone (because that’s what I really really really wanted, but we couldn’t afford!).

  7. Becky Neville September 27, 2013 at 2:25 am Reply

    Holy Hypotenuse ! :

    Every time I find an email announcing a new Farmhouse 38 post, I open it with the delight of a child on Christmas morning, and I am NEVER disappointed. You have wonderful, fresh, classy taste and an unpretentious style that charms.

    Your new back-splash is sooooo fresh and clean! And that is some daunting geometry.! Well done!

  8. Naomi September 27, 2013 at 8:33 am Reply


  9. Maureen September 27, 2013 at 4:32 pm Reply

    I love it but I’m so math challenged that I couldn’t even read that part of the post. It was scaring me to death!

    • farmhouseK8 September 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm Reply

      LOL–I know, I know. It was daunting to us, too!! 😀

  10. Robyn September 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm Reply

    I love your whole kitchen! The back splash is brillant! I would like to ask who is the manufacturer of your cabinets? I love them.

    • farmhouseK8 September 28, 2013 at 2:03 pm Reply

      Robyn…I’m sorry to say, I have no clue!! Gonna have to do some digging to figure that out–I will let you know as soon as I do!

      • Robyn September 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm

        There should be a manufacturers mark on the side of a drawer. It is sometimes burned in other times it is an ink mark.

  11. Kathi September 27, 2013 at 7:17 pm Reply

    Love it! The backsplash and the cabinets…oh and your dog, I love his face!

  12. Kristin September 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm Reply

    Oh it looks awesome! I just put beadboard on my backsplash, but alas not in chevron pattern 😦 Maybe my hubby would be so kind to do it over after I show him yours!

    • farmhouseK8 September 29, 2013 at 2:28 pm Reply

      LOL, Krisitin–wishing you good luck with that! 😀

  13. Jenn Rowell September 29, 2013 at 8:35 pm Reply

    I am so in love with your kitchen! We’re in the process of redoing ours and I’m struggling to figure out exactly what I want to do, but we were just talking about using beadboard in a very similar way. And since it looks so great in your kitchen, I’m so much less hesitant about the idea!

    • farmhouseK8 September 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm Reply

      Awesome!! Good luck–kitchen renos are the pits, aren’t they!! But it will all be worth it…someday…someday. 😀 Hang in there, Jenn.

  14. Katja @ Shift Ctrl Art September 29, 2013 at 9:07 pm Reply

    OMG I am completely in love with your new backsplash. As much as I loved the tin, this is just perfect! I love it!!! Texture, pattern, white. Love!!!

    • farmhouseK8 September 29, 2013 at 11:10 pm Reply

      Thanks, Katja!! (It was very nearly a disaster–geometry–not my strong suit) It worked out pretty great, if I do say so mahself! 😀

  15. Nancy Reinke November 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm Reply

    Visiting via Brenda’s Cozy Little House. Your backsplash idea was pure genius. I like your ceiling treatment, too. Following you on Pinterest. ~ Nancy

    • farmhouseK8 November 3, 2013 at 12:23 am Reply

      Aw, thanks, Nancy! Welcome, welcome! 😀

  16. Kim December 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm Reply

    Just found you here from René at Cottage and Vine. You made me smile … I too am trying desperately to live on a Farm! The backsplash is brilliant. Yes, brilliant … most creative thing I have seen in quite some time!! Nice to meet you! xo

    • farmhouseK8 December 6, 2013 at 3:40 pm Reply

      Aww, thank you, Kim!! Welcome! 😀

  17. Kristine at The Painted Hive December 13, 2013 at 5:14 am Reply

    This is awesome! We are months (okay, probably more like years) off renovating our tired old kitchen though I’m gonna remember this (though probably change my mind at least once each fortnight).

    • farmhouseK8 December 13, 2013 at 6:25 am Reply

      LOL–a woman after my own heart! 😀 Thanks, Kristine!

  18. LeeAnne January 4, 2014 at 1:22 am Reply

    Just stumbled upon this post and want to say “Thank you for being more creative than I could ever dream of being!” The hubs and I are re-doing our kitchen this year and I am sooo excited to use this idea!

    • farmhouseK8 January 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm Reply

      Yay! Thank you! Let me know how it turns out! 😀

  19. NatMac January 14, 2014 at 6:36 am Reply

    I adore the backsplash you created for your kitchen, it’s exactly what I was looking for as inspiration! Your tutorial is perfect. I love how you took it high up the ceiling on the opposite wall. Just a quick question in regard to those pieces, they look quite long. Are they two pieces joined together or just the long centre parts from your beadboard sheets.

    • farmhouseK8 January 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm Reply

      Some of them are long, and some are smaller pieces pieced together. When you cut the beadboard panel you wind up with some long, some short, and then in the process of lining up the actual pattern, you wind up usually cutting more bits off of those. So essentially it’s mostly pieced together from smaller bits.

  20. Nen March 20, 2014 at 3:33 am Reply

    I actually just sucked air into my lungs and forgot to exhale when I saw this!…so fabulous.. This is exactly what I never expected to find; super traditional kitchen but so very creative! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks ! Oh, and love your pup too!.. adorbs!.

  21. Lisa D. April 8, 2014 at 3:46 am Reply

    I found your blog while searching for farmhouse style backsplashes. I instantly fell in love with your idea! After a couple days of chiseling off my glass tiles, my husband is installing the the bead board as I type and I love love love it!! Thank you for sharing!!!

    • farmhouseK8 April 8, 2014 at 2:03 pm Reply

      Oh, AWESOME!!! You just made my day! Thanks, Lisa! 😀

  22. Pat May 4, 2014 at 1:29 pm Reply

    Love love love this look! I recently gutted (down to the studs) our kitchen, and put in new insulation, electric, drywall, cabinets etc. After months of indecision, we are using your backsplash as inspiration. I have this week off of work, and will be tackling this project. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • farmhouseK8 May 4, 2014 at 2:22 pm Reply

      Oh, fantastic!! LOL–there were YEARS of indecision over here before we went with this–and I absolutely love it–so happy we did this. Cheers to your new backsplash and kitchen! Thanks for sharing! 😀

  23. Ashley June 5, 2014 at 2:56 am Reply

    Your kitchen is beautiful. Who makes your cabinets?

    • farmhouseK8 June 6, 2014 at 2:52 pm Reply

      Thank you Ashley–gonna have to do some digging–cannot remember where the cabinets are from! I will get back to you!

  24. kenny June 13, 2014 at 4:47 pm Reply

    Hi, nice beadboard look. was the paneling made of mdf or real wood with beadboard pattern carved in? I want the same effect in a wainscotting. How do I change the measurements to make sure the length can be long enough to reach 60″ from wainscott base to cap?

  25. Christina August 6, 2014 at 2:51 pm Reply

    Where did you purchase the pendant lighting in the kitchen?

    • farmhouseK8 August 6, 2014 at 3:01 pm Reply

      I got them several years back from the Sundance Catalog–but they no longer carry them, I’m sorry to say!

  26. Nicole Brashear September 8, 2014 at 12:22 am Reply

    Hi, I love this idea and am going to do it in my kitchen soon. I was wondering what you used for a trim piece on the exposed ends? Thank you so much for the great idea!

    • farmhouseK8 September 8, 2014 at 2:42 pm Reply

      Hi Nicole–we actually have no exposed ends (I purposely designed the kitchen this way, the backsplash is hemmed in by cabinetry on all ends). I would use some sort of flat, decorative molding.

      • Nicole September 8, 2014 at 3:04 pm

        Thanks! I’m on the quest to find the perfect trim!

      • farmhouseK8 September 8, 2014 at 3:10 pm

        Good luck! Let me know how it goes!! 😀

  27. Jessica S September 22, 2014 at 4:43 pm Reply

    This looks awesome. Question: how do you like your concrete countertops? How long have you had them and are they holding up well? What stain did you add to the mix and do you have a tutorial? Thanks, your decorating is really pretty!

    • farmhouseK8 September 22, 2014 at 11:43 pm Reply

      We love them. You are supposed to re-seal them every few months or so but I am really bad about it–lol. They’ve held up pretty well! Unfortunately, I can’t really give you much advice as to how to do it–we had them professionally done! They’re pretty tricky to do. Wish I could be more help!!! 😀

  28. Amy Reinhardt October 27, 2014 at 3:56 pm Reply

    I love it! So, so cute and lovely! Would you mind sharing the paint color you used on the cabinets and backsplash? And where you got your cabinet hardware? Thanks so much! : )

  29. Casey January 21, 2015 at 12:37 am Reply

    First off awesome sauce to the beverage induced inspirations! I read that you used 4×8 sheets but what was the thickness of the sheets you used?

    • farmhouseK8 January 21, 2015 at 12:41 am Reply

      They were just the ‘off the shelf’ panels of bead board from Home Depot. Not sure how thick they are, but probably like an eighth of an inch? I have no idea. I should stop typing now.

      • Casey January 30, 2015 at 2:42 pm

        thanks for your quick reply! i was just wondering because my FIL was thinking maybe you used true bead? which is an inch thick! I thought not, but he said the thinner stuff would not cut well; meaning when you try to cut it that way it would splinter, I don’t think that this would be the case but I just wanted to see if you had any problems with that? You have great taste BTW! 🙂

      • farmhouseK8 January 30, 2015 at 2:54 pm

        LOL, thanks! It DOES splinter (or, rather, I would call it more a ‘fraying of the edges’), however, if you cut it from the unfinished side, you get around that (we used a standard skill saw). It kind of frays the backside, but leaves the front, finished side nice and pretty. 🙂

  30. Brittany January 22, 2015 at 3:33 pm Reply

    Just letting you know that this is the most gorgeous, creative, and budget-friendly thing ever! Totally going to do this for my upcoming kitchen remodel. Although I think I might use the bead board wallpaper option since it seems like it would be easier to work with and probably cheaper. I feel like it’s one of those ideas that will end up trickling over my whole house. I’m so in love! Amazing job!

    • farmhouseK8 January 22, 2015 at 5:44 pm Reply

      Thank you, Brittany!! Best of luck with your kitchen project!!! 😀

  31. Amy February 8, 2015 at 3:47 pm Reply

    Just curious where you got those cute red stools? Your kitchen looks great!

    • farmhouseK8 February 9, 2015 at 3:23 pm Reply

      Hi Amy–they came from Ikea a few years back, but sadly, they don’t have them anymore!

  32. Amy February 24, 2015 at 2:34 am Reply

    Where did you get those super cute red bar stools?

  33. […] was this super cool herringbone beadboard treatment done by the brilliant folks at Farmhouse38. I think I squealed with delight when I saw how clever […]

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