We really have never had a backsplash in our kitchen. We've lived here for 11 years now, I thought it was about time! I wanted to do a simple board and batten backsplash, but did not want to deal with paneling. So I started by sanding down the texture on the bottom area of the walls, making them nice and smooth. It's nice to have a dad with tons of tools! He had the perfect sander. I sanded all the boards (1x2 and 1x3) and painted them before cutting them and nailing them to the wall. I used 3 coats of paint & primer in one, sanding lightly between coats. And before painting I went over all the knots with kilz primer/stain blocker. I also used a foam roller to avoid any texture. Measure once cut twice, that's how I roll! Just kidding, don't do that. After all the boards were cut and attached to the wall I went over all the creases, nail holes, corners and edges with spackling and caulk to create a seamless look. Touched up any areas with one last coat of paint and wah-lah! Tip for applying caulk: Dip your finger in ice water before spreading and you'll have a nice thin seamless finish without it sticking to your skin. Now to paint the cabinets! Just have to decide on a color first.