Today I am back with another tutorial from my $100 kitchen revival. This is definitely the favorite update that I made in my rental home's kitchen, because it created such a drastic, yet easily removable change for so cheap! It is perfect for a rental home or apartment, and it only takes a little time and patience, so why not give it a shot?
All you need for this project is decorative contact paper or adhesive shelf liner, which I found at Target for $5.24; clear caulk (about $3 at any home improvement store); a razor blade or box cutter; and finally, Mod Podge. I searched a lot of stores for shelf liner in a black and white design, and on my expedition I found many options: faux wood grain, faux stainless steel, and other cute options that just didn't happen to match my vision (that I linked in the beginning of this paragraph). Get creative with your countertops!
This project is very detail-oriented, as the laying of contact paper can get pretty tedious. It's sticky, but it is easy to remove and realign, so you can give yourself a few shots at laying the paper down without bubbles or wrinkles. The first step is to wipe down your counter with soap and water, and allow it to dry. This is really important because the contact paper sticks better to clean surfaces.
After the area dries fully, measure your counter space. It is likely you will have to have a seam between two strips of contact paper; I highly recommend creating as few seams as possible. I only needed one. I allowed myself about 1/2" of extra paper on either side of the strip, so I could more precisely cut it later with my razor blade.
Next, lay out your contact paper. DO NOT REMOVE THE BACKING ALL AT ONCE. Notice in the picture below how I only removed sections of the backing, exposing the adhesive side in small pieces? It was much easier this way, and it allowed me to avoid sticking the paper where I didn't want it to go. I recommend going slow, slow, slow. You need to avoid wrinkles.
Once your paper is stuck and the wrinkles are "ironed" out (no, don't use an iron, silly...) you can use your razor blade to trim your edges as close to the wall as possible.
Your next step is to add a thin strip of clear caulk along all of the edges which touch a wall. I did this as an extra precaution to help prevent edges from rolling up. Caulk is easy to remove when you leave your rental home or apartment.
After the caulk dried, I just applied a thin coat of Mod Podge to the counter's surface, especially at the seam that I had to include. This particular counter is not used for food prep, but if yours is then you might want to reconsider using Mod Podge. The contact paper itself is very durable so you might be able to get away without using any kind of sealer on top!.
Just a little piece of advice for you: When placing two sheets of contact paper together at a seam, I recommend overlapping about an inch. That way you don't get the opportunity for food or water to slither its way underneath the paper. I had plenty of contact paper to spare when this was over.
Using contact paper on your counters is an easy way to spruce up your kitchen! I HATE the old countertop in this space, and I'm so glad it's gone. Good riddance (until I remove you one day when I move out).
You know what? You can totally use contact paper on some other surfaces in your home, too! It's great for the back of a bookshelf, or the shelves of a bookshelf! Or perhaps on an end table? Inside your dresser drawers? The possibilities are endless...