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Peel-n-Stick Cabinet Makeover

When you live in a rental there is sometimes very little you can do to make it your own. There is also very little you can do to update the space if it's older. My clients love the location of their apartment so they wanted to find temporary ways to make the space attractive and easy to clean. With tons of peel-n-stick options these days, I figured it was the perfect solution to update the bottom of these old cabinets so my clients enjoyed opening and cleaning them! These particular peel-n-stick tiles are 4"x4" and come detached from one another so all you have to do it measure up your space, figure out where you're going to start, peel the tile off of its backing, adhere to the surface and repeat until the space is covered! The tiles will be easy to remove once these clients decide to move on, but I bet this landlord wouldn't mind keeping them in place - they look so good!
Time: 1 Hours Cost: $48 Difficulty: Easy
The cabinet before our peel-n-stick update was a patch work of random pieces of wood that had years of caked on grime.
Tape Measure
Peel-n-Stick tiles
Utility Knife
Cleaning Products
STEP 1: Prep the surface
First thing is first: clean the surface! These tiles won't stick well to a dirty surface, so make sure you scrub the surface thoroughly. These cabinets not only had dirt but also caked on grease - make sure everything is as clean as you can get it.
STEP 2: Rehearse the layout
Lay out a few tiles to determine the best place to start. I wanted to make sure the front of the cabinet had full tiles since this is what you see when you open the cabinet doors. The back of the cabinet would require me to cut down the back row of tile.
STEP 3: Adjust tiles for back and corners
While doing my dry-run, I also noticed one of the front corners of the cabinet would need to be altered to accommodate an angled cut that existed in the cabinet wood. This was the front of the cabinet, so I knew it would be a full tile that would need cut down ever so slightly.
STEP 4: Cut the tiles according to measurements
I measured where this cut would need to be made, marked it with a marker on the back side of the tile, and then cut it down with a pair of scissors.
STEP 5: Peel the tile and place each row carefully
All that's left is peeling apart the tile from its backing! I started with my special cut angled corner tile and moved on from there. I was careful to match up the pattern perfectly as I went and pressed each tile so it was evenly attached to the surface.
It took me about 15 minutes to do 3 and a half rows (I'm pretty detail oriented when it comes to projects like these - the pattern has to match up perfectly!).
STEP 6: Measure the distance from the back wall to the last row of tiles
The back row, like I mentioned previously, required the tiles to be cut down. Because this is an older apartment, I didn't trust the back area to be perfectly square, so I measured the distance from the full tile to the back molding for each tile. And it was a good thing I did, some distances had a difference of 1/4"+!
I then measured each tile to match the space it needed to fill. Using my ruler I drew a straight line, made this long cut with my utility knife, and applied each tile carefully.
STEP 7: Double check the lines are smooth
I then used my ruler and ran it over the entire area to make sure the tiles were sticking nicely! It looked great!
STEP 8: Stock up the cabinet and enjoy!
We then put everything back - the tiles brightened up the cabinet so much! Not to mention, the tile surface will be much easier to wipe down than the untreated wood underneath. This quick and easy project is totally worth it for renters and homeowners alike!
The cabinet is now cute and easy to keep clean!

Materials I used for this project:

  • Peel-n-Stick Tiles   (Etsy)

Ask the creator about this project

  • William
    William Burbank, IL
    on Nov 27, 2016

    Great clean look! Very cute and great transformation. The landlord should give them a credit =:)

  • Marie
    Marie Palmdale, CA
    on Nov 27, 2016

    I did this under the sinks in my 1950's house. It works much better than using the roll of ridged plastic shelf covering I use in my dish, food cabinets. Anyone know why typing comments and switching among pages on the HomeTalk site is so slow? I don't experience that at other sites.

  • Mary
    Mary Mesa, AZ
    on Dec 17, 2016

    Great Idea! We are moving into a different home next week and the cupboards are older, this will be much better than trying to manage the shelf liner! Thanks for posting!

  • Kelly Howard
    Kelly Howard Pensacola, FL
    on Dec 17, 2016

    It brightens such a dark place too! This is always my least favorite cabinet in the kitchen and I want to change it into something nice. Thanks for a great idea!

  • Liliana Wells
    Liliana Wells Jackson, GA
    on Dec 17, 2016

    Great difference. I did this too, except my tiles are white marble looking. Things are so much easier to see. Where did you get the bag holders? Thanks

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!