DIY Countertop Revival

1 Hour

This is the perfect project for renters or apartment dwellers! Are your kitchen countertops ugly and dated? Use contact paper to revive them! 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 or a food-safe sealant. 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, but may be perfect for your home. 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, measure your counter space. You will have to have a seam between two strips of contact paper; I recommend creating as few seams as you can. I added 1/2" extra on each side, which I trimmed more precisely later.
1. Remove the backing in small pieces, to avoid a sticky mess; 2. Trim the edges close to the wall; 3. Add clear caulk along the wall seams; 4. (Opt.) Use sealant for protection (my counter here is not for food, so I used Mod Podge).
Some advice: When making a seam with two strips of contact paper, overlap about an inch. That way the opportunity for food or water to slither its way underneath is slim.
The best part? The counters will easily be restored when I move--I'll just peel them up and scrape off the caulk with a razor. Good luck with your counters, and have fun!

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Megan Poletti

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 28 questions
  • Kathie duncan
    on Mar 10, 2019

    WHAT can I use to Seal the contact paper if you’re using food on the Countertop

    • Gail Suter
      on Nov 21, 2019

      owned and worked in food service: POLYEURITHANE is what the Health Department approved

  • Ginger
    on May 18, 2019

    If you are renting and your Landlord does not approve, how difficult is it to remove and will it damage the old counter top?

    • Kaye
      on May 25, 2019

      No it is removable. Not like the old contact it will say on that package reposition-able. I’ve used this on a lot of stuff it’s nice

  • Gabrielle Falk
    on Sep 2, 2019

    How does contact paper stand up to the usual grease splatters etc.? I jdon't think that contact paper would stand up to much scrubbing.

Join the conversation

3 of 179 comments
  • Joanie
    on Feb 28, 2019

    Contact paper is much better than some people think. It is a shocker how well it sticks and wears. I took a marble look contact and applied it to my shelf for my keyboard and used it on my folding snack tables. It has been a longggggggg time now and they still look good.

    • Gabrielle Falk
      on Sep 2, 2019

      You would only need to do a wipe-down for your shelf, and folding snack tables. This would not equate to the detailed cleaning that goes on in a kitchen - daily.

  • Carol Cole
    on Jun 4, 2019

    I love it. It is so different to what others have done. Looks wonderful.

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