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 29 questions
  • 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?

    • Kevin
      on Apr 6, 2020

      peel it off and buy some "goo be gone" wash the counters and the landlord will never know the contact paper was there

  • Gabrielle Falk
    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.

    • Kevin
      on Apr 6, 2020

      It will NOT so you need to be careful NOT for a family of 5 kids and a dog a single person or couple small family light cooking the contact paper will be wear wel

  • Beverlyparks
    on Apr 9, 2020

    Will the contact paper work on tile and will it be easy to remove,(I live in an apt.) So I would like to remove it if and when I decide to move

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