Peel-n-Stick Cabinet Makeover

1 Material
1 Hour
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!
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!
Suggested materials:
  • Peel-n-Stick Tiles   (Etsy)
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  • Pineapple Pineapple on Nov 21, 2017

    I am going to do the same with my cabinet floors. However now I want to get some pretty tiles like yours.

  • Denise Denise on Nov 30, 2017

    Great idea! I would have painted the inside walls before laying the tile though so everything would be nice and bright.