There have been people sharing this on the internet for years. The first time I heard of someone putting contact paper on a countertop, I simultaneously thought it was an awesome and horrible idea. There seemed to be no way it would last or look decent. But it was so cheap and crafty it also sounded great.
When we rented the 1920s house a few months ago, it was the PERFECT time to give it a try myself though. Not only would it just cost a few dollars, but there was no way I could use the countertops in our rental as they were.
Here is half of the kitchen for reference (these are the only countertops in the kitchen):
Why we put contact paper on our countertops
Get ready for some gross:
Now, technically, they were “clean,” I suppose. They had been scrubbed before we moved in and I sure scrubbed them again after we moved in. Still, there was absolutely no way I was preparing food on them.
Since this was just a temporary rental and I needed a very quick fix, I didn’t go with the higher quality contact paper that I would if it were my own house or a longer-term rental. I picked up Con-Tact brand blue granite. (affiliate links)
How to apply it
It was so easy to cover the counters. As you can see in the pictures, the tiles were REALLY uneven and several of them were broken.
I cut a piece to fit and then notched out around all of the supports. The paper wasn’t deep enough to go all the way to the back of the counter, but the great part about the granite pattern was that you couldn’t even see the seams when you were looking for them. So I just cut long strips to cover the back.
Then I just peeled a portion of the backing off and started placing it. I did get the placement slightly off the first time or two, and I was afraid that the paper wouldn’t stick as well if I peeled it back up, but it did great. It peeled up easily and stayed in place when I re-stuck it in a better position. This would have gone a little easier with two people (and pictures would have been better too).
Here was the first third covered:
You can see how uneven the tiles are under the contact paper, but I imagine for 90% + of rentals, the countertops aren’t this bad. 🙂
Because the tiles hung over the edge of the countertop by wildly varying amounts, I ended up not wrapping the contact paper around the front. It just never would have stuck.
Here is the finished product:
Covering the countertops with contact paper took about 30 minutes from start to finish, and only cost $6. So, SO worth it!
We lived with it for three months and were not gentle with it. Even with all the bumps and gaps between the tiles, there was no peeling at all.
When we were moving out, it peeled off very easily too and left no residue behind. It couldn’t have been easier.
So…I highly recommend covering your countertops with contact paper if you need a quick fix.
The higher quality is great for longer-term fixes or a pricier look, but it is more expensive and takes a little more time and care to apply.
The less expensive is really affordable, and perfect if there’s a pattern that matches your kitchen or bathroom. It’s super fast to install and remove.
Or search for your own look here:
Happy countertop fixing!
Update: I ended up doing this 2 more times, once as a more permanent solution with the high-quality DC Fix brand paper, and again in our current home with the cheap stuff. You just can’t go wrong.
If you have any questions, just ask below!
FAQs about contact paper on tile countertops:
Yes. That’s what you see in this example, of course, it’s a little easier to poke a hole in it than if it was a solid surface, but even with this terribly uneven and popping-up tile, we had no problems with contact paper over tile.
In a nutshell, clean your countertop well with a rubbing alcohol. Then layout your contact paper on the counter. If you have a lot of little areas to cut around like we did, you’ll want to cut it to size before applying it. Otherwise, lay it in place, and begin peeling a little bit at the end. Make sure it stays inline all the way down the roll. It may need to be re-adjusted a few times at first, and that’s okay, it will still stick just fine.
Yes, as long as there aren’t any nicks or cuts in it.
No, that’s why it works so well on countertops. You can watch the video above to see how easy it is to peel off when you’re finished with it.