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):
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)
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.