Countertop update on a budget





Since moving into our house, almost three years ago, I’ve been dreaming of knocking out the kitchen cabinets and counters with a sledge hammer and starting from scratch. Unfortunately, that’s not going to be happening for a while, so I’ve slowly been working my way through budget-friendly updates, mostly involving paint and a lot of patience. I painted the cupboards about 18 months ago and have been really happy with the results, but the counter top has been a real thorn in my side. Everything about it drives me crazy. First world problems, right!? Honestly though, I have been trying to find the most cost-effective way to update the counter that will last for (I’m hoping) a couple years. I thought of painting it, installing a DIY rustic wood counter, installing a new laminate counter and everything else under the sun, but I wanted to avoid doing anything that involved a lot of time or add-ons such as a new sink. Then I stumbled upon a few posts online in which contact paper was used to cover the existing counter. I’ve always been partial to a white marble counter with a lot of gray running through it and I found the right paper on Amazon. The price was right so I thought I would try it out. Worst case scenario; it looks hideous and I remove it.

Here is my review of this process and overall opinion for anyone who dreams of ripping out an ugly counter top:

-Order the widest rolls you can find. The dimensions were pretty standard and pretty narrow so there are several seams on the counter. However, the pattern is so busy that it still looks good (in my opinion).

-Make sure you clean your counter really well before installing the paper. I missed a few spots and the paper didn’t stick very well as a result. Use a heavy duty plastic scraper or something similar to smooth out bubbles as you put the paper down. I used a credit card and it didn’t work very well in some spots. I also got lazy and didn’t put a lot of effort toward the end.

-For awkward spots that need a small piece of contact paper, put a larger piece and cut it down to size using a good X-Acto knife. The same goes for around the sink area.

-When measuring the surface area to decide how much contact paper you need, keep in mind the length of each roll, I was stuck with a few shorter pieces at the end of each roll. Also, order extra in case of mistakes. I was able to lift the paper and try again when I messed up, but a few pieces got stuck together and were not worth worth trying to pull apart. Lesson learned.

Overall, I am happy with then end result. Five hours, a lot of swearing and a bottle of wine later, I got what I hoped for. The counter ties in well with the cupboards and brighten up the kitchen. It was a clumsy process at first which got easier over time. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for a counter top update on a seriously slim budget.

Now on to my next project…the back splash.

Thanks for reading 🙂

disclaimer: A section of the kitchen counters were left out since they weren’t actually finished when this post was published. You get the main idea though!




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