Got a nasty countertop you can’t replace? Or a piece of furniture that needs a quick update? How about an old appliance that looks really bad but works great! Or an awkward bathroom window looking into the neighbor’s yard!? Maybe you just don’t want to commit to a style and love to change things out, like me. Let me introduce you to my new favorite thing – decorating with contact paper!
It really is the best invention ever for us renters. It goes on so easily, looks amazing and is completely removable without any damage!If you have been around this blog for a bit, you know I fell in love with it when I discovered them for my kids’ bathroom. The first time I used contact paper was actually about 4 years ago on our shower door. We will get to that in a bit but after my recent rendezvous with it, I haven’t stopped covering things in removable contact paper!
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Contact paper patterns –
One of my favorite things about contact paper – apart from being removable and rental friendly – is how they are available in various faux finishes and you can easily transform one surface into another. There are five basic contact paper patterns you can choose from in addition to unimaginable number of decorative versions
Choices of contact paper patterns –
Marble contact paper – Marble is beautiful but crazy expensive. I transformed the kid’s bathroom countertops in our rental from old and yellow to beautiful faux marble countertops with marble contact paper. It has definitely fooled a lot of people into thinking it was marble! I love how easy it was and the counters have held up very well to all the splashes that the kids put it through in the last 5 months.
Granite contact paper – Like marble, granite is also expensive and transforming a counter into “granite” is also just as easy! The Handyman’s daughter shows you how she transformed an 80’s kitchen with new “granite” countertops. Aren’t they just perfect?! There are so many different colors available in the granite contact paper, you won’t have any problems finding your favorite to match your cabinets!
Translucent contact paper – These make awesome window coverings and privacy films. I wish I had pictures of it but 4 years ago (long before I had the blog), I used translucent contact paper to add a privacy film on the shower doors -something you need when you have a toddler walking around 🙂 Ashley shows you how to use it to add privacy to a bathroom window.
Another way to use the contact paper for privacy in your window. I can also think a million ways to use it for crafts!! There are also a bunch of fun colorful stained glass contact paper available for you to let your imagination run wild!
Wood contact paper – Creating a faux wood surface with contact paper is a lot of fun. You can transform the top of any table into pretty “wood” like I did with on this super simple Ikea Lack hack.
Not just furniture, how about covering up your old floors for beautiful faux wood ones with contact paper?
Stainless steel contact paper – Let’s talk about those old appliances! You have a new stainless steel refrigerator but an old white or black beaten up dishwasher. Cover it in Stainless steel contact paper! Craving some creativity shows you how to so it! You could also do this for an old refrigerator or washer and dryer! They are easy to maintain and wipe down too. Best of all – if it gets scratched, you can easily change it out!
Applying contact paper –
All contact paper is applied in 4 basic steps – clean, apply, remove bubbles, cut off excess.
Cleaning the surface – you can use any cleaner you like but the last step in the cleaning process should always be rubbing alcohol. This takes removes any oils and residues left.
Applying the contact paper – Slowly peel back the backing of the contact paper little at a time and smooth it onto the surface with a smoothing tool or a credit card.
Removing bubbles from contact paper – You can press out any bubbles as you go using the smoothing tool or credit card. However, for any persistent bubbles, poke a tiny hole using a pin and smooth it out. It will be barely visible after that!
Cut off excess – Using an X-acto knife, cut off the excess contact paper as close to the edge as possible.
Where can I buy contact paper –
Contact paper is available very commonly available in almost all stores from the dollar store to online on Amazon. Dollar stores are a good place to get fun patterns and plain contact paper. If you are looking for more specialized designs, Amazon is always a great option. Home Depot and Lowes also carry a wide range and selection.
Looking for more ideas to use contact paper?
Check these out –
Don’t miss the $100 Kids bathroom reveal that used those “marble” countertops –
Take a look at a few of my favorite tools if you are interested –