The Best Contact Paper for a Low-Lift Countertop (or Cabinet!) Facelift
Vetted by real renovators.
Published Jul 13, 2023 1:10 AM
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Who says you have to completely demo your kitchen (not to mention your budget) to make it yours? In our new series, The No-Reno Kitchen, we’re highlighting total transformations that prove the power of paint, fixtures, and a little elbow grease.
If you wanted to spice up your binder or laptop in school, it was easy: You’d cover it with stickers. Turns out, the same logic applies to the kitchen. It costs, on average, $895 to paint your cabinets and a cool $3,100 to replace countertops, according to HomeAdvisor, but a roll of adhesive contact paper from Amazon? That’ll only run you 50 cents per square foot. Peel-and-stick products have become a go-to solution for renters and budget-conscious homeowners. Much like the best faux backsplashes, when applied carefully (read: using a smoothing tool to get rid of air bubbles) the decal-like material can take on the appearance of authentic surfaces. Still, we know it feels risky to wrap your kitchen in a big sticker, so we rounded up vetted products featured in some of our favorite DIY renovations.
The Best Contact Paper for Cabinets
No More Singing the Blues
Renter and New York–based creative Madeline Scalzi had always wanted blue cabinets, but her landlord told her that painting was out of the question. So she bought Safiyya’s gray-blue sheets on Amazon for around $15 and spent a weekend wrapping her doors, applying the material from the bottom to the top of the cabinet and occasionally using a hair dryer to help melt the adhesive backing.
Safiyya Blue Contact Paper, Amazon ($7 per 118″x17.7″ roll)
Brass has taken kitchens by storm, first starting with hardware and now lending itself to vent hoods and cupboards. Designer Alvin Wayne got the look of metal for way less with this removable, wipeable liner, which he glossed over his flat slab doors, using a nifty debit card to fine-tune his mistakes.
Gold Self Adhesive Contact Paper, Amazon ($7 per 17.7”X 118.11” roll)
To add a splash of temporary color to their all-white kitchen, Utharaa Zacharias and Palaash Chaudhary, the owners of furniture studio Soft Geometry, went with royal blue contact paper on the lower cabinets. Fortunately, this wasn’t their first rodeo working with products by Dimoon via Amazon—they had used its mint green adhesive and a softer blue version in previous spaces. While their exact contact paper is no longer in stock, Zacharias shares a close look-alike, below.
Blue Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper, Amazon ($6 per 15.7″X118″ roll)
The Best Contact Paper for Countertops
Into the Woods
In an effort to restore his rental kitchen’s 1920s charm, design influencer and TikToker Marco Zamora swathed his white countertops in a butcher block–inspired option that has proven to withstand exposure to moisture around the sink.
Livelynine Brown Wood Contact Paper, Amazon ($8 per 15.8″x78.8″ roll)
Lovely in Lilac
Serial DIYer Imani Keal sought to replicate the look of a stone called Plumeria that’s got a white Calacatta marble appearance to it, with streaks of pink and purple veining strung throughout. A quick search for purple-pink contact paper on Amazon led her to this nearly identical solution that could be removed once she moved. “A smart person would have probably ordered one roll to see what it looked like, but I thought, I’ll order six and go with it,” she says. The gamble paid off.
VEELIKE Grey Marble Contact Paper, Amazon ($11 per 15.8″x118″ roll)
An Edited Lifestyle blogger Ellenor Griffin’s biggest piece of advice: Unless your countertops are the exact length of the contact paper roll, cut the paper to size before you try to stick it on—especially when you’re working around the sink and cooktop.
D-c-fix Peel-and-Stick Contact Paper Marmi Marble Grey, Amazon ($15 per 26.5″ x 78.7″ roll)
A Touch of Terrazzo
DIYer Chloe Rey admits that covering up her formerly dark, dated countertop “completely changed everything.” She used up two rolls of this terrazzo-patterned adhesive from Walmart, which is ideal if you’re stressed about lining up the seams perfectly (because of the sporadic speckles, no one will be able to tell if it’s not exact). Rey’s exact version is currently out of stock, but luckily the mass retailer carries alternative options (peep below).
LaCheery Terrazzo Contact Paper for Countertops, Walmart ($10)
The Best Contact Paper for the Refrigerator
Feast your eyes on Los Angeles–based writer Camilla Blackett’s fridge. It took all of 30 minutes for Blackett to apply the stick-on sheets to the facade of the appliance. For any of the air bubbles that she couldn’t smooth out with a credit card, she poked holes in them with the end of a safety pin.
Terrazzo Confetti Contact Paper, Samantha Santana ($20 per 19.5” x 52” roll)