Contact Paper Countertops Full Tutorial And Review
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Today I’m sharing my contact paper countertops full tutorial and review. I’ve had them for 6 month now and have a lot of information to share with you guys.
When I decided to install my contact paper countertops I had a hard time finding tutorials I really needed. After some trial and error, I figured out how to get clean lines around my sink and stove, perfectly rounded corners and a smooth surface without any bubbles.
By the end you’ll be ready to tackle your own contact paper countertops and backsplash!
Both the original YouTube tutorial as well as the updated tutorial & 18 month review are posted below
Contact Paper Countertops: Tutorial & 18 Month Review
List Of Supplies Needed For DIY Contact Paper Countertops
DC Fix marble contact paper
exacto knife w/ extra blades
cleaner (I use 50/50 vinegar water)
Installing Contact Paper To Countertops
There’s a lot of information in this post on contact paper countertops.
To easily find what you’re looking for, I broke it down in to sections.
You can find them all listed in the table of contents up above.
Prepping The Countertops
Before getting started, you want to make sure you have your area prepped.
Remove any silicone or caulking you have around your sink, stove or back of your countertop.
Use soapy water and a scrub brush to clean anything off that might be stuck to your countertops. Wipe dry.
Take your vinegar water and thoroughly clean your surface again. Let the surface dry completely.
Contact Paper Application
When Installing contact paper, you want to apply vertically, moving from the back to the front edge of the counter.
Lay your contact paper downside up so you can see the grid. Put the edge on the back of the counter, leaving an extra 1/4″ overhang on that corner.
Roll the paper down over the front edge of the counter. Add 1/2″ or so from where the bottom edge is. That’s where you’ll want to cut the paper.
Lay your paper right side up where you’re going to install it.
Peel up the first few inches of the backing.
Line your paper up with the back corner. leave about a 1/4″ overlap on the back corner.
Use your fingers to stick the paper down in to the corner.
hold on to the backing with one hand, and the spatula with your other. Using your spatula, slowly smooth the paper out on to the countertop. Work from the back corner towards the front.
As you get that first area smoothed out, you can pull the backing a little at a time with your one hand, while continuing to smooth it out with the other.
If you get any bubbles in your contact paper, gently pull up the area that’s affected.
Use your spatula to smooth that area back out.
Securing Contact Paper At The Front Edge Of The Counter
Once you’ve gotten to the edge of your counter, pull the contact paper tightly over the corner.
Using your spatula, smooth the paper in a downward motion across the face of the countertop.
Tuck the paper under the lip of the countertop.
Using your handheld stapler, secure the contact paper to the underside of your countertop edge.
Getting Clean Lines At The Back Corner Of The Countertop
There are a couple ways to do this, depending on the type of countertops you have.
If you have edge strips, take your spatula and push the contact paper underneath the strip.
Take your exact-o knife and push it in underneath the edge strip.
Cut the contact paper from under the edge strip.
If there’s any remaining hanging over the edge, use your spatula again to push it under the edge strip.
If you don’t have edge strips, you can push the contact paper in to the back corner and cut the paper flush against the back of the counter.
Use silicone or caulking in the best matching color along the back corner to seal it and give it a seamless finish.
If you’re also doing your backsplash, wait to add the caulking until both are done
Installing Contact Paper On The Backsplash
Installing contact paper on the backsplash is the same as on the countertops for the most part.
Measure your contact paper long enough to overlap at the top and bottom. peel back the first couple of inches and stick it down at the top of the backsplash. Leave a little bit of overlap.
Use your spatula to smooth paper down, slowly releasing more paper as you go.
If you’re working on a section underneath the top cabinets, push the paper into the corner at the top of the backsplash. Cut the extra paper off at the corner.
I have edge strips, so I pushed the paper into the edge strips and used my exact-o knife to cut the paper off just as I did at the back edge of the counter.
If you have edge strips, push the paper back behind with your spatula after trimming off the extra paper.
If you don’t have edge strips, use your silicone or caulking where the counter and backsplash meet.
Installing Contact Paper Around Sink
When installing contact paper around the sink, you want to lay the paper down vertically where it will lay over the side of the sink.
After smoothing the paper out on to the counter next to the sink, take your spatula and push the contact paper in to the lip of the sink.
Using your exact-o knife, trim the contact paper to leave a little overhang all around the sink.
Use your spatula and push the paper under the lip of the sink again.
Place your exact-o knife under the lip of the sink, cutting away the contact paper that is still sticking out over the edge of the sink.
Be careful not to cut the contact paper that is visible around the edge of the sink. That is what gives you the seamless finish after you seal it.
Continue to push the paper under the lip then trim off whatever is still hanging over the sink edge.
The method for applying contact paper to the front edge of your sink is the same as a countertop stove, which I’ll cover now.
Installing Contact Paper Around Countertop Stove
Installing contact paper on the sides of the stove is the exact same as the above directions for the sink.
The front of the stove (or sink) is a much smaller space, and easy to tackle. You will measure your contact paper the same way as before.
Lay the paper over the edge of the counter, making sure you leave enough to overlap the edge of the stove and the edge of the counter.
Cut the paper to the length you determinded.
Peel the contact paper completely off of its backing. Line it up with the edge of the stove, making sure it overlaps the edge of the stove just slightly.
Use your fingers to stick the paper down to the counter right at the edge of the stove.
Smooth out the contact paper just as you did on the rest of the countertop.
Work from the back by the stove to the edge of the counter.
Push the contact paper in to the edge of the stove with your spatula.
Just as you did on the sides of the sink, take your exact-o knife and trim off the contact paper where it’s sticking out from the lip of the stove.
Push the paper under the lip of the stove again with your spatula. If there’s any paper still sticking out, trim it off.
You’ll wrap the contact paper around the front edge of the counter just as you did on the rest of the countertop.
At the back of the sink or stove, you will install it the same as on the front.
Take a strip of contact paper in the size determined, peel it completely off of the backing paper and stick it down to the counter.
You’ll want to overlap the back of the stove and trim it under the lip just as you did on the sides and front.
Sealing Around The Sink And Stove
Sealing your contact paper countertops around the sink and stove is probably the most important part of making these last a long time.
You don’t want water getting under the paper.
You can use any colored caulking or silicone, but I prefer clear silicone.
Put your silicone in your caulk gun and run a smooth, straight line all the way around your sink/stove.
You can use your finger to smooth out the appearance of the silicone.
If you see any areas that don’t have enough silicone, add more and smooth it out.
If you get it anywhere you don’t want it, you can wipe it off with a paper towel while it’s wet.
You can also scrape or peel it up after it has dried if you don’t get to it before then.
Installing Contact Paper On Breakfast Bar
For the breakfast bar, you want to measure your contact paper long enough to hang over both sides.
You also want it to hang off of the edge.
That’s where my rounded corners are. I’ll go over those next.
After you’ve gotten your measurements, cut the paper to length.
Here, you want to start at the inner part of the bar and work your way towards the end, doing the edges and corners last.
Lay the contact paper out, with a good couple of inches hanging off of the end of the bar.
Peel up the first few inches of contact paper and stick it down to your countertop.
You’ll smooth out the contact paper the same way here that you did everywhere else.
You want to take your time and work slower with a larger space like this.
If you slowly release the paper from it’s backing, that’ll make it less likely that you’ll end up with bubbles
When you get to the end of the breakfast bar, if you don’t have rounded corners, you can wrap the edge of the counter the same way you have everywhere else.
If you do have rounded corners, we will go over that now.
Contact Paper Countertops Around Rounded Corners
There are two methods I prefer to use on rounded corners.
I like to use both together for a smoother, seamless finish.
I’ll go over each of those now.
Rounded Corners Method One
Start by smoothing out the contact paper against the flat edges of the counter on all sides. This will help you see exactly where the edge begins to curve.
Find the point on the edge of the counter right before it begins to curve.
Take your exact-o knife and cut a slit in the contact paper from the edge of the counter down.
Cut another slit about 1/2″ over.
Smooth down the flat side next to the slit.
If there’s still any curve underneath that side, cut another slit 1/2″ over.
If it’s perfectly flat, go ahead and staple that side under.
Take the 1/2″ slits, smooth them out around the edge of the counter and staple them underneath.
These sections are small enough to smooth out with your fingers.
Just make sure you have it tightly wrapped before stapling.
When you get to the end of your rounded corner, hold the side down flat to see if there’s any curve left underneath it.
If there is, cut another slit and staple it under.
Repeat until the entire curve of the corner is wrapped.
Once you’ve wrapped your corner, smooth out the side next to it and secure it underneath the countertop edge.
Rounded Corners Method Two
For the second method, take a strip of contact paper that is wide enough to cover the entire corner.
You also want it tall enough to overlap the top and bottom edge of the counter.
Smooth the strip of contact paper down over the rounded corner with your hand first.
Take your spatula and run it firmly over the corner.
Take your exact-o knife and carefully trim the contact paper that’s sticking out above the countertop edge.
You can always trim off more, so it’s best to trim a little at a time, and keep trimming until it’s pretty much flush with the counter edge.
Be careful not to gouge the contact paper you’ve already installed on the countertop.
Cut slits in the contact paper that’s hanging down from the bottom of the counter edge. Staple them underneath the countertop edge.
Since these slits won’t be visible, they don’t have to be spaced as closely together.
I cut mine about 1″ apart.
You can do either of these methods alone, or combine the two like I did. Sometimes you have to just give it a shot and see what works!
How To Remove And/Or Replace Sections Of Contact Paper
Removing contact paper is as easy as peeling it up. Since I staple it to the underside of the counter edge, I just have to remove the staples or pull the paper until it pops off through the staple.
This section that I replaced to the left of my sink did not have any paper overlapping it from either side.
If you’re replacing a section like this, you just need to peel it up and cut a new piece to fit that spot.
Install as usual.
The area in front of my stove had contact paper overlapping it on both sides, so I couldn’t just peel it up.
For something like this, take your exact-o knife and cut a line right along the seam. Then you can peel up the paper from the cut you just created.
Replace as usual.
6 Month Review
I am beyond happy with my contact paper countertops.
While they look amazing, you have to remember they aren’t real stone. So the maintenance is a little different.
You can’t put heat on them, which you can’t on laminate either so it’s the same (Although I’ve put something hot on these and they were fine).
I have found that tomato based foods will stain the contact paper if it is left to sit. If you wipe it up in a timely manner, it’ll be fine.
This little dot is where there was a drop of tomato sauce that went unnoticed.
This next pic is an example of why you should take your time installing the contact paper.
I stabbed a hole in the paper while installing it. It was one of the first sections I did. I was still trying to figure it all out.
In the end, it was so small I decided to leave it. I might replace it someday.
I’m not sure what happened in this next picture.
We are busy and things pile up on the counter sometimes. I’m thinking one of those things stained the area next to the sink.
This is the section I replaced while making this tutorial. It’s so easy to replace a section that I don’t really worry about little things like this stain.
Overall, considering the price to install these and the ease of replacing small sections, I would give these 5 stars.
There’s literally no other product that is this cheap, easy to install, requires no drying time and has no fumes.
To top that off, they look way better than a paint kit would, which you have to rely on your own artistic ability to pull off.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I could pull of that veining on my own.
Before And After: Contact Paper Countertops And Backsplash
I really hope you guys got something helpful out of this post!
If you’ve made it to the end and you still need some guidance, you might consider watching my tutorial. I cover everything in depth there as well.
Here’s a slide of before and after photos. Now go tackle those countertops!