I used a simple craft supply to transform the ugly countertops in my rental house… Contact paper to the rescue! Follow my advice for how to add contact paper to surfaces in your home for a quick, easy, and risk-free decor change. Your landlord won’t mind, I promise!
Step 1The first step is to wipe down your counter with soap and water, and allow it to dry. This is really important because the contact paper sticks better to clean surfaces.
Step 2After the area dries fully, measure your counter space. It is likely you will have to have a seam between two strips of contact paper; I highly recommend creating as few seams as possible. I only needed one. I allowed myself about 1/2" of extra paper on either side of the strip, so I could more precisely cut it later with my razor blade.
Step 3Next, lay out your contact paper. DO NOT REMOVE THE BACKING ALL AT ONCE. Notice in the picture how I only removed sections of the backing, exposing the adhesive side in small pieces? It was much easier this way, and it allowed me to avoid sticking the paper where I didn't want it to go. I recommend going slow, slow, slow. You need to avoid wrinkles. Just a little piece of advice for you: When placing two sheets of contact paper together at a seam, I recommend overlapping about an inch. That way you don't get the opportunity for food or water to slither its way underneath the paper.
Step 4Once your paper is stuck and the wrinkles are "ironed" out (no, don't use an iron, silly...) you can use your razor blade to trim your edges as close to the wall as possible.
Step 5Your next step is to add a thin strip of clear caulk along all of the edges which touch a wall. I did this as an extra precaution to help prevent edges from rolling up. Caulk is easy to remove when you leave your rental home or apartment.
Step 6After the caulk dried, I just applied a thin coat of Mod Podge to the counter's surface, especially at the seam that I had to include. This particular counter is not used for food prep, but if yours is then you might want to reconsider using Mod Podge. The contact paper itself is very durable so you might be able to get away without using any kind of sealer on top!