Do your kitchen countertops look old, outdated, and just plain drab? Then this DIY cheap countertop upgrade is perfect for you.
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Table of Contents
- How Did My DIY Cheap Countertop Upgrade Begin?
- Step 1: Get the Perfect Countertop Measurements First
- Step 2: Grab the Right DIY Kitchen Countertop Upgrade Materials
- Step 3: Prepare to Lay the Countertop Paper on the Countertop
- Step 4: Measure the Countertop Area Before Cutting the Paper
- Step 5: Separate the d-c-fix Contact Paper and Start the Process
- Step 6: Attach d-c-fix Contact Paper to the Surface Slowly
- Step 7: Smooth d-c-fix Contact Paper Across Countertop
- Step 8: Attach d-c-fix Contact Paper with Great Tools
- Step 9: Cut Excess Contact Paper
- Step 10: Smooth the d-c-fix Contact Paper Edges Under Countertop
- Step 11: Heat Up the Area to Adhere d-c-fix Contact Paper to Countertop
- Step 12: Trim and Clean Contact Paper from the Countertop
- Step 13: Turn up the Heat Again on This DIY cheap Countertop Upgrade
- Step 14: DIY Cheap Countertop Upgrade Around the Kitchen Sinks
When we moved into our straight-from-the-1960s home – the first thing needing attention was the kitchen.
I wanted a DIY cheap countertop upgrade option for a quick and easy change.
After moving expenses, our budget was tight.
I was looking for something to brighten up the space without crushing my wallet.
We focused hard on upgrading our kitchen to a more modern and bright space.
So, let’s get into it!
Here’s how my DIY cheap countertop upgrade project started.
How Did My DIY Cheap Countertop Upgrade Begin?
After searching on Pinterest, I found several d-c-fix Self Adhesive Peel and Stick Waterproof Contact Paper tutorials.
With a quick search on Amazon, my DIY cheap countertop upgrade project began.
Working with the d-c-fix contact paper my kitchen has been transformed from blah to wow in just a few short, easy steps.
When I searched for something to overlay it needed to be waterproof for cleaning and usage near my kitchen sink.
Read on for easy ways how to use d-c-fix Self Adhesive Peel and Stick Waterproof Contact Paper at your home.
After seeing pictures of my home DIY cheap countertop upgrade, I got a request to update a cash wrap counter at a local business.
I documented my project step-by-step to help showcase the process and easy-to-follow directions on how to accomplish the DIY cheap countertop upgrade from start to finish.
Step 1: Get the Perfect Countertop Measurements First
Let’s start at the beginning – purchase your contact paper to get the project started.
Before purchasing the d-c-fix contact paper – make sure to buy enough to finish the entire project.
I recommend purchasing a little extra just in case you cut it wrong or measured it incorrectly.
Step 2: Grab the Right DIY Kitchen Countertop Upgrade Materials
The next step in a DIY cheap countertop upgrade project is ensuring you have the best tools.
One of my favorites is the Wallpaper Smoothing Toolkit.
Although it’s not completely necessary, I’ve tried using my hands and scissors – it’s much faster, easier, and more precise with the proper tools from this kit.
- Wallpaper Toolkit
- Multiple sizes of smoothing tools
- Measuring tape
- Craft knife
- Paper cutter
- Hair dryer
- d-c-fix contact paper or contact paper of your choice
- Cleaning agents such as Windex
- Clear Caulk
Step 3: Prepare to Lay the Countertop Paper on the Countertop
Moving right along in the DIY cheap countertop upgrade project is the preparation portion.
Make sure to thoroughly clean the countertop with Windex before beginning the project.
Allow it to completely dry before starting.
Step 4: Measure the Countertop Area Before Cutting the Paper
The next step is to measure the workspace. In this case – that’s the countertop.
Be sure to cut the contact paper to fit the surface before separating it from self-adhesive paper.
Trim the excess and save it in case needed later.
Note: The countertop I updated was almost the size of the contact paper roll, so I had minimal trimming. However, if you are updating an odd-sized space, you may need to create two rows of side-by-side panels. See the picture below of my updated countertops from my home update.
Pro tip: When you are working with odd-shaped surfaces – measure repeatedly. It can be difficult to cut properly. Reserve any extra pieces of contact paper in case you must piece together odd areas in the future. This happened on my home countertop update project.
Step 5: Separate the d-c-fix Contact Paper and Start the Process
The most important thing is to separate the paper from the roll slowly.
Start with one corner, then separate at the middle then the other end. Be careful not to tear the paper.
Once you have the end open – move on to the next step.
Step 6: Attach d-c-fix Contact Paper to the Surface Slowly
This step is very important.
Make sure to start with the paper evenly across the countertop on one side of the workspace.
Just place about an inch onto the workspace. If you miss-align. – simply pick up and readjust.
It won’t be too sticky – it’s so easy to work with!
Pro tip: Take extra care to make sure it’s straight. If it becomes uneven, it will not line up as you move across the countertop. You can pick up and realign often but try to start it evenly at the beginning for a smoother application overall.
Step 7: Smooth d-c-fix Contact Paper Across Countertop
Moving along. It’s time to start smoothing the d-c-fix contact paper.
I’m right-handed so I hold the sticky side in my right hand and apply it to the countertop.
Then I use a smoothing tool to smooth it while I slowly open the adhesive roll with my left hand.
Pro tip: Use a smoothing tool to ensure bubbles don’t form, and keep, slowly unwinding, until the paper has been laid out.
Pro tip: Pull from the bottom detaching from the roll with one hand while using a smoothing tool with the other.
Step 8: Attach d-c-fix Contact Paper with Great Tools
Once the paper has been fully attached to the countertop pull over the sides and begin to secure it with a smoothing tool.
I like the blue tool with a soft side to not damage the contact paper or chance of ripping it.
Step 9: Cut Excess Contact Paper
Now it’s time to start fitting the contact paper to the countertop.
For this step, you’ll cut the excess contact paper with a craft tool or scissors.
Pro tip: To attach corners of the paper, make small slits and slightly fold one end over the other. (Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly sticking to the countertop corners – we’ll work on this later.)
Step 10: Smooth the d-c-fix Contact Paper Edges Under Countertop
Now you’re attaching the paper to the countertop underneath.
This step is important, so it doesn’t pull up in the future.
By using the smoother tool, you create hard, visible lines making trimming easier in future steps.
Step 11: Heat Up the Area to Adhere d-c-fix Contact Paper to Countertop
To make this next step as quick and easy as possible – I use a hair dryer.
I’ve found it’s the perfect way to adhere the contact paper to the work surface.
It doesn’t get hot enough to cause damage – but hot enough to secure the paper for longer-lasting usage.
Pro tip: Adjust the hairdryer at low to medium heat and slowly, with the yellow plastic tool from the kit, smooth the edges.
Pro tip: It’s important to not hold heat on too long as it can bubble, melt, and deform the paper. Also, take extra care to smooth as you go over the hairdryer on the paper. You can use your hand, just watch the heat level from the hairdryer (I know I do).
Pro tip: Go slow! Really take your time. The more time you take the more area gets covered and affixed.
Step 12: Trim and Clean Contact Paper from the Countertop
A craft knife helps give precision. It’s sharp – use it with great caution. I hold it like a pencil.
Where we created the hard lines on the edging in step 10, we will now use these lines as a guide on where to cut the excess paper.
The craft knife offers exact precision.
Step 13: Turn up the Heat Again on This DIY cheap Countertop Upgrade
For longevity, we really want to affix the contact paper to the countertop.
I very carefully go over all the edges with a hairdryer again to make sure all the edges are adhering to the countertop.
Most importantly – go over the corners (where we made the slits and folded them over each side) this will secure the two slits together forming a secure edge.
Step 14: DIY Cheap Countertop Upgrade Around the Kitchen Sinks
Whew! We’re almost done!
Although this step wasn’t shown in my work countertop tutorial – it was needed for my home upgrade.
Use a smoothing tool to create hard lines around the sink.
Then, (very carefully – it’s sharp – be sure to not cut the sink) trim with a craft knife.
Pro tip: Secure contact paper with a clear caulking gun to stop moisture and water from disturbing the contact paper.
It’s amazing what a small, inexpensive upgrade idea like d-c-fix contact paper can do to change the feel of a kitchen.
I’m over the moon with my DIY cheap countertop upgrade, and the local business I updated the cash wrap counter for was also thrilled.
What countertop projects are you planning? Have you ever completed a DIY cheap countertop upgrade before?
Let me know in the comments!