Kitchen Chronicles: From Bad to Bougie

Some people are emotional eaters — they eat when they’re happy, sad, mad — it doesn’t matter the emotion. Well, I am an emotional crafter and renovator. It doesn’t matter what I’m feeling. If I’m feeling something, making (or trying to make) something pretty is how I deal with it or express it. I have so many layers of paint on these walls that I’m not sure insulation is even necessary at this point.

So lately I’ve been a little stressed because finding a new job is harder than I imagined it would be. Interviews have been happening but I’m having a tough time “selling” myself to potential employers. For that reason, I’ve been finding myself being a little hard on myself. I know I will eventually find where I’m meant to be and I’m trusting the journey. I just wish this journey wasn’t so up-hill!

So I decided to take it out on my kitchen. Again.

A little countertop backstory:

My countertops used to be a neutral laminate. Nothing flashy or special. Then I had this idea to paint them. I headed to Lowe’s and got the paint-kit that is supposedly going to make your not-granite countertops look just like the real thing. That. Was. A. Disaster. I quickly headed back to Lowe’s to get a different countertop paint but this time in a solid color — dark brown. I don’t recommend that, either. It wasn’t bad at first but it just didn’t hold up. Before long it was flaking off in places and looking discolored in others.

So there I was. Stuck with these ugly brown countertops and too broke to just give it up and buy new ones. Until I remembered contact paper exists!

So I went out and bought two different patterns. The one I wanted and the one that was ok but wasn’t my first choice. My first choice didn’t work. At all. Y’all have no idea how badly I wanted white-gray marble to work in my kitchen. On the plus side, now I have plenty of marble contact paper to do other projects. (I’ll have one of those up in a couple days!)

I tried.

This is what I went with:

Not bad. I can get down with it. I paid $7 per roll and my kitchen needed three. I don’t have any measurements but I have a lot of counter space.

Now listen. I read so many blogs and watched so many YouTube videos on applying this stuff. I picked up a couple tips from one lady but they all lacked the answer to my #1 question — How do you wrap the corners? Maybe everyone just knows that answer but I’m not here to make any of y’all think I know more than I actually do. I had no idea how to approach it so it took a lot of trial and error for me.

Here’s the things I learned:

For the corners – treat it like you’re wrapping presents. (Only if the pattern works for this. The busier the pattern, the more seamless it will look.) Cut it at the corner, wrap one side and then the other. The picture below shows how I cut mine. Also, when doing an island, fold the side edge (not the front edge where you started) over last–get the top covered first

When you get ready to start placing your contact paper, do small sections at a time. DO NOT take the backing completely off the paper! (I know it’s tempting.) Do each section as small as possible and pull the backing off from underneath. You will finish with way less air bubbles to smooth out. Example:

Start at the top where the lip goes up the wall rather than the flat part of the countertop. When you do this, make sure you cut it long enough so that you have paper going past the crease. This will help with less-peeling in the future. Also, I found it much easier and faster to work with smaller sections for this part. Reference photo below.

This may be my most important tip. After you cut your paper to do the flat part of the countertop, do not line up the paper with the crease from the wall. Line up the bottom of the paper with the bottom edge of the countertop. You will be working from bottom to top but this will save you so much time. I’m not sure how everyone’s countertops will work with contact paper, but mine refused to stick underneath so I was unable to just wrap it around!

Here are the finished photos!

I don’t plan on this being a long-term solution but I’m enjoying it for now. I’m curious to see how the contact paper holds up around the sink and near the dishwasher. I’ll definitely let you know. If anyone has any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to shoot me an email or leave a comment! (

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week! Get ready for all of the household items that will be turned into faux-marble this weekend. We may get a little crazy around here.

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