My rented kitchen countertop with contact paper makeover! (pics before and after!) (2023)

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I hated my kitchen countertops the whole time we lived in our apartment.But I love our kitchen. We live in an old building that has lots of charm (like those vaulted ceilings!) and a window that has the perfect view of the sunset over the sea.

But DANG, I hate those brown granite countertops. After 5 years, I finally decided that quarantine was the perfect time to do a viable AND profitable kitchen renovation for renters. The first step was to transform my raw brown countertops into elegant faux marble countertops.

In this post, I share my tips on how to properly apply contact paper to your countertops, the exact marble contact paper I used, and before and after photos.

My tenant-friendly kitchen counter contact Contact Makeover! (before and after photos!)

My rented kitchen countertop with contact paper makeover! (pics before and after!) (1)

>> Do you have a question about my kitchen conversion that needs to be answered quickly? DM me on Instagram@elantojoand I'm happy to help!

Confession:Looking at these before and after photos, I'm embarrassed to admit that I've spent so much time living in a kitchen that has made me miserable.I'm basically stuck - The color of the counters and the type of tiles have always made this room look dirty.

The cabinets needed a touch up years ago but I kept moving it. It's a small kitchen overall (hey,After all, I live in San Francisco!) and I think I spent a lot of time just thinking"I will wait until I move home to have a good kitchen.

But life is short and after being bitten by the DIY life bug during quarantine, I've found it's incredibly easy to turn my kitchen into a beautiful space.Oh, and everything is cheap too!I'm spending too much on rent to pay too much for the DIY adventure into something that isn't my forever home.

My rented kitchen countertop with contact paper makeover! (pics before and after!) (2)

My rented kitchen countertop with contact paper makeover! (pics before and after!) (3)

My rented kitchen countertop with contact paper makeover! (pics before and after!) (4)



In fact, I'm renovating the entire kitchen in a massive kitchen remodel for renters. The countertops were the first step, but I'm also renovating the kitchen, rearranging the drawers, changing the flooring, changing the decor and even adding some parchment paper to our fridge for a pop of color.

But changing the worktops was the first step and has already made a big difference visually! Removing that brown newline was key.

White countertops make any kitchen brighter and cheerier.

Finding the perfect faux marble self-adhesive contact paper was a challenge. We cook a lot in our house, so we needed something that could stand up to all the water around the sink and frequent cleanings.

After much research I landed on this Marble Countertop Contact Paper from Amazon.I chose this d-c-fix contact paper for several reasons:

  • Has good reviews from people saying it stays in place and is easy to install
  • Some cling film is permanent, this one is not
  • It's affordable, it fits my budget
  • Fast shipping despite quarantine
  • It's also very easy for me to re-order in the future if I ever need to replace part of my faux marble counters (ie if I accidentally ruin the contact paper or something).
My rented kitchen countertop with contact paper makeover! (pics before and after!) (5)

Covering countertops with self-adhesive paper isn't easy, let me tell you. the trick oncontact paperIt's just so much easier to apply if you spritz some Windex on your counters before applying.

Don't spray too much or the contact paper won't stick. But a little lets the countertop paper slide while you stick it in EXACTLY the right place. You can then squeeze out the liquid while you smooth it out.your role(Pretty much the same way you flatten a screen protector on your phone to remove air bubbles.)

Here are the steps in detail:

My rented kitchen countertop with contact paper makeover! (pics before and after!) (6)

How to install contact paper for kitchen countertops

construction time:20 minutes

Active time:2 hours

Total time:2 hours 20 minutes


  • Sticky paper rolls (the quantity depends on the size of your cards!)
  • Windex


  • Scissors
  • shows
  • paper towels
  • Pencil to mark cuts
  • exact knife
  • Messhahn (optional)



  1. Clean your countertops VERY well (you don't want dirt collecting down there!). This includes repairing joints that need repairing, etc.
  2. Let your counters dry.


You can do it yourself, but I find it a lot easier to install contact paper with a friend!

  1. Measure how much sticky paper you will need for each section. Remember the rule: measure twice, cut once.
  2. Spray a thin coat of Windex over your countertops.
  3. Carefully remove the contact paper. I find it easier to pull everything out at once and carefully place it on the counter with the help of a friend.
  4. It's okay if you need to readjust! That's what Windex is for!
  5. After placing the sticker paper in the right place, use the squeegee to gently smooth the paper. You will want to break up the windex AND the air bubbles.
  6. Keep working until the sticker paper is smooth and the way you want it!
  7. I find it dries/sticks fairly quickly, but to be safe, don't cook it on the counter for at least an hour.

compensation time

  1. Once you have your beads covered, take an exacto knife or the blade of your scissors to cut the contact paper where needed. (e.g. cutting around the sink or edges on the wall).

And that's it!


I recommend purchasing an EXTRA 1-2 rolls of self-adhesive paper because trust me you will screw it up at least once and be glad you bought more.

Did you do this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or let me know at {service_name} @thewhimsyoul (LOVE hearing from you!)

My rented kitchen countertop with contact paper makeover! (pics before and after!) (8)

My rented kitchen countertop with contact paper makeover! (pics before and after!) (9)

(Video) DIY Rental Friendly Kitchen Makeover (Marble Countertops, Contact Paper, Motion Sensor Lights, etc)

My rented kitchen countertop with contact paper makeover! (pics before and after!) (10)

My rented kitchen countertop with contact paper makeover! (pics before and after!) (11)

My bench makeover before and after!

So drum roll, above are the before and after photos!

In total it took about 2 hours and $40 worth of masking paper to transform my space.

To be transparent, that is NOT perfect. I couldn't get some air bubbles out and noticed it after installationPapierthat I should have cut it differently.

BUT I am super satisfied with the counters and they give me a lot of pleasure when looking at them. And well, I finally rent. When I buy a home I invest in real marble countertops, but right now this $40 renovation is a great solution.

I'll be sure to keep you posted here on how long it's taking!I've already decided that if the sticky paper only lasts a year, it makes perfect sense to invest an afternoon and $40 to refresh the meters once a year because I think it's worth it.

My rented kitchen countertop with contact paper makeover! (pics before and after!) (12)

So this is my wallpaper makeover for the kitchen counter! I hope this helps you learn how to do your own DIY kitchen renovation and helps update your space.

If you liked this post, please consider following me.sin InstagramÖYoutubewhere I shared more videos and photos of the progress of my kitchen remodel.

If you have any tips for adding, please leave a comment for all to see! If you have any questions, leave a comment or send me a private message on Instagram@elantojoand I will surely help you!

(Video) DIY Kitchen Countertop Makeover w/ Marble Contact Paper | Rental and Budget friendly


I'm the founder of Whimsy Soul (that blog you're reading right now!). I'm a Type 3 Enneagram girl living in San Francisco who loves discovering the magic of everyday life to share with others. You can probably find me with girlfriends hot spring hunting, kayaking, cooking with my husband, petting strange dogs, or all watching Netflix. Follow me on Instagram for more inspiration!

  1. Excellent work!!


  2. ¡Oh Black!
    This is very helpful, thanks for the detailed process with pictures!
    Big question: did you remove the sheets when you left the rental? How easy was it, and more importantly, did it leave residue or damage the original kitchen shelf?
    It would be very helpful if you could let me know. I will track your item but I'm afraid of possible damage.


  3. I was hoping to find out what the removal process looks like and if it leaves any traces. For example, will my landlord know that I did this at the counters when move-in day comes? I think that's the most important thing here.


  4. Hi Kara, looks great! I'm about to move in and have a wink to do some crafting for the new the paper that sticks and peels food safe? How to work with putty directly on the counter? Thank you very much! 🙂


  5. It used to look much prettier and more elegant




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