My husband and I recently moved across the country from Seattle, WA to Maryland. You can read about that adventure here. I love the place we rented but I wasn’t too thrilled about the kitchen cabinets. I also knew I couldn’t paint them and wanted an easy, affordable (and removable) way to make the kitchen our own and a little less dark and gloomy.
It’s not that the kitchen was awful before but sometimes, ya know, you just want something different. Here’s the before:
Those giant fluorescent lights never help either – but I’ll have to find a way to take care of that later 😉 Like any project I’ve attempted, I usually just dig right in – often without thinking – which has led to cuts, scrapes, and a lot of me yelling “holy $&@# are you serious?!” However, this project wasn’t too bad lol. I started by removing the cabinet knobs – super easy to just unscrew them from the back. I actually put the contact paper on the first cabinet by leaving it attached – which worked, but it was awkward.
For the next panels, I decided to remove them so I could lay them flat on the floor and really take my time and make sure I got them perfectly smooth.
I made sure that there wasn’t anything sticky or super dirty on the front of the wood but for the most part I just started applying the contact paper and didn’t worry about trying to get them perfectly clean and then letting them dry. You’ll definitely want to take the extra time to remove any knobs and then punch them back through the paper later.
The contact paper comes with easy directions on the back of each roll.
I found the easiest way to apply it was to carefully peel off the two end corners and edges and then line them up with the top of the shelf. I then just slowly puled down and did my best to firmly flatten it down as I went. You could use a sharp book edge to help you avoid air bubbles.
Most of the time when I ran across an air bubble, it was pretty easy to slowly peel the contact paper back off and go at it with another run. Unlike self-laminate – it’s not like you’re totally @&#%ed the minute it touches the dry surface.
If you do come across an air bubble and it really feels too late to salvage, simply take a need and pop it and then smooth down. It’s hardly noticeable, especially if it’s pretty small. Here’s the finished project with the before and after!
I still need to put knobs on them. I want to go to a craft store and find some cute clear ones to attach. It will be super easy to remove the contact paper again when we move in a few years. I’ll he honest, this specific design wasn’t my first choice but it was cheap at the Navy Exchange (few dollars a roll) and I figured if I hated it later, I could always invest in something totally different. For now though, I’m really loving it, it’s different and gives the place a country feel.
Then add your other special touches to make the kitchen cozy, unique, and your own!
Happy crafting!! DIY projects always give me a sense of accomplishment no matter how they turn out. I feel like I learn something and even more about myself in the process. It’s fun knowing you’ve put your mark on any place you go to make it your own. To make it feel like home ❤