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Do Contact Paper Countertops Hold Up – Three Year Update

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Are you wondering, “Do contact paper countertops hold up?” Today, we’re looking at my DIY contact paper countertops three year update.

do contact paper countertops hold up collage of countertops


It’s always a (fun) challenge to figure out how to add your own style to a rental home, apartment, or even a dorm. At MWA, I’ve added a board-and-batten-like accent wall, painted my living area in an afternoon, and I’m currently adding the finishing touches to my modern coastal bathroom makeover with several temporary updates.

If you are new to My Wee Abode, one of my favorite temporary upgrades to my tiny loft apartment are the adhesive vinyl countertops in my kitchen.

cook with no kitchen empty apartment kitchenette
This is a photo from the winter season, with a good view of the contact paper counters.

Can you believe in September it will be three years since I first covered my ugly laminate countertops?

Well, since then, I’ve had quite a few people ask, “Do contact paper countertops hold up?” “How are your countertops working out?” “Would you use adhesive vinyl for your kitchen counters again?”

Well, today I’m going to give you a three year update on my DIY cheap countertops with contact paper!

DIY Cheap Contact Paper Countertops – The Bad

First, let’s talk about “the bad”.

There have only been two things that have happened that I’m not happy with since using the adhesive vinyl on my counters. Both were mistakes on my part that YOU can do differently!

When Seams Separate

The first ‘issue’ is that there is a VERY small separation where two of the pieces meet on the counter.

This only happened at this seam because I didn’t overlap the pieces. I butted them up against each other and with weather changes (I assume), it has created a minuscule parting of the seam.

do contact paper countertops hold up faux marble counter with seam

However, where I did a tiny overlap of the pieces on the left of the counter, there has been no issue and it still looks lovely.

do contact paper countertops hold up faux marble counter with seam
You can barely see the seam that is overlapped near the sink.

What I Would Do Next Time:

I’m actually thinking of replacing the piece on the right and placing a new piece slightly over the piece near the sink. (Just like I did on the ‘sink seam’.) But, there’s another reason I’m thinking of replacing it as well…

Too Much Heat Makes for Brittle Contact Paper

The second snafu I had with the faux marble countertops was that the corner has gotten a bit brittle and a couple of little chips have appeared. I don’t even know how or when this happened.

do contact paper countertops hold up chips on corner of counter

However, I know that I heated and reheated (with a hairdryer) the adhesive vinyl in this area. When you heat the vinyl, it becomes pliable and shapes and forms to the corner. I think I just did it too often.

The interesting thing is… chips and cracks can happen with regular laminate, too… However, you can’t replace a piece of laminate, like you can replace a sheet of vinyl. πŸ˜‰

What I Would Do Next Time:

Next time, I would definitely be sure to heat the vinyl maybe two to three times at the most… I probably did it about 5 or 6 times! But now, YOU won’t make the same mistake. And this is ANOTHER reason for replacing the one piece of contact paper in the near future.

DIY Cheap Contact Paper Countertops – The Good

There are so many good reasons to use durable adhesive vinyl on countertops in a kitchen… or even a bathroom.

These are all pictures of my countertops from today.

kitchen counter with decor and faux marble

The seam near the sink that I overlapped has done well, and still looks the same as it did the day I installed it. Here’s the seam behind the sink.

do contact paper countertops hold up faux marble counter with seam
The seam is barely visible in ‘real life’.

The caulked edges around the sink have done GREAT! No mold, cracks, or stains!

do contact paper countertops hold up faux marble counter with caulking

The countertops clean-up just like laminate. And to prove it, this is my coffee cubby. Coffee splatters here on a regular basis, and sometimes I don’t see the splashes for a couple days. But it has NEVER stained, and clean-up is a breeze!

coffee nook with faux marble countertops
kitchen counter with decor and faux marble
Here’s a close-up of the counter. No stains!

And here is the counter area with the separated seam. It still looks wonderful, and every aspect of my counter tops that are covered with heavy-duty contact paper are holding up wonderfully! They are easy to install, durable, replace-able, and easy to clean.

kitchen counter with faux marble contact paper and basket with kitchen items

A tile-mason friend of mine saw the seam and said, “There are granite counters that have seams that look like that, too!” Not sure if that’s true, but it was kind of him to say it! πŸ™‚

The adhesive vinyl finish has stood the test of time, as well! The matte finish looks the same as the day I bought it!

do contact paper countertops hold up corner of counter
The rest of the countertop edges are perfect!

Here are a couple more photos of my cheap kitchen countertops, almost three years after installing them.

faux marble countertop with green scale

If you read my post for finding your signature home fragrance, you can see that my rose diffuser is going strong… and isn’t the saturated color lovely???

kitchen counter with faux marble contact paper and basket with kitchen items

I hope this update has been helpful, and maybe it will confirm that using durable adhesive vinyl on your countertops is a good option for your home!

Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below and, of course, let me know if you plan on using this affordable countertop option in your abode!

signature updated 2022

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  1. WOW!!! I think they look great and you did a great job. I have seen “professional” granite jobs with bigger seams…I wouldn’t worry about it. As for the end where the chipping is, why not just paint the chipped areas? Ya know what can happen if you try to fix those seams……..You open a can of worms that leads to a much bigger fix then what you started with!!! It looks GREAT!!!

  2. As an apartment manager, I’m wondering how this would work? Are you extra careful when something is placed on the counters? Could you apply a sealer on the vinyl to help seal it? I love the way this looks!

    1. Hi, Laura… and thanks for commenting. You have to take care of this just like you would laminate. I put down hot plates and I cut on cutting boards. This is extra thick adhesive film/contact paper and super durable. And, if I *do* damage it, I can replace it easily. πŸ™‚ No need for a sealer. It cleans up GREAT! No stains for almost 3 years!

  3. What a great post for your readers, Julie! It’s so helpful to see how things hold up, instead of just how they look when you first DIY them. This was such a brilliant project that I’m sure many have found useful. Pinned!

    1. Thanks, Crissy! I’m hoping this will encourage others to take the plunge and use this affordable countertop solution.

  4. Wow Julie these really held up well.

    I have to tell you the contractor is right. We have quartz and have a seam.

    Doesn’t bother us. It’s because lucky fir us our counters are very long so we have a seam.


    1. Thanks, Denise! I love that, even though there have been a couple small issues, I can replace it. Can’t do that with other counter types!


  6. I found your instructions after I asked. I should have looked first πŸ™ƒ Thank you so much for the free printables. You have a kind heart. Blessings

  7. I’m looking to replace my very ugly blue kitchen countertops and this was one of my concerns.
    I’ve hated the colour of my kitchen since we moved into this house, but I’ve never had the money to renovate and replace the countertops. So contact paper is a good affordable idea.
    Do you have any brand suggestions of which durable contact paper to use?

    1. Well, it sounds like this will be the perfect option for you! (I just saw on Beach House Hunters a home with blue counters, and I thought, “Contact paper would work for that!”) Anyways, if you go to my original post for DIY Cheap Countertops, there is a link there for the brand I use. I’m SUPER happy with it! Hope this helps!

    1. If you are asking if the vinyl adhesive that I used can also be used on a bathroom counter, yes, it can. Just be sure to caulk around the sink where the vinyl hits. Hope that helps!

  8. Wow! That looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing, I’m thinking of doing this to hide some hideous old-school laminate in my rental apartment and was curious how it held up.

  9. This is awesome. I , too, have done a countertop makeover and it looked so real my family members forgot it was not real. They cut on it and put a slit. I do like using the granite look because it is very forgiving. Next time I might nano tape a cutting board down to help them remember. I did not see a way to upload a picture or I would have.

    1. Oh, Emma! That is maddening when a slit happens on this type of countertop… no matter who does it! If you want to upload a photo, please visit my Facebook page and you can upload it there. Thanks for sharing your comment here!

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