Contact paper is one of the most inexpensive ways to change the appearance of a kitchen cabinet. With metal looks like brushed copper, nickel, pewter and stainless steel as well as wood tones, contact paper offers plenty of style options. What’s more, it is easy to keep clean with soap and water. The application process is like the technique many professionals use with film or vinyl.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Power screwdriver
- Spray degreaser
- Soap and water
- Paper Towels
- Wood putty (optional)
- Sand paper (optional)
- Spray bottle
- Distilled water
- Baby shampoo
- Tape measure
- Straight edge razor blades
- Metal ruler (optional)
- Fine point black marker
Remove the cabinet door, hinges and door pull. Clean the cabinet frame and cabinet door with spray degreaser as well as soap and water to remove any grease and dirt. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. Repair any deep scratches with wood putty. Sand the wood putty until smooth. You want a clean, flat surface.
Fill your spray bottle with distilled water and several drops of baby shampoo. The baby shampoo will create the “slip” you need to position the contact paper.
Measure the areas you are covering and cut the contact paper to size using a metal ruler and a straight edge razor blade. Accuracy is very important. Plan to reface the cabinet frame first.
Put your contact paper on a clean, flat surface. Find the piece you have cut for the top of the cabinet frame. Use your straight edge razor to gently lift a corner of the contact paper from its paper backing. Mist the front and back of the contact paper with your spray bottle solution as you lift the contact paper from its backing. Mist the cabinet frame using your spray bottle solution.
Position the misted contact paper into place on the cabinet frame. Gently start at the centre and work your way out it all directions, using your squeegee to remove all excess solution and blotting as you go with paper towels. Keep using the squeegee until all air bubbles and excess solution are removed from between the cabinet frame and contact paper. Repeat this process for the sides and bottom of the cabinet frame. Lay the cabinet door face up and use the same technique to apply the contact paper.
Let the contact paper dry at least 24 hours before reattaching the hinges and door pull and reassembling the kitchen cabinets.
Tips and warnings
- Use plenty of the solution in your spray bottle to mist the contact paper. It makes the contact paper more pliable and keeps it from accidentally sticking to itself or you.
- Be sure to squeegee out all excess solution from between the cabinet and the contact paper. Excess solution can cause the edges to curl during the drying process.
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