You win some and you contact paper some

People say kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. And something about location, location and location. Well, we decided that we wanted nothing to do with those silly old adages and bought a house on a highway, under a flight path with train tracks in the backyard! And to boot? We hate the disgusting kitchen. Yes, it was just remodeled, but it’s so gross. The cabinets were hung unevenly, the countertops are nasty laminate, the floor tile looks perennially dirty and the whole thing is laid out so that you can have a dance party in the middle but bottleneck if you try to get out of the room. In short, it’s icky von icktenstein. And, of course, this is triply icky because one of us in the family really likes to cook.

But. The kitchen has a lot of potential. And I think it can be done beautifully without moving walls. Or at least too many walls. We said that when Bear goes off to public school (praise taxes!), we would be able to think about gutting it and starting over. White everywhere, please. Something clean-looking. I dream of clean. I know, I don’t even cook, but I have to look at that brown-on-brown monstrosity every day and I swear my eyes are rebelling against me. I don’t even want to show you a picture. I don’t. I like you too much.

Anyway, AO mentioned that he wanted to paint the kitchen before T-giving because, really, it has gotten gross. Like splotchy, greasy, kitchen-y gross. We had held off on painting it before because we figured we were going to gut it so why bother. I realize now that this seems silly because we knew that that was a long, long way off and paint could have at least given us a little reprieve from the Brown Doom, but that’s where we were. When AO mentioned paint, I got excited because HOME IMPROVEMENT! I thought, if he’s going to paint, what other sprucing can I do? Can we paint the countertops? The floor? Can I install a subway tile backsplash? Ok, rein it in, Kate. I wanted this to be cheap and a temporary fix before the Big Kitchen Dream of 2018 (or, you know, whenever). No one is tiling anything. So instead of tiling, I stumbled upon the world of faux-marble contact paper. I did not know it, but apparently people all over the world for centuries have been adding contact paper to their horrid countertops (gross exaggeration). It was time for us to do it, too.

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Ew. Look how icky that is? Amirite?

I then when a step further and thought, if I’m going to do the counters, what am I going to do with the backsplash? We currently really don’t have one. As you can see, some MDF comes up a bit on the wall and it is covered with the laminate, but that’s it. And here is where I was introduced to metallic contact paper, which people apparently use to make non-stainless steel appliances look like, you guessed it, stainless steel. I was going to make it look like we had a sleek, stainless steel backsplash. Maybe we wouldn’t need to remodel the kitchen, after all! Maybe our whole kitchen could be covered in contact paper and Molly would be able to go to college!

Well. No. Not quite. I ordered just one roll of each because – in a move that is totally unlike me – I decided to proceed cautiously and see how it went first. That contact paper is STICKY. I mean, it sticks. Not necessarily where you want it to stick, and often to itself, but it’s not kidding with its adhesive quality.

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The faux-marble stuff (I feel weird even calling it that. It’s not really pretending to be marble; it’s contact paper) is thicker and more forgiving than the metallic paper. The metallic paper went up on our bumpy walls and showed every bump. It’s just not going to work. Had we put up a piece of wallpaper liner, or maybe even another piece of thick contact paper first, it might have worked, but I ultimately think it just looks cheesy.

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Yeah, it looks like I put aluminum foil on the wall. Which I kinda did. Or AO did. I have to admit that he was way better at this project than I was. I ended up ordering more of the faux stuff (one roll did not go very far), so stay tuned on how that works out. I think it’ll make the counters way more tolerable, but it’s going to look weird with the brown cabinets and nasty floors. But overall, I think it’ll help. Especially with AO’s paint job coming around the corner.

And as for the backsplash, AO seemed convinced last night that we could try a little something like this.

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3 Responses to “You win some and you contact paper some”


  1. 1 Mary Lloyd November 18, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Some of those back splashes look really cool. Lots of hard work ahead. Keep us posted.

  2. 2 kateandgracie November 18, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I think we might skip it and just paint. And wait for our dream kitchen to do a real backsplash.

  3. 3 Nancy November 18, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Yes to the map!


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