Nine months ago, I used sticker tiles to create a fake backsplash in my studio apartment rental, and nothing I’ve done since has been even remotely as interesting or cool. Until now.
I have done it again, folks. But this time, I put stickers on my countertops, and said countertops now look like they were sculpted out of the finest Carrara marble. They are the Taj Mahal of countertops.
At this point, you might be wondering, “Why does this Inventory editor love putting stickers all over her kitchen so goddamn much?” If you’re not wondering that, you should be. And I will tell you: Stickers are cheap, and anyone can stick them on anything, no special skills required. Actual home improvements take time and money and maybe a contractor? I don’t even know. Plus, I live in a rental in New York City, and I’m pretty sure they send you to renter prison if you mess with the walls or countertops in an apartment you don’t actually own.
Also, it should be noted, I love the rest of my apartment very much. It’s tiny but cozy, it’s only one flight up, and it has a rare, coveted wall of exposed brick. But the (very, very small) countertops, which are sort of a taupe-colored Formica that looks perpetually dirty, are undeniably hideous. It was time to act.
The stickers this time around are more officially known as Yancorp Marble Contact Paper, a self-adhesive, glossy vinyl that comes in a 10-foot roll for just $10. Real marble countertops cost, uh, more.
This contact paper is also waterproof, oil-proof, and thus, Chelsea-proof. I know because I spilled some tomato soup on it the other day, and was able to wipe it off without leaving any red, splotchy stains behind.
The official way to apply this contact paper to a counter involves measuring the size of the area you’re trying to cover. Because I am lazy, I sort of just held the roll of contact paper up the counter top and tore a notch where I ultimately needed to cut—the cutting part, by the way, was particularly easy because of a helpful grid printed on the back of the paper. Once I had the proper size of paper on hand, I peeled off the adhesive film a few inches at a time with one hand, as I flattened the sticker down with my other hand in an attempt to minimize any air bubbles.
It sort of worked, but there were still a few bubbles (I smoothed them out with a credit card), and also, some spots where the contact paper started to stick to itself, forming unsightly creases. Luckily, it didn’t matter at all, since my massive toaster oven ended up covering the worst of it, and really, the marble pattern on this contact paper is busy enough to hide any minor imperfections, including the barely visible line between adjacent sheets of contact paper. Maneuvering around my kitchen sink—and specifically, the sink’s rounded edges—did prove to be another minor challenge, which probably could have been made less challenging with the help of an X-ACTO knife. Finally, any excess paper that hung over the edge wouldn’t stick to the underside of the counter, so I resorted to trimming it off with scissors.
According to Yancorp, this contact paper isn’t just for countertops. It can also be stuck onto tables, walls, and heck, even cabinets. If you want it to be marble, chances are this sticker can make it appear marble. And not even just Carrara marble—a reddish, yellowish version is also available. Best of all, Yancorp offers full refunds or free replacements if you end up not loving your new marble masterpiece, or somehow stick all of the paper to itself. This was comforting information to have during the installation process.
As for me, the more I look at my new marble countertop, the more I love it. It’s certainly a step up from that nightmare-inducing laminate, and a more aesthetically pleasing vibe overall. Not to mention, it prompted the following text exchange with my dad, which is perhaps the best result I could have hoped for: