Kitchen updates for £10!

This weekend I spent helping my twin sister update her kitchen. Gill bought her flat about two years ago now and has spent a lot of time putting the effort in to make it nicer and more homely. This mainly involved painting walls and buying art work to put on the walls. I must say that so far she has done a great job!

However there was one aspect which was letting the rest of the flat down…the kitchen. When she first got the flat the kitchen has cream walls, blue tiles, a red work surface and green trim on all wood work including the window. To put it simply it was awful! Luckily (I’m sure) the window was actually rotting so had to go, and Gill was able to put in a new white window, we also painted the walls white. But other than that nothing much has changed in there.

Here is a picture of where we had got to:


As I’m sure you will agree it was not a pretty picture! Just imagine it with green trim on the window too it was so bad.

The problem is kitchen updates cost a lot of money, money which we do not have right now. Gill also sees this flat as a temporary, maybe 2-3 more years maximum and therefore is resisting the idea of spending a lot of money. However she had also got sick of the eyesore which was the red work surface! How she managed to put up with it for two years I will never know!

So instead I started to think about a cheap, easy way to update them and turned to pinterest for solutions. (There is nothing that pinterest cannot solve, it has all heart eye emotions from me.) Through pinterest I found a number of solutions for the red work surface:

  1. Paint it
  2. Cover it with contact paper
  3. Replace the whole surface with something else.

I seriously considered painting it, however I worried we would have to choose quite a dark colour to ensure the red couldn’t be seen through it and I’m not sure about dark work surfaces especially with those blue tiles. Replacing the whole surface would have been ideal but as I have explained it is more money than Gill wants to spend right now and also quite a lot of work involved. So we decided to try covering it up with contact paper.

I went down to B&Q and picked up two roles of their marble contact paper for only £5 each and headed across to Gills flat.

To start we removed everything from the work surface and wiped it down to make sure it was all clean. Be careful to be sure that the work surface is properly dried otherwise the contact paper doesn’t stick to it very well (we made this mistake).

img_4428We started with one corner and worked our way across, firstly measuring out the area and cutting the contact paper accordingly, be sure to leave half an inch extra which can then be cut off later to ensure a clean finish. Gill and I got into a good routine of laying the paper down at the back of the work surface first and then slowly laying the rest down bit by bit to reduce air bubbles caught underneath. Though don’t be worried if you do get air bubbles as the contact paper is easy to pull back up and start again (we needed to do this frequently)

Once the paper has been stuck down fold the edges over the work surface, and where meeting the hob or sink use a retractable blade to score along the edges ensuring a nice smooth finish.

So finishing picture:


What do you think? I have to say I am over the moon with the result! So much better than the red, even if it has now just drawn my attention to those horrible cabinets!


Even the seams between pieces of contact paper are hardly noticeable, can you see it in the picture above?

My only worry is that as Gill uses the kitchen and sink, water may seep below the contact paper causing it to lose it’s stickiness, but we will just have to wait and see I will try and remember to give you an update in a month or two. But right now due to the cost and effort needed (very minimal) compared to the difference I can see (HUGE!) I think this update is completely worth it!

Next steps are now to paint those cupboards and get new hardware for them, right now I’m thinking gold t-bar handles but I will have a look around. And of course in the long run I am working on Gill to do a proper overhaul of the Kitchen with new cupboards and work surface. Fingers crossed.

What do you guys think about the new work surfaces? Worth it?



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