I love following interior design social media pages and watching any show that has anything to do with revamping, redecorating or all around gutting and rebuilding homes. I can literally watch that stuff for hours. The hardest part of it all though, is being so inspired to redecorate or make a few changes only to realize how easy it is to pile up those dollar amounts. Sucks, right? This is when getting creative and restoring existing furniture is a major key alert!
Before I get started with any DIY projects, I always break down the cost of materials AND consider the cost of my time. If you end up having to go out and purchase a bunch of supplies you’ll never use again or end up spending every weekend for the next 3 months just to finish a project, most likely, it’s not really thaaaat worth it. So just be sure to always consider those factors or you’ll end up paying much more than you would have by simply placing that order. I’m all about opportunity costs so I just had to share that tid bit. Thankfully, this project is not only super duper simple, but it is also a simple concept that can be used on so many other surfaces or objects around the house.
I have a ladder shelf that was gifted to my husband and I by his mother. It is a cute shelf that looks great in our living room, however, I’ve wanted to add a chic factor to it. My house is decorated with mixed metals of gold, silver and copper as well as ivory, black and marble. Sounds like a lot, but I think it’s tasteful – maybe one day I’ll share 🙂 Anyhow, I figured I could easily change up the look by spray painting the metal frame with a gold spray paint and adding marble contact paper. I ended up deciding to do away with the gold spray painting (for this project at least; I’ve probably spray painted like 50% of my metal objects) and just add the faux marble. Directions and images are below. Enjoy!
- Measuring tape & pen
- Contact paper of your liking
- X-acto knife for easy cutting of the paper
- A credit card or any stiff and flat item that can be used as smoothing tool to remove any bubbles
I already had these items at my house, but I used this beautiful faux marble contact paper and this x-acto knife for the project & purchased both together from Amazon for less than $15.00 — one role was more than enough for me to complete this project, but it’s important to check your measurements to ensure you have enough! Also, if you’ve never used an x-acto knife before please be very, very careful. These blades are EXTREMELY sharp and it’s important to keep them covered and put away in a safe place when they are not being used.
Step 1: Clean the surface you are working on. I wiped down the entire shelf and made sure it was dry before I began adhering the contact paper to ensure it had a clean, dust free and even surface to stick to. If the space is not clean, the paper will not stick well and you could end up with the paper lifting over time.
Step 2: Measure the space you are working on and determine how much of the surface you want covered. I chose to cover the entire top visible surface of each shelf along with the front portion. After measuring each shelf, I drew out the lines on where to cut on the back side of the contact paper. It’s also helpful the contact paper has grid lines to help guide you.
Step 3: Use the x-acto knife to cut the contact paper on a flat and hard surface. Be sure to lay something beneath the paper (I used old magazines) so you do not cut through the surface you are working on. I found it helpful to cut along another hard surface such as a ruler or a big frame. Please note: this knife is really sharp so it can ruin the item you cut it up against if you are not careful. You can use scissors, but the x-acto knife allows for a much more precise and straight edge cut.
Step 4: Lay the contact paper over your surface before removing the backing to confirm you are happy with it.
Step 5: Remove just a small bit of the protective backing. You ever pull out too big of a piece of saran wrap and it ends up sticking together only to realize you cannot unravel that mess and just have to start over? That is what will happen with this contact paper if you expose the entire sticky backing at once. I like to make sure I like where I start and that it measures with the edges perfectly before moving forward. Slowly remove the backing and you use your credit card to flatten the paper along the way.
Step 6: Since I decided to cover the front of the shelves as well, I pulled on the contact paper and slicked down the top and bottom edges to make sure it was not going to lift off of the edges. With this particular shelving unit, I am able to lift each shelf a bit to flatten the bottom part really well. If your furniture is not easy to turn over, you may need to do some acrobatics to make sure that paper is s t u c k .
Step 7: Enjoy your revived furniture! 🙂 If you give this a try, please share your before and after pictures; I would love to see them!
Side note: If you decide to spray paint the metal, be sure to clean the surface and protect the shelf surface before doing so. Once the metal is completely dry – dry it overnight just to be on the safe side – then go through these steps to add the contact paper.
WITH THE DECOR: