INDIANAPOLIS –  Here’s a great way to make a big difference in the look of the place where you live.  And this look comes for a very low price.  It’s also a renter-friendly way to make your apartment your home.  Peel and stick tiles or rolls for countertops are one great way to go, as long as you have the patience.  For less than $30, two sisters put together a counter creation that made a big difference.

Meet Ashley and Christy

“The counter was just wooden and looked like a homemade cutting board. Not that it’s bad, it just wasn’t for me,” said Christy Curtis.

Because she wasn’t a big fan of the countertops, Christy decided to change the look without changing the counter itself.  She enlisted help from her sister Ashley, who had already re-surfaced a small kitchen island with the same marble peel and stick material she bought on Amazon.

“For my project, mine was a lot shorter and it just had a straight line through.  I also didn’t have to go up any backsplash.  So I took some things that I did from that one but also had to change up my strategy a little bit,” said Ashley Curtis.

A clean counter is a happy counter

Christy cleaning the counter

The ladies say, the first thing you want to do is make sure your surface is as clean as possible.  Christy even scraped the counter with a razor to make sure there were no bumps that could puncture through over time.  When you’re ready to peel the backing off, don’t peel too much at one time.  If you do, it can stick together.

“Two people doing this definitely makes it easier than just one.  I tried doing it just myself at first then I had to have Christy start holding it,” said Ashley

“I helped hold the paper tight as Ashley carded the rest to make it tight,” said Christy

Peel appeal

Inch by inch, peel the back off the material and use a flat edge to slide out the bubbles.  Just make sure your wall is even before you start laying it.

“You may have to go up on your wall a little bit more on one side, but that’s okay.  It will go flat the rest of the way,” said Ashley.

Ashley and Christy learned this the hard way when they realized the wall wasn’t even along the countertop. But luckily they hadn’t gotten too far so they peeled it off and restarted.  Most of the peel and stick products come with instructions that really help out.  Some even come with little tools that make it easier.  Our dynamic duo started with the longest strip of the countertop, cutting around the sink.  From there, they started along the back, trying to line up the marble pattern to blend in.

Ashley peeling away

“I had enough left over that we could actually play with it a little bit and kind of pick the part where we wanted to line up the best.  That way the grain didn’t look so off-center or you didn’t go from a white chunk straight into a dark chunk.  Everything lined up pretty well,” said Ashley

Overall, Ashley’s biggest piece of advice was to be gentle with your peel and stick product and renovation.

“Don’t pull too tight when you are trying to peel it back up if you’ve messed up or are trying to get bubbles out.  If you do, we’ve learned it will stretch and once you flatten it back down and flatten it to the countertop, that’s when you have all the creases and it doesn’t look very good,” said Ashley.

Invariably there will be bubbles, but don’t panic.  If you do have bubbles that you just can’t get out, you can take your razor blade and just put a tiny little slit in it.  Then push that bubble out and it will flatten.  Try to limit the amount of times you do this. Meanwhile, the counter looks great, and to keep it looking that way, they sealed it. 

Seal the deal

“I wanted to make sure, especially around the sink, it wasn’t going to start peeling up.  It is waterproof, but even so we used sealant just for the extra protection of not getting water underneath it.  If that happens, it can start to peel up.  So I went ahead and sealed around the sink, around the top of the backsplash and along the wall on the side,” said Ashley.

Even though Ashley did most of the work, Christy still has some advice for anyone wanting to try this themselves.

“Watch videos first because I don’t think I could have done it my first time without watching somebody.  I would just do a lot of research on it because it’s sticky and if you peel off too much or go too fast you’re just going to have to redo the whole thing.  And it’s very time consuming,” said Christy.