I Found the Best Peel-and-Stick Contact Paper—And It Looks Just Like Marble

Guests will never believe it's not the real deal.

By Alexa Erickson | Updated Sep 11, 2022 11:19 PM

Photo: Alexa Erickson

I’ve lived in my apartment for 8 years and have despised my formica bar top from the moment I moved in. It’s one of the few eyesores of my humble abode I had yet to improve—until now.

Renting can be challenging, with some notable setbacks like dated homes that have had little upkeep and few updates. This is why I’ve been diligent about finding reversible ways to make it feel new and stylish. I’ve painted the walls; switched out every light fixture; and replaced all the faucets, doorknobs, and even the electrical wall plates. This summer, it was finally time to cover up that unsightly formica.

Having searched incessantly for the right peel-and-stick contact paper, I finally found one so good, my neighbors had to get it too.

Get the Easy Home Renewals Honed White Marble Contact Paper, Starting at $84.18

What Is Peel-and-stick Contact Paper?

Peel-and-stick products have been a welcomed solution for renters and owners with old homes looking to transform their countertops on a budget. The concept consists of laminated vinyl sheets with a self-adhesive backing. The paper is ideally applied to smooth and flat surfaces just as the name implies: peel the paper, then stick.

In addition to prints that mimic natural stones like granite and marble, the paper is typically temporary—unlike other DIY options, like painting formica countertops. It can usually be removed by simply peeling it off beginning at one corner, all without damaging the material underneath.

The Perfect Marble-Like Contact Paper

Photo: Alexa Erickson

I had been on the hunt for a quality peel-and-stick contact paper for a while. In person, many options looked too much like contact paper and not enough like a natural material I was trying to mimic: sleek, chic marble. So I went on an internet deep dive to find a company that specialized in just that.

Upon my search, I came across Easy Home Renewals—a manufacturer that promised “beautiful, durable, and high-quality printed materials” for a variety of surfaces in the home, including magnetic wallpaper, magnetic appliances covers, and peel-and-stick contact paper. Reviewers raved about its Instant Granite Countertop Vinyl, which earned a 4.3-star rating from more than 1,000 positive reviews on Amazon. Unwavering in my mission, I ultimately selected the Honed White Marble. It features stunning, continuous gray veining with a matte appearance and minimal light reflection.

Photo: Alexa Erickson

The paper is made of a washable PVC vinyl material—extremely handy for a kitchen location—that’s best applied to a smooth and flat surface. It’s strong, flexible, and resistant to abrasion. When I found out the Easy Home Renewals’ contact paper was made from the same material printers and sign shops use to wrap vehicles, I knew I had a truly high-quality contact paper!

Moreover, these laminate sheets provide the genuine look of stone slab using high resolution scans. Honed White Marble is essentially a composition of photos of actual marble tiles turned into true-to-life repeating patterns across the paper, and the result does not disappoint. Not only does the paper imitate real marble in both look and feel, but it’s also easy to clean, water-resistant, and fade-resistant.

How to Install Peel-and-Stick Contact Paper

Photo: Alexa Erickson

The concept of installing peel-and-stick contact paper is straightforward, but definitely time consuming. Don’t let that deter you, though, because the result is well worth it. Just follow my steps for a professional finish.

First, line up the paper with the surface and be sure to allow for a few inches of overhang on all side in case of error. Once you unroll a few inches of the backing of the paper, ensuring it remains lined up with the surface, you press the paper to the surface.

The intricate (and tedious part) is that you need to work in small sections to make sure there are no air bubbles, and with each small section, after pressing the paper down, pass the included squeegee back and forth over the paper to  smoothness. The overall process can be a one-person job, but I recommend having one person remove the backing and keep the paper taut while the other presses and smoothes with a squeegee.

After all of the paper is applied, trim the excess material and take a step back to admire.

If any bubbles persist, point a hair dryer set to “Low” at the spot and watch them disappear. I wish I knew that going in, because I spent a lot of time trying to reapply the paper to avoid wrinkles, ripples, and bubbles, but the hairdryer is really a magic trick! The finished product looks effortlessly smooth.

The best part of the faux marble? If the application is not to your liking, you can peel back and reapply right away. Full adhesion won’t occur for a few hours. 

Shop Easy Home Renewals Honed White Marble