04 March 2016

Heights House 10: Kitchen Cabinets - Removing Contact Paper

This is a quick tip really but it's taken me a while to share it about how to remove old contact paper from cupboard shelves. Our relationship with our new kitchen is definitely one of those love/hate relationships. We love the layout, love the size, love the numbers of cupboards and pantry space. We adore the view from three windows over the sink.


But we have never been fans of (and this is putting it mildly) of the 2x2 inch tile countertops, both the size and the color. The cupboards look like nice wood on the outside but one you open them you realize they are plywood and not long for this world. Also don't love the awful, poorly attached backsplash.

But barring a $30,000 total kitchen update, we are going to make it work. Ideally I'd like to replace the countertops at least but it doesn't make sense to do that if the cupboards underneath are going to die in the next couple of years.

Because we had so many boxes of kitchen items this was one of the first areas I was determined to get organized. It seemed like a good way to cut down the numbers of boxes we had stacked in the family room and garage. Plus it meant it would be easier for us to eat and have a more normal life as we were at the house working to get it ready to move in.

We had a cleaning service come in and give the house a thorough cleaning, which was a godsend. Then I jumped in on the kitchen cupboards. I spent evenings for a solid week trying to gently nudge 30-year-old contact paper off the drawer and cupboard bottoms. It was tedious and frustrating. I had read online that a blow-dryer would great speed up the project but we didn't have a blow dryer at the new house, at least that I could find yet. I kept forgetting every day to stop and pick up the blow dryer I was using at the townhouse.

The cracking contact paper would sometimes pull off in almost complete pieces and sometimes it just shattered in bits and required large amounts of patience to chisel away. Finally one night I remembered to have my husband grab the blowdryer from the townhouse on his way over. Hello, life changer.

Oh my goodness, how I wish I'd started with the blowdryer. It made quick and easy work of the rest of the kitchen and I blew through it in a fraction of the time. Use a blowdryer to heat up and easily remove old contact paper.

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