diy wednesdays: the contact paper cure

we’ve always got a stash of woodgrain contact paper laying around, because it’s endlessly useful for all sorts of decorative and crafty projects. we’ve covered everything from file cabinets to refrigerator doors to gift cards with it, and we’ve also lined the cupboards and drawers in our kitchen with the stuff. it’s super cheap and can be applied and removed on a whim without damaging your furniture. this week we decided to give our old ikea credenza a little face lift with some peel-and-stick stripes in two colors of woodgrain. it used to house our tv and media storage, but now that it’s doing dresser duty in the bedroom, we thought it could use a little diy pick-me-up. click here for the full instructions and more photos or just click “read more” below.

have fun!
derek & lauren

Here’s what you’ll need:

-various colors of wood grain contact paper (we used a dark walnut and a light colored oak)

1. Measure the fronts of your credenza or cabinet doors and using the 1″ grid printed on the back of your contact paper as a guide, cut out strips of varying thicknesses that are the same length as the doors.
2. Peel and stick the strips onto the doors.
3. Laugh at how easy it is to make something look way fancier than it is.

  1. Lisa says:

    I love it!!!

  2. kate says:

    That’s so ridiculously simple, but it looks great! Immediately going into my “ideas” folder. Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Monique says:

    This looks amazing! I can’t believe it was done with contact paper.

  4. Avi says:

    The endless way in which ikea furniture can be turned into something original are so inspiring. I remember seeing a site called ikea hacks or something that detailed more great tips like this – turn ikea into a sort of blank slate for your cheap and effective touchups.

  5. m in austin says:

    i’m dying for a sneak peek of derek and lauren’s apt. with all of these amazing diy projects, i would love to see more. thanks!

  6. grace says:


    i’m sure it gorgeous ;)

    they’re pretty swamped these days so i just let them know that if they decide to share their home we’d love to share it here. but sharing your home is pretty personal so i wouldn’t expect anyone to jump at the chance- it can be a little scary ;)


  7. Juice says: is the name of that website. I like a lot of the ideas as well

  8. random design says:

    Is it real wood veneer or faux?

  9. Bridget says:

    AMAZING! I love that credenza from Ikea – I can’t believe they discontinued it!

  10. ung says:

    it’s so freakishly simple and yet absolutely amazing.

  11. Nini says:

    One of the best ideas for a diy project I’ve ever seen. Awesome!

  12. fun, i’m into this!!!

  13. jenny says:

    simple, but so effective!
    what’s the little plant thingy on top of the dresser? I like it. I want one!

  14. Eve says:

    Great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  15. francesca says:

    Same process for a fridge? How do you cut out spots for the handle? The refrigerator in my rental apartment is terrible looking and this is a great idea.

  16. Furnitude says:

    I love the alternating dark and light colors. Somehow it takes the basic rectangular shape and gives it lift. Very cool!

  17. This is so excellent and inspiring!

  18. Lyz says:

    awesome idea! I love it.

  19. Meredith says:

    I am loving this – what a fantastic facelift idea! This credenza would now look great with some African wooden sculptures and a bright porcelain vessel on top for pop!

  20. lauren says:

    the planter came from paxton gate, and is available here:
    they’re available in lots of great colors and sizes.

    this would look great on a fridge! you can patchwork pieces around the door handle or just alter your pattern to accomodate the handle area.

  21. duh! what a smart, simple and inexpensive idea. thanks for sharing!

  22. dana king says:

    Brilliant…this could work well to hide any blemishes in a wood piece that has seen better days. love your diy projects, I have featured them on my blog. love ikea.

  23. Lily says:

    Wow! Why didn’t I think of this?

  24. Kristi says:

    Truly amazing. It looks like a piece of furniture you’d pay at least $3000 for. Great idea!

  25. projectgirl says:

    really love all of the diys. so inspiring!

  26. Stacy says:

    Are the strips cut perfectly square? They appear to slightly wave, but that could just be the wood grain tricking the eye.

  27. lily says:

    more photos please! i love all the projects, but really wish there were more photos. this project aside…DIY projects are more fun to read & easier to make when you have more than just *one* picture (and a picture of just the finished product?).

  28. Jen says:

    I just wanted to say that I’ve just finished this “project”, using an old pine blanket box made by my husband many years ago.

    This is the first completed item in my ongoing bedroom redecorating project. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  29. amy says:

    wow….I have had no knobs on our mid-century modern bedroom suite for years….years…
    also, i have owned 2 rolls of fake woodgrain contact paper….for years….I only wish I’d had this chocolate in my peanut butter moment years ago….this is awesome!!

  30. Carol says:

    I was just browsing for contact paper to re-do my large speaker sides to match new tv stand and came across your site. Your credenza looks really fantastic! If I get my speaker frames done, I’ll let you know how they turn out!
    Again, just wanted to say I think your project was a great idea!

  31. Roger says:

    I’m curious, does Ikea still sell that Crendza? Does anyone have a link to it?

  32. Adi says:

    Great! I have a much smaller Ikea chest that doesn’t fit the vibe of the rest of my bedroom, this will do it!

  33. Karen says:

    I am thinking about putting contact paper on our kitchen cabinets in our (rented) home. I bet this would look SO cool!

  34. ang says:

    Where have your old photos gone? Your old posts remain but NO PHOTOS….VERY DISAPPOINTING!!


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