My DIY Marble Countertops #retroflameHomeNYC

My DIY Marble Countertops #retroflameHomeNYC


I’m so excited to share my first Homeware DIY post…and it’s a good one! For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved changing things up. Whether it was the buttons on a jacket, the knobs on a dresser or just painting everything a different colour, I’ve loved the challenge of a good DIY project. I think it comes from my love of a bargain! I’m forever on the hunt for alternative ways of doing/buying things and there’s no better feeling than when it all works out. You might be happy to hear that my FULL Kitchen Transformation/Reveal is on the way later this week (I’m SO excited to show you everything) but I wanted to give you a little sneak peek first. Oh and share my very favourite part of the transformation – the DIY Marble Countertops. I still smile every time I look at them. You all know by now how much of a crazy person I am when it comes to homeware stuff, it makes me way too happy, haha!

When I moved into the new apartment, I knew straight away that the kitchen was the room which would need the most love. Being honest, it wasn’t even close to the worst I’ve seen here in New York, but it still needed a little work. As I said, I’ll be sharing the full reveal soon but for now I’m going to talk you through how we transformed the granite-style countertops you can see below. Again, they definitely weren’t the worst, I just knew they could be better. You all know how I much I love marble, so I wanted to somehow have marble countertops in this apartment. Someday down the line, when I have my own dream house, I’ll hopefully be able to install proper marble countertops, but for now in my little NYC rental apartment, I had to be thrifty. This cheap as chips Marble Contact Paper came to the rescue!


Below is a very quick step-by-step guide on how to do this DIY Marble Countertop transformation and a list of exactly what you need. I really only had 2 small countertop spaces to change, so it didn’t take that long at all. Just be sure to take your time and have someone there to help you. An extra pair of hands is key for this!

Marble Contact Paper (this is the one I used)
– Scissors
– Sharp Knife
– Credit Card or something similar in shape
– Patience :)

1. Firstly, you HAVE to make sure the counter tops are clean. Spray with some cleaner and a cloth to ensure all dust/food is cleared off. Make sure you leave time for it to dry before applying the contact paper.

2. Measure out sections of the marble contact paper for each part of the countertop/surface you need to cover. I actually left about 1 inch of extra paper on each side, so I could cut it really precisely with a razor blade after it was applied onto the counter.

3. The next step is to start laying down your contact paper but the trick here is NOT to remove the backing paper all at once. You need to go really really slow with this step and an extra pair of hands is definitely recommended. My friend, Niamh, helped me out – so as she was laying down the contact paper and ironing out any wrinkles with a flat edged tool (we used a credit card & iphone box), I was pulling the backing paper off underneath. Team work makes the dream work and all that :) Then finally, use a sharp knife to cut away any extra pieces at the edges.

It really is that simple! Here is how mine turned out (for the grand total of just $22)……


Processed with VSCO with 10 preset

Processed with VSCO with 10 preset

Processed with VSCO with 10 preset

Not bad, right? I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! So easy to do and it instantly made the kitchen more ‘me’. This marble contact paper can be used for just about any kind of surface – coffee tables, desks, dressers, the possibilities are endless! So if you have something in mind, definitely give it a try and be sure to send me your transformations on Snapchat (retroflame1) or post a picture using the hashtag #RetrosDIYtips. I would LOVE to see!

Keep an eye on my Youtube this week for the big kitchen reveal!

Have a lovely Tuesday,
Erika x


  1. Nishi

    1 November

    This looks amazing! I’ve been wanting to do this in my kitchen for ages, but have been worried about messing it up! I wonder if this is heatproof? I have a habit of putting hot pans down on my counters!
    – Nishi x

  2. Lindsay M

    1 November

    Are you able to easily rip it off when you move? Or did the landlord let you paint the cabinets and the use the contact paper? That would be awesome if they did! I love it. I have a marble backsplash and counter but its a white and weird olive/beige color instead of your typical black, white and grey like you have. I think I want to try this!!!

  3. Love that you walked in, saw so much potential in your apartment and did it up so beautifully! Is this contact paper to be used exclusively for counter tops? I’ve been looking for a good marble contact paper to make a flatlay background.

    Niamh x

  4. Sharon

    3 November

    Looks amazing but I wonder how durable it will be with water / heat etc. (I’m a messy monkey in the kitchen!!) Although at that cost – it would be cheap enough to replace as required!! Great post and congrats on the new pad!!

  5. […] I’m FINALLY able to share the first finished room of my apartment – The Kitchen! You’ll know from my Apartment BEFORE’ video that the kitchen was the room that needed quite a lot of work. When we moved in, the kitchen cabinets were brown (with no door handles), the countertop was a faded granite style and storage/ countertop space was pretty scarce. With the help of my Mom and Kaelin, this was the room we started to focus on first as we knew we needed to be able to use it asap. Being honest, I’m just not that into cooking. In fact, I am TERRIBLE at cooking. If I could have spaghetti for dinner every day I would. So when viewing apartments a few months ago, the kitchen was never really a priority. Once it had all the basics and a bit of potential, I was sold! And I KNEW this one had potential. Here in New York, for some reason, the kitchen always seems to be the room which landlords/owners don’t really care about. It’s ALWAYS small and ALWAYS needs work. After quite a lot of convincing (i.e. begging) I persuaded my Landlord to allow me to do some DIY projects in this space. A few of you have been asking if you’re usually allowed to change things up in New York apartments and to be honest, I don’t really think it’s the norm. I just got lucky with my Landlord and after running everything by him, he allowed me to make the changes. (He was very impressed with the new marble counters!) […]

  6. Elizabeth

    3 November

    This is the best DIT ever!! When I saw you post on snap about it I knew I had to try it too. It’s totally transformed my kitchen and I couldn’t be happier! x Elizabeth

  7. […] here on Retro Flame. You might have seen my brand new kitchen reveal video yesterday and my DIY marble countertop post on Tuesday. I’m over the moon to finally be able to show you this big kitchen […]

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