Using Contact Paper in the Classroom

contact paper covered table

I love my classroom, but the tables are not in the best shape.

  There are three white circular tables that are very old, any pencil, crayon or markers stain it - stain so much that even a Magic Eraser cannot remove it!

try covering older tables with contact paper to make them easier to clean

There are also five trapezoid tables that are dark brown, and one rectangular table that is a different shoe of dark brown.

tables before contact paper

contact paper old tables

classroom, old tables without contact paper

old tables, classroom

My first year I just let this go since I was more worried about transitioning from 5th to Kindergarten!

Last year I decided to use contact paper to trick the eye and make consistent. The best part was how much the color I chose warmed up the room.

table refreshed with contact paper

I went with oak contact paper. It is incredibly easy to apply (and adjust when need be) and because of the wood grain, the seams don't really show. Using a squeegee is a big help as it smooths out all the bubbles!

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old table, contact paper

For the edge of the tables I used 2" electrical tape, it is an easy way to finish them off smoothly.

contact paper for new looking tables

Overall they held up really well this year. I talked to my students a lot about why I covered them. I showed them pictures of the old tables and they all agreed they liked the new ones better. I had a few kids who pick at the seams, but if the holes get too large I just patch it.

The best part of all was how quickly I could clean up each afternoon. My first year, it would take about six Lysol wipes, a Magic Eraser and about 5-8 minutes of scrubbing for each table. 

Now it only takes about five minutes to clean every surface in my room!

contact paper in the classroom

I found a larger size of the contact paper,  rather than the short version I used last year. I think this is going to make setting up my tables a lot easier, and there will be a lot less rolls to manage!

contact paper prep

The other place I use contact paper is on my bulletin boards. I like a clean black background for my signs.

contact paper on old bulletin boards

My boards were actually painted bright blue underneath. A very cheery color, but not what I was looking for in my classroom.

I was able to staple the contact paper on (it is so much faster that way) on the bulletin board for my word wall

K-1 classroom decor for morning meeting

The duct tape border makes a nice divider for the sight word of the day too!

bulletin board, contact paper covering

It even worked on the metal space next to my windows where I hang our blends posters

use contact paper to refresh classroom

On the chalkboard, I removed the backing and adhered the paper. It looks so much better than the old green chalkboard.

whiteboards, contact paper

Have you used contact paper in your room? Let me know how in the comments below!

Looking for other ways to use contact paper in your classroom? Check out my built in whiteboard table post!

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  1. Hi! I am considering using contact paper on a countertop in my classroom- what has been your experience with removing it? I do not want to leave any residue behind. Thanks!

    1. Hi! Unfortunately it does leave residue but it comes off easily with Lysol wipes and Mr. Clean magic erasers!

  2. I saw a classroom door that looked like it was made of ship lap. When I asked her about it, she said it was Contact paper. Her tables matched the door, too.

    1. I love all the ways you can decorate with contact paper!