May 9, 2012

Lining Cabinet Shelves Without Shelf Paper

I have issues with shelf paper. Firstly, I can never get it down smooth and straight. I'll own that one, but in time, the stuff always starts looking raggedy. The edges start peeling and crumbs get stuck to them. Trying to peel it off to replace it is a nuisance too. Plus, I just don't like the way it looks. Instead I use an idea I got from my mother-in-law,

.... vinyl flooring tiles. I really like these. Since there's no heavy foot traffic the least expensive tiles will do. They are self-adhering, so nothing special is required to install them.

There's no need to start in the center and snap a chalk line. Just start at the door edge of the cabinet and work from there.

No need to worry about getting the edges cut exactly straight. No one will notice under whatever is stored in there. It's quick to put down, looks neat, is durable, and super easy to keep clean.

All done. Now Dan can put the doors back on and I can start putting stuff in this cabinet. Hurray!


  1. Sometimes mothers-in-law can be very clever :)

  2. And after all this time I thought it was my Mom who came up with the tiled cabinet liners. Looking forward to seeing the doors on the cabinets.

  3. I like it! I quit lining shelves for the same patience for the bubbles and wrinkles:) Great idea.

  4. I don't like shelf paper either...maybe because each house I have moved into had some nasty stuff I had to get rid of. My solution was to sew some flannel pieces to fit the shelves and then when they get dirty, I just throw them in the wash and put them back, but your idea seems like it would be easier to keep clean...especially under the sink. I think I might try it out. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Dani, very true! There is a lot of wisdom that comes from time and experience.

    Martha, they probably read the same women's magazines, LOL

    Michele, I can't imagine how anybody can apply the stuff without bubbles and wrinkles! I'm happy with this alternative.

    Natalie, that would definitely be better than shelf paper. I like the vinyl though, not only under the sink, but for shelves I keep things like honey jars on. Always sticky!

  6. I always avoid shelf liner like the plague, the crinkles make me crazy for sure. This is a smart solution and will last forever..Now that I think about it, my grandmother had this under her kitchen sink. xo

  7. This. Is. Brilliant. Your mother-in-law may be a genius. I've been turning a blind eye to the ugly shelf paper I struggled to put in this house when we moved here (ten years ago) and now I am actually motivated to do something about it! Thank you!

  8. Great idea! I was going to use that new rubber stuff they have that doesn't stick like contact paper but lays flat. Your idea is better, probably cheaper, more durable and won't move at all! Thank you! I love the color of your cupboards too!

  9. LOL!! I thought I was the only one who did this! But I use paper on upper shelves and drawers and vinyl on bottom shelves that take a licking.

  10. What a great idea! I think I'll do that under my kitchen sink.

  11. Have you been snooping under my sink again !?!?! I have the same idea and the same tiles! So sturdy so easy to clean. Wish I could use in my barn stalls but hubs says no

  12. What an excellent idea! That would be especially great where I keep my pots and pans. I will be on the lookout for inexpensive vinyl tile!

  13. That's a fabulous idea . . . who'd of thought!

  14. Smart! I hate shelf liner, too. I've also used old wallpaper to line with. It's messy, but it stands up really well to abuse.

  15. I love this! thank you so much for the idea and pictures!


  16. Thank you MIL for me! I'll get some the next time I'm at the store. I was just looking at mine the other day and dreading it. What a great idea!

  17. GREAT post! I would have never thought about that. Thinking outside the box is always a good thing, ha.

  18. Now I feel kinda stoopid! I've always done this on the floor under my sink but never even thought of doing it on the cupboard shelves. (Picture me whacking myself on forehead with open hand.) Thanks, Leigh!

  19. Hate the adhesive shelf liner stuff. I've used vinyl squares (especially under the sink or in pots & pans cabinets), or the non-skid shelf liner that can be machine washed under the dishes and glassware.

    Can't wait to see the finished cabinets!

  20. I have done that too, under my sinks, works great!

  21. Sherri, I used to use nothing I disliked the paper so much. Also tried painting them. I like this better. :)

    Jessica, I thought so too. It's nice
    to have an alternative to that paper!

    Sam, thanks!

    Serenity, great minds think alike. :) I'm considering trying paper or the new stuff in the upper cabinets. May be easier to deal with.

    Barb, thanks! Under the sink is the best place for it.

    Donna, LOL. I hadn't thought about the barn, but why not!

    Susan, yes, it's great for areas like that. I got mine at Fred's.

    Janice, thanks!

    Jocelyn, I've heard of using old wallpaper. That might be a good idea for my wall cabinets.

    Sandi, thanks!

    Melodye, so glad it's useful for you. :)

    1st Man, thanks! I'm all for thinking outside the box!

    Mama Pea, It works well in all cabinets and cupboards!

    Sue, I'll have to look for the washable non-skid liners. That may be good for my wall cabinets.

    Nancy, great minds think alike!

  22. Es una idea muy buena Leigh!!!
    : )
    Un abrazo

  23. I've always done that on my low cabinets, but never on the high cabinets, I don't know why!

  24. Funny thing.....I just did the same thing in my "new" bathroom cupboard.
    It is nice and such a good alternative to shelf paper! It didn't come as a thought...the left over flooring was stacked under the sink by the installer. :)
    You have a wise mother-in-law!
    Your cheese post is something else!
    These recipes really take time to develop and it sounds like you got it right!

  25. Very clever, why didn't I think of that?! My mother-in-law lines cabinets with old calendar pages, and they get dirty pretty quick. I'm even worse - mine are completely unlined! I really should do this at least for the one under the sink...I'm loving that green color on your cabinets :)

  26. Brilliant! That is what the top of my "desktop" is...vinyl tiles :) I bought a cheap box I liked at a discount store, dad cut a piece of plywood the size I needed, and placed them on it. Then he painted trip and tacked it all around the edges.

  27. Rosamargarita, thanks! Good to hear from you. :)

    Swamp Dog, I have yet to do my uppers, but I'm thinking about trying some of the suggestions folks have made here. Still, those tiles are the easiest to clean.

    Julene, inspiration strikes again! Thanks for that on my latest cheese post. I'm excited about that too. :)

    Jaime, well, that's a good use of an old calendar. Like you, I'd rather do without than use sticky shelf paper. Shelves always get dirty and that stuff can't be discarded very easily!

    Stephanie, that's an excellent idea too. Thanks for mentioning it. I may use that too.

  28. actually I just put old tiles in, unglued, just put in edge to edge. there are always some good ones to take away for free or very cheaply and the colours/designs don't matter, as long as they're the same size. I can still take them out if I have to, but rarely do. if crumbs etc. collect I just hold the hover in for a sec:) the downside is that it's not a good idea for overhead cupboards, because the tiles add too much weight.

  29. Ive used floor tiles with good results myself, so its a great idea i think........Id like to invite everyone to a post I've just published honoring the TV show "Big Valley", and also actor Peter Breck. Included with this post are 2 personal recipes that was sent to me by Peters wife Diane, so please stop by and say hello and share your memories of this classic TV show. Richard.

  30. Bettina, that's a really good idea too. I know you've mentioned having a good source for those tiles before. More durable than the vinyl ones.

    Richard, good to hear from you! I apologize for not having visited your blog more often. I'm on my way now....

  31. I've always painted or varnished when the interior is wood.
    That always washes well.

    Modern cupboards have a melamine surface, so there is no need for anything but the occasional non-slip mat.

  32. Mary, we used to have melamine surfaces on cabinets, now it seems to have gone to particle board, or, for the more expensive ones, particle board with a wood veneer. The melamine certainly would be easier to keep clean. But you know American profiteers, always changing things.


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