How to Remove Shelf Paper With Rubber Backing That Has Stuck

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Rubber-backed shelf paper has a habit of adhering so well to a shelving surface that removing it can be difficult. The goo and mess left behind can make new shelf liner look bumpy and ill fitting. Although no miracle method exists for removal, consider a way that is relatively quick and painless. Warm water, vegetable oil and liquid detergent will free your cabinet shelf and your time.

Things You'll Need

  • Water spray bottle
  • Thin spatula
  • Vegetable oil
  • Soft scrub sponge
  • Liquid detergent
  • Bucket
  • Towel
  • Fill a water spray bottle with warm water. Begin pulling the shelf paper back, and spritz any areas with water that remain stuck to the shelf surface. The warm water will help loosen the adhesive.

  • Coat the end of a thin, plastic spatula with vegetable oil. As you pull back on the shelf paper, lightly spray it with warm water. Run the spatula up against the area in which the adhered shelf paper is sticking. The cooking oil will help keep the rubber backing from sticking to the spatula. Continue carefully removing the shelf paper by alternating the warm water spray and pushing against it with the spatula. Discard the old shelf paper.

  • Place a few drops of vegetable oil on the surface after the shelf paper has been removed. Scrape the shelf with the plastic spatula to remove any remaining rubber material and adhesive.

  • Mix ¼ cup of liquid detergent with a bucket of warm water. Scour the shelf with a soft scrub sponge soaked in the cleaning mixture. Rinse and wipe dry with a towel.

Tips & Warnings

  • For cabinetry ideas visit cabinettips.com. Take frequent breaks if you are removing a large amount of shelf paper. The repetitive motion can strain your arms and back.
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners to attempt removing this type of shelf paper. It will damage the cabinet shelf.

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