How to Remove Shelf Liner

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Whether it is old and dated or peeling up in spots, if your cabinets are lined with adhesive shelf liner, there is going to come a time when you have to pull it up. If the shelf liner is newer, it's relatively easy to peel off. Shelf liner that has been there for a number of years, however, becomes a bit more difficult, not to mention time consuming, to remove.

Things You'll Need

  • Blow dryer
  • Metal putty knife
  • Scouring pad
  • Adhesive remover
  • Sponge
  • Warm soapy water
  • Begin peeling. Starting at a seam or a corner, lift and peel up as much shelf liner as you can by hand.

  • Scrape it. Taking the metal putty knife, scrape the shelf liner at the edges and peel off as much as you can get loose.

  • Apply heat. Using your blow dryer on a high heat setting, hold it over an area of shelf liner you wish to remove. Heat loosens the adhesive on the bottom of the paper.

  • Scrape it off again. Using the metal putty knife again, scrape off the area of shelf liner you heated with the blow dryer. Continue doing this until all the shelf paper is gone.

  • Wipe on adhesive remover. Using an old rag, pour the adhesive remover on the shelves and then wipe it around to cover the entire surface area of the shelf.

  • Scrub off remaining adhesive. After allowing the adhesive remover to sit according to manufacturer's instructions, scrub the remaining adhesive off with a scouring pad.

  • Wash it off. Clean the shelf and any remaining adhesive and adhesive remover with a sponge and warm soapy water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always allow the shelves to dry before installing new shelf liner. Wait at least a day to be sure the shelves are dry and the new shelf liner will adhere.
  • Avoid using petroleum-based adhesive removers. The fumes become too concentrated in the small spaces of the shelves and you can become dizzy or faint.

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