An Easy Way to Line Kitchen Shelves


Adding protective shelf lining is an easy way to decorate shelving in any room. You have many choices when you want an easy way to line shelves, but the benefits of completing the project remain the same. Shelf linings install inside or on top of an unfinished cabinet or wall shelf and protect valuable items that sit on top.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Straight edge (ruler)
  • Liner (adhesive backed)
  • Utility knife
  • Water (warm)
  • Soap
  • Rag
  • Pencil
  • Pad
  • Remove objects from on top of the shelf you want to add a lining to or empty the cabinet that will be lined. Place all of these objects in a safe place away from the work area.

  • Use a tape measure to find the width and the depth of the base of each shelf that will be lined and mark these measurements on a piece of paper. This will help you cut the lining to fit.

  • Clean the shelving to be lined with warm water and soap. Allow this area to dry completely. Wipe the dry shelf base with a rag.

  • Roll out your shelf liner on a countertop or other flat surface. Use your measurements to mark the lining with the correct length and width to cover the base of your cabinet. Use a straight edge to mark lines where you will cut. Divide the lining for large cabinets and shelves up into two or three segments, using your shelving measurements, and cut each segment to fit together as one piece when installed.

  • Cut with a razor blade utility knife. Use the markings on the liner to cut straight lines or place the straight edge in the correct position over the marked line to guide the utility knife down the mark precisely.

  • Place the liner in your cabinets before removing the protective cover over the adhesive. Use this placement to correct any errors in cutting the liner and to be sure the base of large shelves and cabinets are completely covered.

  • Take the backing off of the shelf liner slowly and evenly at an angle to free the protective cover from the adhesive. Place one pre-cut segment into position by positioning the lining directly over the space it will cover and lowering it onto the base. Move on to the next segment and continue until all the shelves are lined. Use your palm to press the lining down to secure it tightly to the shelf.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a small rolling pin to press the lining down onto the surface of the shelf or base of a cabinet.
  • When marking shelf lining to be cut, place lengths of lining side by side to make up the entire surface area of a large shelf or cabinet base.
  • Razor-blade utility knives can be a cutting hazard. Carefully handle the knife when cutting and retract the blade when not in use. Hold the straight edge on the side away from the cutting blade when you use a straight edge as a cutting guide.

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  • Photo Credit herbs boxes on kitchen shelf image by araraadt from
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