Shelf liners? How to choose...
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|Sun, 08-24-2008 - 9:54am|
Tips on which type of shelf liner works best: including non-adhesive, adhesive and non-slip. Lining can be attractive and help keep your kitchen clean.
A shelf liner can be as simple as a paper towel tossed in the bottom of a drawer (handy because it’s absorbent, cheap and easy to replace, but not really attractive and it doesn’t stick to the shelf) or as fancy as printed, adhesive-backed paper that coordinates with the colors in your room (a much better, if slightly more expensive and labor-intensive choice). You can buy rolls of liner that grips but is non-adhesive, making a non-slip surface for pots and pans, or a similar product designed to allow things like plates and glasses to slide without bunching up the liner.
Non-adhesive liners are great to use on bare wood, painted wood, stained but unvarnished wood, Formica, metal and glass. Use these in places where you might want to remove the liners, or where sticking something to the surface might damage the surface. These liners should not be used on lacquered or urethaned surfaces, because there are chemicals in the liner that can bond to such surfaces, pulling up the finish when you try to remove them. These liners are easy to clean with soapy water and can be put in the clothes dryer to remove wrinkles (set on medium heat for about 10 minutes, or follow the directions on the package).
The advantage of non-adhesive liners is that they are more durable, easily removable to clean under and can provide a more stable surface for your dishes to sit on. They are more expensive than paper adhesive liners and cannot be used on all surfaces. They are not available in many colors (usually you can find beige, green, light blue and gray) and sometimes do not stay where you want them to when you remove items from the shelf. They also have holes in them, so if you want to line your shelves for ease of cleaning these are not your best bet.
The standard product most people think of when they think of lining shelves is peel and stick adhesive shelf liner. This product comes on rolls of three to six yards, is available in many different colors and styles (including clear), can be purchased almost anywhere, can be used on the same types of surfaces as the non-adhesive as well as those that non-adhesive cannot be used on (polyurethaned and lacquered surfaces) and is much cheaper than the non-adhesive product. It is a little more difficult to install and remove but it is very easy to clean with a damp sponge.
To install whatever type of shelf liners you are using, you will need to cut the pieces down to size. You can either measure all the shelves and drawers you would like to line and do the math to figure out how many yards of lining you need, or just buy a bunch, lay it in the drawer or on the shelf and trim to fit snuggly. Do all your cutting of adhesive shelf liner before taking off the peel and stick backing, and be sure to double check that you have the right sized piece before taking off the backing. Start in the back of the drawer or shelf and press the lining into the corners, smoothing down and out as you move forward. If there is any excess you can trim it because it will be at the front of the shelf.
This is a rather time consuming process. It may take a whole afternoon to line the shelves and drawers of a kitchen. But the ease of cleaning the liners will provide is well worth it.
Co-CL for "The Stitcher's Niche" and CL for "Remodel & Renovate"
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Stitchery WIPs: "Bath 5¢", "Walking to Town", a selection of 8 San Man snowman charts, 2 sets of curtain tie-backs using a DMC freebie chart and the DMC linen threads, a Kooler Design Studio chart form JanLynn called "Needlework Shop", "Tsunami Charity Sampler" from the fall 2007 Sampler & Needlework Quarterly, and "Autumn Leaves" from the December 2006 New Stitches