How to Line Kitchen Shelves and Cabinets Before Unpacking

Feb 22, 2022 | Moving Blog, Moving Mistakes, Tips

If you’ve just moved into a new home, chances are you have plans to improve it. Lining kitchen cabinets is a great way to make them look better if they’re already in poor condition, and it helps prevent stains in the wood that might occur from fresh-washed dishes, glass jars, and general long-term use. You can also choose any pattern or color for your lining, and it’s a really easy project that can be done on a budget. Before you unpack your kitchen supplies, give your new cabinets a pick-me-up with custom lining.

Measuring and Getting Supplies

Before you run off to the hardware store, you need to take the measurements of your cabinets. These measurements will help you determine how much lining you should buy, and you’ll be able to make your lining seamless and beautiful. 

Once you have your measurements, you can go shopping for your lining. Contact paper is one of the most popular products for the job. It comes in a variety of patterns and colors, and the back of this paper has a strong adhesive. You can easily cut the exact sizes you need and stick them to your cabinets. You’ll also need vinegar, a cleaning cloth, a toothbrush, reusable mounting putty, and a squeegee. 


Cleaning your shelves before lining them ensures the contact paper won’t peel up after installation. The best gentle cleaner for wooden cabinets is vinegar, but you can also use an all-purpose cleaner for the job. Before you start cleaning, make sure all your cabinets are empty and try to clean out any dust. Soak a cleaning cloth in your cleaner and dilute it with water, then start cleaning your cabinets. Use a toothbrush to get in the corners and cracks, and then let the wood dry for at least an hour. If you don’t like the smell or you want to speed up the drying process, you can open some windows for better ventilation. 


Once you cut the contact paper to the exact size you need, all you have to do is remove the lining from the back of the paper and carefully stick it onto the wood. Use a squeegee to Smooth out air bubbles and secure the cabinet corners with mounting putty. For extra protection, you can use a clear liner or protective top coat. 

Safe and Efficient Moving Services with Element Moving and Storage

If you’re moving into a new home, take some of the stress out of the process when you hire Element Moving and Storage. Our experienced moving team will work with you to make a plan, and we’re equipped to handle as much of the move as you want, including packing, transportation, and even unpacking. We also offer short-term and long-term storage for anything you can’t take with you, protected by local law enforcement officers and 24/7 security cameras. Call or visit our website for a free quote on our services today!