Install Chic Shelf Paper

How do I install my new Chic Shelf Paper?

Chic Shelf Paper is simple to install, and we include detailed instructions with each order.

Note: We recommend you unroll your new shelf liners pattern side up for a day or so (or a few hours in the sun) to relax the curl before installation.

The basic steps are:

  • Clean all surfaces
  • Test fit and position Chic Shelf Paper
  • Expose a small strip of adhesive and secure Chic Shelf Paper in place
  • Peel back the backing no more than 8-12″ at a time
  • Smooth the paper outwards from the center working from the affixed section
  • If the alignment moved, carefully lift the area and re-apply it

Need detailed instructions? Follow these steps:

Step 1:  Assemble Tools

  • Putty knife
  • A good commercial cleaner or TSP (Tri Sodium Phosphate)
  • Medium grit (150) sandpaper (optional)
  • Low-tack masking tape
  • Hand-squeegee (shipped with your order)

First-time installers might want to start with a non-obvious surface (either a high or low shelf) to understand the installation technique.

The below process describes shelf paper installation into a cabinet, but the steps are basically the same for free hanging shelves, cubbies, furniture, drawers or most other surfaces.

Step 2: Begin with a clean surface. Remove any old shelf paper and adhesive or fragments. Need tips? Click here.

Use a putty knife to lift corners and start peeling the old paper up. Once the old paper is removed, check for any debris or surface imperfections that may prevent the paper from lying properly.

Imperfections can be removed with a putty knife and/or a little sanding with medium sandpaper. Remove any loose particles by cleaning the surface with soapy water or a good cleaner (like TSP which is available in most hardware stores).

Dry thoroughly before installing your new shelf paper.

Step 3: Fit the liner. Lay the new liner on the shelf and align it so it lays flat.

If this is a longer surface (more than  40″) you can use a small weight to hold the new shelf liner in place. Our paper is trimmed approximately 1/16″ under dimension for a nice fit, so the paper should lay flat in all corners without pushing up on any cabinet sides. Use a bit of masking tape to hold the covering in place.

Step 4: Expose a small strip of adhesive area. Without moving the new shelf paper from its alignment, peel back a 1″ (25mm) strip of the backing and crease the backing so the shelf liner can lay flat.

Step 5: Make sure the corners remain aligned and then apply a gentle pressure to smooth the paper from the center towards the corners.

Use firm pressure to pull the hand squeegee across the paper to make sure there are no wrinkles or air bubbles trapped. The paper should remain flat in all corners.

If the paper has wrinkled or moved, gently pull it up and re-align so all corners lay flat before sticking it down again.

Step 6 – Remove the backing in 8 – 12″ (200-300mm) increments. Hold the paper taut and away from the surface and pull back the liner to expose a small section of adhesive.

Starting in the center of the paper, use a front-to-back, back-to-front pull of the squeegee with overlapping strokes to flatten 3-4 inches of paper onto the shelf with each sweep. Smooth the new shelf liner so it lays flat with no bubbles or wrinkles. Continue 12″ at a time until all the liner is removed.

Step 7: Gently push the squeegee tool into the corners to flatten them then re-flatten the front and all edges of the shelf paper with the squeegee to assure good adhesion.

If you have any trapped air bubbles, you can use a fine sewing needle or pin to lance the bubble to let the air out, then re-smooth that area.

Step 8: Stand back to admire your handiwork!