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#1
Old 08-28-2009, 10:27 AM
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What is the purpose of shelf paper?

Why go to all the trouble to measure it and put it in your cabinets?
#2
Old 08-28-2009, 10:30 AM
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Depending on what kind of paper you put down, it can:

deter ants
keep shelves clean from bad cans
pretty up the kitchen

I think it's prety much a hold-over from a time when home-canned foods were common, and things would occasionally explode in the pantry. We put down shelf paper every summer to keep ants out. They make kinds with built-in insecticide.
#3
Old 08-28-2009, 10:48 AM
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Oh. Well, I don't have ants, the cans are in the pantry, and I'm not going to all that trouble for pretty. My floor is pretty enough to draw everyone's attention to it.
#4
Old 08-28-2009, 10:48 AM
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And if things get icky from sugar or flour spills or sticky bottles, it's easier to throw away the old liner and put down new than it is to scrub your cabinet shelves.
#5
Old 08-28-2009, 11:00 AM
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Some shelving paper is made to help absorb sound and movement. Helps keep things quiet.
#6
Old 08-28-2009, 11:38 AM
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The original paper went over the wood that most people had in the kitchen cupboards. Once wood soaks up something you can't just wipe it off. Unlined wood shelves became black with greasy crime after some time and it wasn't going to come off. Remember mice and bugs were also a big problem and lining paper was easy to change. Now that almost all cabinets have switched to vinyl coated surfaces you don't need it for the most part. I still will line the cabinet where the honey and syrups are stored and where I store glues and paint.
#7
Old 08-28-2009, 11:42 AM
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My 1957 kitchen came with enameled steel cabinets, which eventually would rust. Shelf paper helped.
#8
Old 08-28-2009, 11:45 AM
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if the shelves were painted and removable then cleaning was easier. if the shelves were not painted or removable then the paper made cleaning easier.
#9
Old 08-28-2009, 11:48 AM
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Cupboards have been so much nicer for a about 30 years I still think God I love vinyl coated shelving.
#10
Old 08-28-2009, 11:52 AM
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We just bought a 40 year old house with original cupboards.
Those shelves were gross. Water stains, food stains, what-the-heck-was-that stains.
We scrubbed them up the best we could, but I still refused to put clean dishes straight on to them. So shelf paper it is, until we redo the kitchen.
#11
Old 08-28-2009, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boytyperanma View Post
Some shelving paper is made to help absorb sound and movement. Helps keep things quiet.
Yeah, it's a thin layer of padding. I have some thin foam, sold in rolls, that you cut to fit just like shelf paper. It keeps the glassware in my china cabinet from being rattled around by vibrations.

Last edited by Ferret Herder; 08-28-2009 at 12:10 PM.
#12
Old 08-28-2009, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
Cupboards have been so much nicer for a about 30 years I still think God I love vinyl coated shelving.
Probably actually melamine-coated shelving.
#13
Old 08-29-2009, 10:41 PM
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Wow. Lots of really good reasons.

Let's face it. I guess my reason for not using it is that I'm lazy.
#14
Old 08-30-2009, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
...Unlined wood shelves became black with greasy crime after some time and it wasn't going to come off. ...
Call the Kitchen Police!
#15
Old 08-30-2009, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster View Post
Call the Kitchen Police!
I don't want my plates and glasses on that stuff. Your welcome to let yours set directly on it. I know that it contains mouse poop and pee in that grime. Contact paper did even better at covering this than shelf liner.

Last edited by Harmonious Discord; 08-30-2009 at 08:37 AM.
#16
Old 08-30-2009, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Seltzer View Post
Probably actually melamine-coated shelving.
I don't know what plastic goes on them. I just know it cleans up and sterilizes nicely.
#17
Old 08-30-2009, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boytyperanma View Post
Some shelving paper is made to help absorb sound and movement. Helps keep things quiet.


Cite on that??
#18
Old 08-30-2009, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
Unlined wood shelves became black with greasy crime after some time ... .
Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster View Post
Call the Kitchen Police!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
I don't want my plates and glasses on that stuff. Your welcome to let yours set directly on it. I know that it contains mouse poop and pee in that grime. Contact paper did even better at covering this than shelf liner.
Um, you apparently missed twickster's attempt to draw attention to your spelling error by saying "greasy crime", not "greasy grime."


Oh, and so what if it contains mouse poop in the past. If you took ammonia to it, or bleach, or any other disinfectant, while the stain remains, the bacteria are going to have left.
#19
Old 08-30-2009, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
Um, you apparently missed twickster's attempt to draw attention to your spelling error by saying "greasy crime", not "greasy grime."
Yes I did.

As you can see I thought I was under attack for liking clean.

Last edited by Harmonious Discord; 08-30-2009 at 11:58 AM.
#20
Old 08-30-2009, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boytyperanma View Post
Some shelving paper is made to help absorb sound and movement. Helps keep things quiet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
Yeah, it's a thin layer of padding. I have some thin foam, sold in rolls, that you cut to fit just like shelf paper. It keeps the glassware in my china cabinet from being rattled around by vibrations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post


Cite on that??
i believe what is being talked about is what i've seen as a sheet of foam mesh about 1/16" to 1/8". not solid like shelf paper so not the same use as shelf paper for cleaning purposes but it does lessen noise if your shelves vibrate.
#21
Old 08-30-2009, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
Cite on that??
Here's an example or two of padding-type shelf liner (as opposed to paper-type discussed above).
#22
Old 08-30-2009, 04:06 PM
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Yes, I know about that stuff (which, if I recall correctly, was originally designed to keep things from slipping in drawers and on shelves. As an added advantage, it may act as a shock absorber. But what confused me is that is not paper, and I've never had shelves where the contents rattled, short of during earthquakes.
#23
Old 08-30-2009, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
Yes I did.

As you can see I thought I was under attack for liking clean.
Damn my subtlety!

twicks, who also uses shelf paper
#24
Old 08-30-2009, 08:28 PM
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My elderly mom is stressing right now because the shelf paper in her bedroom closet is torn, and I have told her I will replace it "soon". Since these shelves are made from unfinished plywood, shelf paper is needed so that clothing doesn't snag, things slide easier, it looks "finished", and is easier to keep clean than unfinished wood. She also gets freaked out a bit if any drawers in dressers and armoires are used, for any purpose, without a shelf-paper lining. The kitchen cabinets get a liner of contact paper so that food spills can be cleaned up easier.
#25
Old 08-31-2009, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster View Post
Damn my subtlety!

twicks, who also uses shelf paper
And what is your kitchen's crime rate? Huh?
#26
Old 08-31-2009, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillith Fair View Post
Wow. Lots of really good reasons.

Let's face it. I guess my reason for not using it is that I'm lazy.
Do you clean the shelves? Changing the paper is a lot faster than cleaning the shelf.
#27
Old 08-31-2009, 07:33 AM
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For the people that haven't had to deal with the old shelves, let me add that painting them was bad. The oil based paint did not remain a nice solid surface and items would stick into the surface over time.
#28
Old 08-31-2009, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
I don't want my plates and glasses on that stuff. Your welcome to let yours set directly on it. I know that it contains mouse poop and pee in that grime. Contact paper did even better at covering this than shelf liner.
I have contact paper on some of my shelves, too... for just these reasons.
#29
Old 08-31-2009, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
Cupboards have been so much nicer for a about 30 years I still think God I love vinyl coated shelving.
Harmonious Discord, are you talking about those coated wire racks? I hate those things.
#30
Old 08-31-2009, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enright3 View Post
Harmonious Discord, are you talking about those coated wire racks? I hate those things.
No

Think of what covers all that pressed board core furniture. The same thing goes on many kitchen cabinet shelves, and many cabinets are made entirely from the chip board covered in the laminate.
#31
Old 08-31-2009, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Polycarp View Post
And what is your kitchen's crime rate? Huh?
Better than the grime rate, actually.
#32
Old 08-31-2009, 11:31 AM
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So a couple of years ago, I was at my aunt's new house for Thanksgiving. She had just had a new kitchen put in. Someone asked me what I thought of the granite countertops. I glanced over and said "oh, very nice." Then they all started laughing at me. Then I looked more closely. Her real granite countertops had been delayed, and so her contractor made her temporary countertops out of plywood and granite-patterned contact paper! He did a good job.

I'm another who has shelf paper on many of the shelves in my apartment for many of the same reasons.

It's also a great (real) solution for dealing with grody old countertops. I tend to like funky old apartments, which often come with funky old countertops. A little contact paper and a sharp utility knife gives you a fresh clean surface. I've found that the patterned stuff lasts about 6-8 months before fading, and the plain stuff lasts longer. But replacing it is easy and contact paper is cheap.

My mom likes to get vinyl flooring scraps to line the bottoms of floor-level cabinets like the one under the sink where things are more likely to spill. Easy to clean, sturdy, and stuff slides easily on it.
#33
Old 08-31-2009, 09:05 PM
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My first reaction was, well, it's pretty.

I always thought shelf paper referred to the stuff that you put on the front edge of each shelf and fold so that the decorative edge shows. I have a bunch of leftover packages of it that belonged to my Grandmother. I use it in my china cabinets, where it shows through the glass. Grandma would also use it in any open (doorless) cabinets. I have fond, fond memories of shelf paper, and put it in the same nostalgic category as flour shifters and floral enamel dishpans.

But evidently you're asking about something rather more utilitarian.
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