A Crazy Year to DIY the Kitchen – Cabinet Shelves


DIY the Kitchen – Cabinet Shelves

Cabinet shelves. They blend into the background of your cabinets, because you have all kinds of dishes and food on top of them. Do you want them to be invisible?

cabinet shelves

old look inside

Not me! I wanted the cabinet shelves to a focal point when you open the door. I wanted people to say “That is so cool!”

How do you do that?

This is the ONLY place where contact paper is appropriate. People use it to cover furniture all the time. Okay maybe if it is a cheap piece of furniture, but seriously!

Contact paper now comes in all kinds of colors and patterns. Rumor has it wallpaper is dying, and when people are in a home improvement store, they are being directed to contact paper for most of their projects. I guess you have to go to a design studio or the internet if you want wall paper.

It takes very little time to add a pop of color to your shelves. I wanted something to match the cabinet hardware, and the closest I found was fire engine red. Not quite a cherry or candy apple red, but it was still really red, and went well with inside white paint of the cabinets.

It is very easy to attach. Hopefully you have removable, adjustable shelves, which is what I have. If you have stuck cabinet shelves, it will take a ladder and a lot more patience and time than I have.


cabinet shelves

How is this for a pop of color

  • Take the cabinet shelf out of the cabinet.
  • Measure the width.
  • Measure the depth and length, multiply by 2, and add two inches for overhang.
  • Mark your template on the back of the contact paper.
  • Cut out the template. Contact paper is very easy to cut; depending on the sharpness of your scissors, you could slide without actually cutting.
  • Start peeling the paper backing, and place it in the back 1/3 of the underside. Slowly pull off the paper backing, smoothing out the bubbles as you attach.
  • If you start going crooked, you can lift it up and readjust.
  • Overlap the edge and smooth the whole shelf one more time.
  • Replace and repeat.
cabinet shelves

drawers I added to the lower cabinets, from The Container Store

You can also line the drawers the same way. I had my regular drawers, as well as some drawers I had bought from The Container Store that I had put in the lower cabinets. They are really handy for having easier access to the lower level cabinets. And I personally painted them so they would match the upper cabinets on the inside. The handyman hadn’t bothered.

Cabinet Shelves

Another pop of color

  • You need to do more careful measuring here, and you need to have a lot more patience.
  • You would not believe how many times I lifted the paper up because it wasn’t straight.
  • And some of my drawers were bigger than the roll’s width, so I had to do some patchwork.
  • Fortunately the seams are not easily seen unless you are looking for them.

I finally finished. Talk about the cabinet shelves being noticeable now!

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