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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Best Drawer Liners for the Kitchen



A tidy kitchen is a happy kitchen.
A tidy kitchen is a happy kitchen.

Have you recently moved? Are you itching to clean up your kitchen? Finding the perfect drawer liners can make a world of difference. Whether you rent or own a home, adding a pop of color to the inside of your drawers can liven up a room in an instant. A good drawer liner can serve both aesthetic and functional purposes in the kitchen.

Here is the cliff note version of my favorite shelf liner. The Dazz Granite liner not only adheres well to your cabinetry but it ads an added element of beauty that you are sure to love. Check out the Dazz liner at Amazon.

How can a drawer liner help me?

If you’ve been wondering how a drawer liner can help you in the kitchen, you’re not alone. Aside from the evident joy a fresh color can bring to an otherwise drab kitchen, drawer liners help protect the original drawers from spills or damage. If you have a particular drawer that holds knives, you know how easily they can get scratched up.

A kitchen liner acts as a protective barrier between your utensils and the original drawer surface. This can be especially helpful if you’re a renter. It can also be helpful with keeping your knives sharper for longer since they get dull from the dishwasher and from clashing with other utensils.

Protect your rental property.

If you’re renting your current pad and the kitchen leaves a little to be desired, you might be interested in freshening the place up. A drawer liner is an inexpensive way to bring new colors or patterns into the kitchen.

You can’t really make very many substantial upgrades to a home you rent. Adding in a drawer liner, however, can be a great way to personalize your space. Likewise, a drawer liner can hide existing spills, stains, or otherwise undesirable marks left inside a kitchen drawer.

Although a properly attached drawer liner is our end goal, you may also want to make sure that the liner will be able to be removed. Most landlords require the drawers to be emptied and completely cleaned out once you move. Be sure to choose a drawer liner that won’t be difficult to remove a few years down the line.

Add some joy to your household

If you own your home, adding in drawer liners can be a fun project that will make your kitchen a happier place to cook in.

There’s always room for home improvement! Instead of shelling out the cash to fund an entirely new kitchen renovation, you can start small. Add your very own splash of color into the kitchen by selecting a liner that suits your personal style.

Different types of shelf liners

At first glance, you would think that all shelf liners are the same. Well, they most certainly aren’t. There are a few different types of liners:


Cedar has a repellant property that makes them great for storage areas where let’s face it, you’re likely neglecting during your cleaning days. That along with the natural look of the liner mean these are a perfect shelf lining option.


This is the typical shelf liner you’ll find in stores. It is a good option (why else would it be so popular) because they protect your shelving very well.

The biggest problem with them is the installation of it. If you aren’t keen on taking your time and installing them with precision, your results will suffer.


Rubber shelf liners are a good option if you don’t want something that takes time to install. Just cut to your cabinets dimensions, and place them inside it. They won’t stick to the shelving so they aren’t the best options for drawers that are used a lot.


Cork liners are excellent for glassware and any other fragile dishes you have in your cabinet. The cushion that cork provides is unmatched and best of all, it is a great mold repellant.


Vinyl liners look beautiful inside your cabinet, and you don’t have to worry about difficult installation processes. They are somewhat rigid so they work well on wire shelving and they are heavy enough that they don’t slide all over the place.

What makes a good drawer liner?

Do you like the natural look? Your drawer liners can reflect your personality!
Do you like the natural look, or are you a fashionista? Your drawer liners can reflect your personality!

A great drawer liner will be both functional and pleasing to the eye. Try to select a liner that is simple to adhere to the surface of your drawers. Many drawer liners can be custom cut to your specifications so each drawer has its own well-fitting liner in place.

You should look for a drawer liner durable enough to withstand the anticipated traffic. Although no drawer liner should be easy to tear, you may be interested in a variety that is more waterproof than other paper-based options. This is useful if you are frequently in the kitchen whipping up new creations.

Some drawer liners may also have texturized options. These provide a non-skidding surface so your utensils and appliances don’t go sliding around inside the drawers when you shut them. Liners with rubber coatings or textured drawer liners are useful for keeping your favorite cherry pitter where you left it.

Here are some quality drawer liners that will add some much needed pizzaz to your bland, basic kitchen.

Con-Tact Brand Creative Covering Drawer Liners

Con-Tact Brand Creative Covering Self-Adhesive Vinyl Drawer and Shelf Liner, 18" x 9', Monaco Teal

Available in a multitude of sizes, and even more color and pattern options, you can be sure that Con-Tact liners will spruce up your cabinetry without having to dig too deep into your wallet.

Do you like prints? Maybe you like solid colors for a more uniform and minimalistic appearance. Con-Tact Brand has all the options you could possibly want.

The liner is a self-adhesive covering that sticks to the bottom of the drawer or cabinet that you place it in, keeping your dishes from sliding around when opening and closing drawers.

The downside of this adhesive is that it can be entirely too sticky at times, and this makes installation a real hassle. Make sure you cut it to the correct size so you don’t find yourself having to repeatedly re-shift it during the installation process. Doing so will ruin the look of the liner, making it clunky and unattractive.

Check out Con-Tact Brand Creative Covering Self-Adhesive Liner at Amazon

Con-Tact Brand Premium Non-Adhesive Liner

Con-Tact Brand Grip Premium Thick Non-Adhesive Shelf and Drawer Liner, 18" x 10', Cool Gray

It seems Con-Tact is the go to when you need a quality shelf liner without paying premium prices. I like these liners because they don’t require anything more than a measurement and a cut (I hate installing adhesive liners, and you should too). This extra thick premium liner drawer and shelf liner come in an 18-inch by 10-foot roll.

On the downside, there is nothing pretty about these at all. It’s a basic gray, woven fabric, but we don’t all need (or even want) colorful decorative liners in our cabinets.

But on the upside, this stuff stays in its place and provides enough grip to keep whatever is on top of it in its place too.

Find the Con-Tact premium non-adhesive liner at Amazon.

Sterling Shelf Liners Rigid Vinyl

Shelf Liners for Wire Shelf Liner Set of 4 - Frosted Clear (18-Inch-by-36-Inch)

These might be my favorite shelf liners if it weren’t for how expensive they are. You’ve to spend some real cash on these, but man is it gorgeous. You’ve got the option to choose from 15 different colors and patterns with my favorite being “spooning around” and “make my wish come true”.

The liners are a rigid sturdy material that has the perfect amount of “give” to them. These don’t just protect your shelves and drawers, but they protect them for years and look sooo much better than typical shelf liners.

Let’s get back to the price though. These are sold in a pack of one, and you order them to fit your specific size needs – they don’t come in large a large roll that can cover multiple shelves.

Check out the Sterling Shelf Liners at Amazon.

Duralux Shelf and Drawer Liner

DuraLux Black Shelf Liner (one 12" x 10' roll) | Drawer Liner | Non-Adhesive | Felt-Backed for Dual Use | Non-Slip | Durable & Waterproof | Home & Office

I’m not entirely sure that this is necessarily made to be a shelf liner for your kitchen. But it works better than most liners I’ve seen, and here’s why. This shelf liner has two different sides to use; a felt side and a leather (like) side. It is a fairly heavy drawer liner so it naturally lays flat, and it looks absolutely amazing inside your cabinets.

If you are interested in purchasing this shelf and drawer liner from Duralux, check it out at Amazon.

Macbeth Collection Self Adhesive Shelf Liner

The Macbeth Collection Self Adhesive Shelf Liner - 2 Pack - Rugby Chevron Graphite

The Macbeth collection has some of the best-looking liners I’ve seen from any brand (specifically the rugby chevron aqua pop). Actually, it’s so nice, that you really don’t have to relegate it to the inside of your silverware drawer – throw this baby somewhere it can be seen.

The surface is easy to clean taking only a bit of soap and water.

As far as installation is concerned, as with any adhesive shelf liner, it is going to be frustrating. But, the end result is so worth the process.

Check out The Macbeth Collection Self-Adhesive Liner at Amazon

Duck Brand Select Grip Easy Liner

Duck Non-Adhesive Shelf Liner Select Grip EasyLiner, 12-inch x 20 Feet, Brownstone

Sometimes adhesive shelf liners aren’t a viable option for you. Either, you don’t feel like going through the arduous process of lining it up perfectly to your shelving, or maybe you just don’t want to taint the finish of your beautiful new cabinetry.

These moments call for Duck brand non-adhesive shelf liners. The liners are soft enough to provide enough protection to your glassware and the surface doesn’t slide around nearly as much as you would think, for something as is not an adhesive.

The liner is 1 foot by 20 feet, giving you plenty of liner in one roll, and you’ll have seven different colors to choose from.

I’m not too keen on the holes in the shelf liner, it allows too much room for moisture to collect on the surface of your cabinets and drawers. And honestly, this wouldn’t be a very good option for drawers that you are consistently opening and closing.

Check out Duck Brand Select Grip Non-Adhesive Liner at Amazon

Dazz Beige Granite Adhesive Decorative Shelf Liner

Smart Design Shelf Liner Adhesive - (18 Inch x 20 Feet) - Drawer Cabinet Paper - Kitchen [Beige Granite]

So you’ve got beautiful new granite countertops. You’ve got a gorgeous backsplash that perfectly compliments your counters. And your new cabinets bring the whole thing together to make the perfect kitchen.

Now you’re done, right? Wrong! There is still one more thing you have to do bring it all together, a premium shelf liner. This granite adhesive liner is just that.

It is fairly simple to install and the grid on the back of the liner makes cutting precise measurements a breeze. They clean easily and the elegance they add to the interior of your new kitchen cabinets is amazing.

Of course, this isn’t actual granite, but it simulates the look pretty well. If you are looking for an inexpensive liner that adds a touch of elegance, this is clearly the liner you should go for.

Do you want to take a closer look at the Dazz beige granite adhesive liner? You can find it at Amazon.

Quartet Cork Roll

Quartet Cork Rolls, Strips, 24 x 48 inches, Corkboard, Bulletin Board, Natural, 1 Roll (103)

Cork shelf liners are great for using in cabinets that house fragile dishes because of it’s soft texture, which incidentally is what makes it so absorbent. The natural cork is pliable and easy to cut into precise measurements, making them an ideal candidate as a shelf liner.

On the downside, this isn’t a dedicated shelf liner. While that makes it among the most versatile liners on this list, it also means that it will require some extra work if you want to adhere to the surface of your counters and drawers.

You can find the Quartet cork roll at Amazon.

Con-tact Natural Cork Shelf Liner

Con-Tact Brand Cork Self-Adhesive Shelf and Drawer Liner for Crafters, 18" x 4', Natural, 6 Count

When it comes to cork shelf liners, the Con-tact has one of the best around. The look is stunning, the texture is amazing, and the liner stays in place pretty well for a non-adhesive liner.

The sheets come in an 18 or 12 inch roll, each with four feet of natural cork liner. This liner will definitely be on the more expensive side, even more so if you are going furnish all of your cabinetry with it. But it does an excellent job of protecting both your dishes and the shelves while maintaining a simple, elegant look.

Check out the natural cork liner from Con-tact at Amazon.

DII Non Adhesive Shelf Liner

DII Non Adhesive Cut to Fit Machine Washable Shelf Liner Paper For Cabinets, Kitchen Shelves, Drawers, Set of 2, 12 x 10" - Aqua Lattice

​Well, I absolutely love the fact that these are machine washable, you’ll never have to worry about wiping them down. The fabric is a combination of viscose (60%) and polyester (40%).

Coming in a pack of two liners each measuring 12-feet by 10-inches, you’ll be able to line the shelves of all of your cabinets. You also have twelve colors and patterns to choose from, and you can even get the refrigerator version of this shelf liner.

You should certainly be sure to wash these regularly or they will get nasty and crusty.

You can get the DII at Amazon.

How do I install an adhesive drawer liner?

To affix a drawer liner to your existing drawer surface, be sure to have the area thoroughly cleaned before attempting to stick the adhesive side of the liner to your drawers. Take precise measurements of your drawers for when it’s time to cut the liner paper to your custom drawer sizes.

Ensuring your drawer liners are a perfect fit is essential. “Measure twice and cut once,” so you waste as little material as possible. Also, when it comes time to adhere the paper to the drawers, be sure the surface is free of debris so bubbles don’t form underneath the liner. If bubbles do form, do your best to smooth them out.

When undertaking a drawer liner project, be sure that you pick up a few extra feet of material in the event that there are any installation mishaps. Common issues include cutting the liner too small for the selected drawer or having too many bubbles under the drawer liner.

How to remove Adhesive Shelf Liner

Regardless of the type of liner you get, how expensive it was, or how great the quality is, the time will come when it has to come up. And while applying adhesive liners properly is one of the most tedious processes known to man. Removing it is even worse. The stuff just sticks to the shelves, refusing to come off in one piece.

But fret not, we’ve got the solution for you. You’ll need a few things though; spray bottle (filled with water), a cloth, hair dryer, and a putty knife.

Removal steps

  1. You’ll want to start at the corner of the liner (duh) and use your hair dryer to heat the adhesive. This is to weaken the bond it has on the shelves.
  2. Once you’ve successfully loosened the corner of the liner, take your putty knife and work it across the cabinet until you reach another sticky portion – this is where the spray bottle comes in handy.
  3. spray the portion of the liner that is sticking to the cabinet. Wait for it to seep under the liner and recommence the peeling.
  4. Repeat until it’s removed. Oh yeah, make sure that you clean the shelves thoroughly afterwards – don’t want adhesive stuck to them.

The kitchen improvement line-up!

If your kitchen is disorganized, this how-to has some excellent ideas on storage and organizational options.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Alexis DeAnda

Alexis DeAnda is a food fanatic, library card user, and cast iron hunter, in that order. She has been cooking for anyone that will taste it ever since her mom let her make doughnuts on Saturday mornings at the age of 7.

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