What is it with Shelf Paper?

/* Originally published May 2, 2011 */

I don't know if it was the cure-all of its time or if it's just a thing with my relatives, but when we first took over Lloyd’s Landing, there was hardly a flat surface that hadn't seen shelf paper.  Perfectly good wooden surfaces were covered in shelf paper, sometimes several times.  I don't mind lining the insides of drawers and cupboards with shelf paper, but coating the top of a night stand with some loopy motif in depressing winter tones just did not improve the night stand.  In fact, it looks far better without.

My favorite was the rotting picnic table.  We know that this picnic table is old because the base is made of steel and it weighs a ton.  To make moving it even more challenging, the rotting wood on the ends crumbles in your hands when you pick it up.  And yet, a fresh layer of shelf paper had been neatly smoothed over the rough-hewn top.  Yeah, shelf paper really spruced that one up.

So when I started cleaning the kitchen this morning, I took a long look at the open cupboards, which have at least three layers of shelf paper.  Some layers only go a third of the way back into the cupboard, while others make it almost all the way back.  It all had to go.  So when I started pulling the layers off, I realized that the base layer was some kind of decorator board from the 1970s.  I pulled that up, to discover that the actual cupboard was a nicely painted forest green, in great shape.

2018 Update: the open shelves have since been replaced with the brighter and more practical white metal cabinets.  Still no shelf paper on my watch.

No shelf paper!

No shelf paper!