Shelf-Liner – The BEST Invention Ever

Shelf-liner is the best invention ever. Period. When I was putting together Mila’s first big girl room, I really wanted to use some of my husband’s childhood furniture, as well as my old day-bed. I wanted pieces with “personality” and I guess I was feeling a bit nostalgic. So I poached a dresser and night-stand from my husband’s childhood bedroom. These pieces had already been painted and re-finished, so repainting them wasn’t the best idea. At around the same time, I stumbled across a gorgeous roll of Issac Mizrahi floral shelf-liner for $6 at Homesense. That’s when I decided to cover the front drawers of the dresser with the shelf-liner and changed the handles with vintage ones I spray-painted black.

Before: Dresser
Before: Dresser
After: Dresser covered with shelf-liner
After: Dresser covered with shelf-liner
Handles spray-painted black
Handles spray-painted black

Then I got a little addicted to covering things with shelf-liner… so next I covered an Ikea shelf unit that I had previously painted white. This piece is also in Mila’s room and is used to house her toys.

Shelving unit covered in shelf-liner
Shelving unit covered in shelf-liner

Finally, with mere scraps of the shelf-liner left over, I covered the nightstand. I had to cut the pieces into random squares and rectangles to cover the unit, achieving a “cubist” effect. Luckily the floral pattern is quite forgiving, and I didn’t have to worry about lining the pieces up right. I also switched the handles with the vintage ones I spray-painted black.

Before: Night Stand
Before: Night-stand
After: Night stand
After: Night-stand
Handles spray-painted black
Handles spray-painted black, shelf-liner arranged in a cubist effect

So for $6 I was able to completely transform the look of three pieces of furniture in Mila’s room without any mess and in very little time! One year later the pieces are in great shape and are very easy to clean. Only the shelving unit has some peeling areas and that is because my girls have been known to pick at it now and then. Every time I’m in Homesense I always check for this shelf liner or ones like it, but I have never seen it again, I consider it to be the ultimate find.

The night stand and dresser in Mila's room
The night stand and dresser in Mila’s room

Here are a couple of more pieces I have used shelf-liner on as well. I purchased these side-tables from Target, but I wasn’t happy with the faux wood top on my bold black and white rug. Instead of painting it, I opted to cover it using black leather-like shelf-liner I purchased from Home Depot. This way, if I decide to use the tables somewhere else, I haven’t committed to painting them black and I can easily remove the shelf-liner.

Side tables covered in shelf-liner
Side tables covered in shelf-liner

I also used some white shelf-liner on my kids’ table and chair set which I purchased from Ikea. I painted the wood frame black (yes, I do occasionally paint, only when shelf-liner is not possible). But since I knew they would use the surface for art and all kinds of messy things, I covered the top so that it’s easy to wipe off and even replace if necessary. This roll was purchased from Dollarama and it gives the set just a bit of dimension and personality, while still remaining quite neutral.

Table top and chairs covered with shelf-liner
Table top and chair seats covered with shelf-liner

If you’ve never used shelf-liner, you will be impressed by how easy and forgiving it is to work with. Too bad there aren’t too many modern design options readily available. After I completed these projects, I had to convince myself to stop covering everything with shelf-liner…The first step is admitting you have a problem.

Check out The Enchanted Forest for more inspiration!

2 thoughts on “Shelf-Liner – The BEST Invention Ever

  1. I love Mila’s room, I’m someone that loves a bit of a mature look in a child’s space but still infusing a soft playfulness! At least that’s what I tried to create in Cheek’s room:) great post and I love all the pictures.


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