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Should You Line Bathroom Cabinets?

Lining your cabinets, especially in the kitchen, isn't a new concept. However, you might be wondering whether you should do the same for your cabinets in the bathroom. Well, we've researched the topic in-depth and have an answer for you. 

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Lining your cabinets in your bathroom is a good idea, and while it's a decision that is completely up to you, it has numerous benefits. It helps protect your drawers from any product spills, moisture damage, or leaks. It can also be aesthetically pleasing to look at. A good way to line your cabinets and drawers is by using adhesive contact paper or a non-adhesive PVC liner. 

There are more pros than cons when it comes to lining your bathroom cabinet, but keep reading as we discuss this further. We'll go over the purpose of shelf liners and what you can use to get the job done. Additionally, we'll give you some substitutions for shelf liner. 

luxurious bathroom in wooden tone. Should You Line Bathroom Cabinets

Lining Bathroom Cabinets

You're probably used to seeing shelf liners in the kitchen. They are easy to clean and can protect your cabinet wood. Food, moisture, cleaning products, and pots and pans can all be damaging to wood. While your bathroom doesn't have any food products in its cabinets (we hope!), you're more likely to store harsher cleaning products in your bathroom cabinets and products, like makeup and toothpaste, that might cause a mess in your drawers. 

green painted wood cabinet a man lines the bottom of a bathroom cabinet with a plastic sheet

Think about what you're going to put under your bathroom sink. If you're going to store cleaning products, extra beauty products like shampoos, conditioners, or soap, lining your bathroom cabinets is probably a good idea. Sometimes, despite our best efforts to close spray nozzles and bottles completely, the excess product can run down the sides. This can damage or stain the wood. 

What To LineBathroom Cabinets With

There are some different products you can use to line your cabinets. Some adhere to the cabinet's surface, while others are easily removable and even machine washable. 

Contact Paper

Contact paper is a self-adhesive paper. It's relatively inexpensive and comes in an assortment of colors and designs, and is easy to clean. The downside to contact paper is that it can sometimes be difficult to remove without leaving behind a sticky residue. If your cabinets are painted, the contact paper might pull away some of the paint when you remove it. 

Many brands of contact papers are removable. Some are easier to remove than others. Be sure to read the description if you know you will want to remove it easily. 

Click here to see Duck EasyLiner Adhesive Surfaces on Amazon.

PVC Liners

PVC Liners are simply placed onto the surface of the cabinet. They do not stick with adhesive but instead stay in place with their grip design. They are easy to clean and machine washable. PVC liners are typically waterproof and stain-resistant, making them a good option for under bathroom sinks where there might be a lot of moisture. 

Click here to see Thicken Non-Adhesive PVC Shelf Liner on Amazon.

EVA Liners

EVA is a type of plastic polymer that is rubber-like in texture. These liners are not unlike the PVC liner but have a different look to them. They are easy to remove because they do not stick to the surface. Like the other examples, EVA liners are easy to wipe clean. You can also cut them to size very easily. 

Click here to see GLOW4U EVA Non-Adhesive Shelf Liner on Amazon.

Most of the liners can be cut to size, so for non-adhesive liners, simply measure how much you need and slip it in. For adhesive liners, be sure to follow the directions on the packaging for the best way to apply it smoothly. 

While you might not keep cleaning products in your bathroom drawers, it can still be a good idea to line those too. Makeup and toothpaste can all create a mess on the bottom of your drawer. A liner will make it easy to wipe down. 

What should I line my bathroom drawers with?

Organized Bathroom Drawer with liner

You can line your bathroom drawers with the same products we listed above for cabinets. Many of the products can be cut to size so you can line both your cabinets and drawers at the same time. 

Since the inside of your drawers is more easily seen, you might want to choose a fun, attractive design to spruce up the look. A bright color or floral design would work well in a bathroom!

Click here to see Yifely Vintage Flower Drawer Shelving Paper on Amazon.

If you're thinking about giving your bathroom cabinets a complete makeover, take a look at this post: "What Kind Of Paint Should You Use On Bathroom Cabinets?"

Is it necessary to line cabinets?

As we mentioned earlier, it is a personal choice as to whether you line your cabinets or not. Some people swear by it because it can help protect any raw wood. It's especially good if you are renting your home and want to avoid risking damages you might have to pay for. 

You don't have to line every cabinet, but if you have cabinets that might get ruined by food, moisture, beauty products, or cleaning products, it can help save them from unsightly damage. It can also protect your wood from any scratches that might occur from pots and pans you might have stored in them. 

Do new cabinets need shelf liners?

Whether your new cabinets need shelf liners will depend on what type of finish they have. If they are a laminated surface, shelf liners aren't really necessary as laminated surfaces are typically easy to clean already. If your cabinet surfaces are wood, shelf liners will help protect the wood from any wear and tear. 

What is the purpose of drawer liners?

Drawer liners not only serve the same purpose as cabinet liners, but they also help stop items from sliding around inside the drawer. The motion of opening and closing a drawer can cause your organizer bins or other loose items to slide up and down inside. If you keep your makeup in your bathroom drawer, you probably don't want it rolling back and forth every time you open and close it.

Adding a liner, especially a rubber liner or a liner with grip, can keep them in place. Some liners are even machine-washable, making it super easy to keep clean.

Click here to see Duck Brand Select Grip EasyLiner Shelf and Drawer Liner on Amazon.

What can I use instead of shelf liner?

If you don't want to purchase shelf liner, you can get creative with other products you might already have in your house. Anything that can create a protective layer can be used as a shelf liner.

Wax Paper or Wrapping Paper

Wax paper or leftover wrapping paper can provide a temporary shelf liner; however, you'll want to make sure it's high quality or a thick piece of paper so that it won't tear easily. 


Fabric scraps can make a good shelf liner if you don't need it to be waterproof. One plus side of the fabric is that you can just throw it in the washing machine with your laundry for easy cleaning. You can starch the fabric to make it stiffer so it doesn't slide around easily. 


You probably won't go out of your way to purchase wallpaper just to line your shelves, but if you have a leftover roll, you can treat it like contact paper and give your shelves an easy layer of protection. 

Final Thoughts

While you don't have to line your bathroom cabinets, it's definitely a good idea to do so. It can help prevent the surface of your cabinets from getting damaged by any leaky pipes or cleaning products. Hopefully, our article has helped answer some other questions you might have had about shelf and drawer liners so you can feel confident and inspired when it comes to protecting your surfaces. 

If you're wondering how much liner you might need, get an idea of the size of bathroom cabinets by checking out our other blog post here: "How Deep Are Bathroom Cabinets? [Typical depth by cabinet size]."