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Jacque Lemu
Last reply on Oct 27, 2016

Can I successfully paint cabinets made from pressed "wood" and covered in a contact paper like stuff?

Jacque Lemu
Last reply on Oct 27, 2016

I have no idea what one would call what these cabinets are made from! I only know they are ugly and I want to paint them!

10  of  12 comments
  • Designs by BSB
    Designs by BSB Lawrenceville, GA
    on Jul 13, 2012

    if you are talking about kitchen cabinets, it is likely they are thermofoil. can you share a photo? age of cabinets? cannot say that Ive ever seen kitchen cabinets with a contact grade kind of covering - by comparison its easy to find with furniture. can you paint? yes.. its all about the primer. depending on the grade/texture of the covering is key.. need to see a close photo of a door to further help you

  • Daniela N
    Daniela N Nashville, TN
    on Jul 13, 2012

    if the surface is slick make sure you use a oil base primer (it sticks like glue!) it smells and all, but it will last longer. you can use regular latex paint over oil base primer. there is such paint as cabinets' paint, I would suggest you go with that...a little more expensive, but then again, you want it to last

  • Bernice H
    Bernice H Woodburn, OR
    on Jul 13, 2012

    I think with a good primer like Kilz, the contact paper would be ok. We primed over that vinyl wall paper in our MH kitchen, and 16 years later, it is still ok! I have also primed and painted over wall paper, so go for it!

  • Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com
    Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com Colonia, NJ
    on Jul 14, 2012

    The type of cabinet Toni is speaking about is a particle board with a wood grain imprint on a paper laminate that is often heat applied to the surface. Over time this paper begins to peel which exposes the particle board underneath. This can be refinished, but with care. You need to carefully sand the edges of the damaged area, then fill using a auto body type filler to bring the surfaces level again. Once that has been done a very good cleaning but no sanding should be done. Using a deglossing chemical such as TSP should do the trick. Once clean and dry, prime using a oil based primer. Not water based. The water based primer will cause the paper covering to possibly swell and cause issues. Once dry again using a oil based paint put your final finish coat on.

  • Toni E
    Toni E Bethalto, IL
    on Jul 14, 2012

    Thanks Woodbridge! Spot on! I'm headin' to Lowe's!

  • Kirsten Landt Rodriguez
    Kirsten Landt Rodriguez Iselin, NJ
    on Jan 3, 2015

    I have the same cabinets Woodbridge described - my question is do you peel off what you can and then fill or just cut off the loose paper laminate and then fill to be even?

  • Char
    Char Conover, NC
    on Feb 16, 2015

    I too have the same cabinets Woodbridge described, mine however may have gotten wet at some point because the pressed wood is kind of swollen in places. Mostly on the bottoms. Can anything be done to fix that before prime/sand/paint? Or are there some clever camouflage ideas for them?

    • Deanie Winter
      Deanie Winter Simi Valley, CA
      on Jul 19, 2015

      @Char I would try a product used by painters called Gesso. It is used to seal painters canvis. Once the swelling happens you probably should clamp it after you apply the Gesso. Let it dry and sand if needed and then add another coat of the Gesso. You can find it at most craft stores.

  • Sandra Lila Lomeli
    Sandra Lila Lomeli Aurora, IL
    on Feb 25, 2015

    hi everyone. I am new here. I have white kitchen cabinets that have a plastic coating that is peeling off, what is underneath looks like pressed something....is there anyway to create a distressed wood look on this?

  • Michelle
    Michelle Janesville, WI
    on Jul 4, 2015

    Can I paint over msg cabinets?

    • Deanie Winter
      Deanie Winter Simi Valley, CA
      on Jul 19, 2015

      @Michelle I have been able to paint over it. I have the white ones.

  • Heather
    Heather Tooele, UT
    on Mar 2, 2016

    Gesso would work great. Also, Chalk paint would be a great option. You dont have to prime before. I have an entire blog post on using chalk paint and milk paint that might be helpful for you. www.onehorselane.com Hope that helps!

Share your thoughts!
­ a mess. Have kept it for years unfinished. Thought I would chalk

q need ideas for what to do about the rusted brass feet on a table i want to paint, chalk paint, painted furniture
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