Asked on Jan 6, 2012

Laminate Cabinets

KMS WoodworksWallsTreat Studio/ Kass WilsonSawHorse Design Build


The cabinets in our kitchen and bathrooms has white laminate adhered to it. Parts have cracked or broken off, leaving the particle board underneath. Is there anyway I can salvage without having to buy totally new fronts to the cabinets or drawers? Any help would be appreciated.
7 answers
  • Julie, I hate to say it but your best bet would be to just go and get new cabinet drawers/doors for this. It is a much simpler way to go about it and the cost is not really all that much more than trying to repair things. Spend some time and shop around. Measure your current door/drawer sizes and check the type of hinges to make sure things match up properly.

  • Mike N
    on Jan 6, 2012

    Hi Julie. I agree with Dan, but might even suggest that replacing the doors and drawer fronts alone might not be enough. Is replacing the boxes an option for you? My concern is that even if you could have new doors and drawers constructed to replace the existing, assuming you'd buy laminated again, a new, white laminate would surely be mismatched looking directly against the old, existing laminate. If that's not bad enough, painting laminate isn't ideal. (though Walls Treat may have something to say about that!!) Sorry I don't have better news for ya.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 7, 2012

    you might also consider some re-facing...check out this article I wrote on that.

  • Designs by BSB
    on Jan 8, 2012

    One of my clients successfully removed all the laminate and painted herself! I was in shock.. I would never have known the cabinets were once thermofoil!

  • SawHorse Design Build
    on Jan 8, 2012

    I have seen some cabinets that Kass with Wallstreat has helped transform. If they are still in good condition, then she might be able to help. If not, consider refacing or replacing completely. Really depends on your budget and expectations.

  • Matt, thanks for the vote of confidence. The basic rule of thumb is that any finish is only as good as the surface you are working on. New fronts are amazingly cost effective as compared with the sweat equity involved with removing the laminate. The reason these elements are covered with laminate or thermofoil is because the substance underneath will not hold up on its own.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 9, 2012

    Particle board + moisture = mush... The "driver" for these types of cabinets is always cost....particle board is dirt cheap compared to real wood and a good deal cheaper than ...ply. Throw a "plastic" skin on it and it can resist basic wear and tear.

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