Asked on Jan 22, 2016

How do you paint laminate kitchen cupboards when they're peeling?

I want to paint my kitchen cupboards but the skin is peeling off of some of them. I was wondering if I peel the skin off the doors that are peeling down to the MDF board, but keep the other ones on, and paint them all the same color, how it will turn out? Has anyone tried this? I don't want the ones that are MDF to look different than the ones with the skin. And I'm hoping that I don't have to peel the skin off ALL of the doors. Thanks!
The laminate is barely staying on
The laminate is peeling at the end
  8 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 22, 2016
    You will have to fix the laminate prior to painting. The site I was going to give you will not work. Google to repair laminate
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Jan 22, 2016
    Is there a chance you can reattach the loose laminate instead of removing it? If I understand, you want to possibly remove the laminate from some cabinets but not all and then paint the MDF where the laminate was removed. I'm thinking the laminate is very smooth whereas the MDF is not. It may not give a unified appearance to have some painted and some laminate.
  • Shansmow Shansmow on Jan 22, 2016
    I had the same problem in my previous home. I was fortunate enough that I could re-attach the face portion but part of the top was ripped so I just cut it flush with the door. The I used the Rustoleum kitchen cabinet kit and painted them from beige to black. The kit came with a glaze that you can use if you like and I found it helped mask some of my not so perfect spots. Tedious job but cheaper than replacing the doors. If you're lucky enough to live by a Habitat for Humanity Re-store you might be able to find replacement doors. Good luck!
  • Shari Shari on Jan 22, 2016
    I tend to agree with Barbara...there will probably be enough of a texture difference between the cabinets where you remove the thermofoil skin and those that you don't. I would also have to wonder if some are loosening, how long will it be before others become loose? It would be a shame to put a lot of work into painting and then have the plastic start to separate on any of the doors/drawers you left intact. Apparently it isn't difficult to remove the thermofoil. Check out this video: If you can't view that video (I can't. ???) you can view it on YouTube by searching "Save your Cabinet Doors by Alvin Shepherd (posted 3 years ago) or you should be able to copy the link and paste it into your browser.
    • See 2 previous
    • @Shari Hey Shari - that's a thought that I need to think about. I'm just trying to find the fastest and easiest way of doing this. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I need to rethink this through. I just saw another post where they pulled everything off (LOL) What do I do???? Lots of ideas. To answer your questions, our cabinets our 9 years old. The cabinets that are used the most (like under the sink) started to turn up about 3 years ago. It just went from bad to worse. I definitely would tell people NOT to buy these type of cabinets EVER. They're not worth it.
  • Valier Leonard Valier Leonard on Jan 22, 2016
    if you have a lot of them pealing me I would peal them all and start from the bare wood and paint but that's just my opinion
    • @Thank You Valier Leonard That thought crossed my mind but it's SO MUCH work. Someone suggested to repair the rips and then paint so I will try that first. If all else fails, I may have to peal them off - fingers crossed! Thank you!
  • Lots of answers! Thanks for posting my question!
    • Melissa Melissa on Dec 09, 2017

      I have had the same problems with laminate cabinets. I decided to try something off the wall. I bought several of the sponges that have sandpaper on them and went over the surface a couple of times and the used a TSP Solution (available at Walmart or any hardware store, this takes the smooth finish off and then I wallpapered the entire bathroom vanity. It took a day but a year later the vanity still looks like a great oak vanity.

  • 62q10370829 62q10370829 on Mar 12, 2018

    It depends on what you want to spend. I would peel that plastic off as I got cut on it real bad 5 yrs ago. I would peel & get stuff to wash glue off. Then make a frame on doors & drawers & paint trim one color & doors a little darker color. Good luck.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jan 08, 2024

    Hi Debi, hope this helps. peel the loose laminate off and sand smooth then prime them before painting.