Asked on May 24, 2015

How do I paint these peeling paper covered cabinets?

I live in a mobile home that has those nasty particle board cabinets with a thin paper covering that is peeling off. What is the best way to paint these? Do I need to peel of the paper before painting? It seems that only the doors have this paper covering. Most of the doors are starting to peel at the bottom edge(pic attached) and 1 I started peeling the paper off(probably shouldn't have done that). What is the best way to prep/paint these? Thanks!
This is what it looks like after a attempted to pull it off, yikes!
Most of the doors are start to peel at the bottom.
  25 answers
  • Anne fenske Anne fenske on May 25, 2015
    It's a mac tac, they used to use. A heat gun will probably loosen the glue and it will pull off, but it takes time. It's like shelf liner paper. Anne
  • Jean Blakeley-Cook Jean Blakeley-Cook on May 25, 2015
    I would go over it with contact paper. Maybe funk it up with a design.
  • MJB MJB on May 25, 2015
    Seal, prime, paint
  • Tracy C Tracy C on May 25, 2015
    I covered my dark paneling with paintable bead board wallpaper from Home Depot. Bought it on-line (Martha Stewart brand because it stays nice & white). You would have to buy the wallpaper paste also. I love my attic walls now! Don't know if this would work for you but consider that or maybe get veneer wood to cover what's there and re-paint or even stain.
  • Tracy C Tracy C on May 25, 2015
    Oh geez, maybe you could buy a sample jar of chalk paint. I just did my kitchen and it came out lovely. I used Annie Sloane in Primer red and then used a brown to go over it because it was too purpleish for me. I used a different product though - if you're going to try that let me know and I'll tell you what I used. There are alot of nice colors.
  • Jill Jill on May 25, 2015
    I was having the exact same problem, but discovered that it's not MDF/particle board. It's compressed paper. I found this out when I tried pulling it off and later painting it. It swelled up like a kid with mumps. Needless to say, when I have saved enough it's time for them to go.
    • Lisa Lisa on Jun 05, 2019

      The paint to use on them has to be oil based. Primer also. That should eliminate the "swelling" issue

  • Monica Benware-Borodi Monica Benware-Borodi on May 25, 2015
    Same here! I sanded down the edges where it was peeling, and then used paint and primer all in one and painted them.. since I was going for an antique look, I resanded a tiny bit off the edges.. (saw that on YouTube how to make look antique ) then added the black handles..
  • Julie Julie on May 25, 2015
    I also live in 2002 double wide. Did the same as Monica Benware- Borodi above. Don't peel anymore just sand edges and use a latex paint/primer in one. I did the farmhouse kitchen look. Mixed my own chalk paint recipie from Lowes web site. Chalk paint embrace the inperfectation to make them look great ( antique look) . This way you can work with the cabinets not against them.
    • Mimischenkel0 Mimischenkel0 on Jan 30, 2019

      Read about fusion paint. Mine were fine when I was there. It was new. But since Fusion paint that a forever paint . Go on their site. Many video's. You can paint anything. Find umout if there is a dealer near you. It is a 21 day cure. Cannot use for 21 fmdays. If you do use chalk paint make sure you use with a no voc polyurathane. Chalk paint does not last with just wax. Must use polyurethane. There no voc. Meaning no chemicals and can paint inside any time of year. General fusion mineral or Dixie Bell chalk. They will help. Look if a dealer in your area. CT I have one for fusion and one for Dixie Belle....

  • Susan Smith Susan Smith on May 25, 2015
    I had the same type of cupboard doors in my mobile home . I used my hairdryer to loosen the plastic covering . It was quite easy but took a while . I sanded down what was left of the glue, then sanded again to smooth the MDF . After that I used good quality cupboard paint. I was really pleased with the end result .
  • Mary Salley Mary Salley on May 25, 2015
    Contact a Shabby Paint stylist k n your area and they can help you. #shabbypaints. My daughter redid a whole camper with shabby paints. Easy to work with and non toxic.
  • Jen Jen on May 25, 2015
    I dont know about the rest of you...but wish there was an entire site devoted to mobile home/modular owners issues! Teal carpet anyone??
  • Mikell Paulson Mikell Paulson on May 25, 2015
    We have a double wide in Yuma , our winter place! We painted with primer first and then the second coat was an enamel , so it is easy to wash off finger prints and stuff! Looks wonderful. Used the same handles and spray painted them! Looks great and gave us a fresh look!
    • See 2 previous
    • Kathie Garcia Kathie Garcia on May 06, 2018

      Did you remove the paper first. I'm afraid they will bubble.

  • MaryBeth Addison MaryBeth Addison on May 25, 2015
    I painted my cabinets with chalk paint. I would sand the loose paper edges off but other than that just apply the chalk paint. I used Annie Sloan in my kitchen.
  • Rus1058682 Rus1058682 on May 25, 2015
    check craig's list or your local paper for people giving away or selling their old cabinets, usually just for the taking. Remember to measure your cabinet doors and find the size you need to replace them with the repurposed doors.. Hope this helped...
  • Mary Mary on May 25, 2015
    Modpodge fabric over the top0f fiberboard.seal with more mod podge. I did this with wall paper 30 years ago and it still looks great and wipes sure you like the print on your fabric though bi have a feeling it would not come off too easily
  • Pager63 Pager63 on May 25, 2015
    If you have local Habitat for Humanity. Check to find where your local Habitat Restore is. You can find cabinets really cheap and they will usually negotiate, since everything they is from donations and almost always preowned.
    • Nancy Hatcher Nancy Hatcher on Jun 05, 2015
      @Pager63 I even found cabinet doors at my Habitat! I was lucky enough to come across some unfinished doors. You might check yours out but do so often as their inventory changes almost daily.
  • Cindy tustin Cindy tustin on May 26, 2015
    I would start by measuring doors and a visit to recycling centers. I have seen stacks of cabinet doors some for as little as 2.00 a piece. You might find sections of cabinets that you can replace old ones with. yours are just pressed paper with a plastic finish. you could try to paint , but plastic will continue to peel and the paper will swell from the moisture in paint and the humidity that is generated by just being a kitchen. Hope you can find an inexpensive solution. The pressed paper is the problem the only true fix is to remove the doors.
  • Brendalee Perryman Brendalee Perryman on May 27, 2015
    kilz, joint compound,( where needed) , lightly sand, then paint. would be better to replace.and not to much, if thrifty.
  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Jul 18, 2016
    Finish taking off the peeling paper. You can use warm water and fabric softener and go over the cabinets with will help the paper come off easier. Make sure the cabinets are clean and dry...If you use chalk paint make sure you sand the cabinets between the coats of paint...then seal with at least three coats of poly. I suggest stays nice and clear and will not yellow. I would not use wax as a sealer on chalk paint in the kitchen as it gets hot and humid and cabinets are used alot in the kitchen..and will get streaky and tacky. A good poly will be better. If you use regular paint make sure you use a good primer..a good paint and then the poly , at least three coats. There is a product by Rust Oleum for Cabinet restoration...its a good product. Good luck..
  • Michelle Offenberger Michelle Offenberger on Jul 19, 2016
    My cabinets did the same thing, the paper came off easily so I peeled and painted.
  • Mary Overmyer Mary Overmyer on Jul 19, 2016
    I had the same cabinets in my mobile home. We used a heat gun to melt the glue on the paper. Once it was all off, we sanded lightly, primed them and then painted. I found clearance knobs a HOBO for a quarter to complete the project. I have since sold the home so I don't have a picture to share. It was a pretty big project but worth it.
    • See 2 previous
    • Mary Overmyer Mary Overmyer on Oct 30, 2017

      We used Kiltz primer and water based paint. I'm sorry I don't remember the brand of paint but any good quality latex paint would work. Good luck-let me know how they turn out.

  • Carol Carol on Oct 30, 2017

    I would peel the paper before painting, because it might keep on peeling & ruining your painting job. If the surface is rough or uneven, you might have to sand the surface with fine sand paper.

  • Cindy Vining Cindy Vining on Sep 24, 2018

    My doors are. Solid wood it the rest is paper covered ?????

  • Marilyn Tate Houser Marilyn Tate Houser on Sep 30, 2018

    I cleaned them really good then I litely sanded and I used a oil base primer let dry using thin coats (2) then I used latex paint (2) lite coats. I sealed them with a floor sealer and they have heald up great for about 4 years now and I have children and dogs. Good luck and hopefully this will help

  • Gaylene Smith Gaylene Smith on Jan 25, 2020

    Wood filler on bare spots, Zimmer 1,2,3 primer, Valspar cabinet paint, seal with polycrylic by Miniwax. My trailer house cabinet door