Painting particle board cabinets in mobile home.

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I have particle board cabinets in my kitchen where the paper is peeling off from and would like to know how can I paint them. I live in a double wide mobile home and want to do the kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
  32 answers
  • Sheryll S Sheryll S on Aug 21, 2013
    I have done this on a lot of old cabinets that I found were not wood.. ruh row! I tried sanding the damaged corners..... YIKES... they crumbled. So I used Elmer's Wood Putty to patch that one corner and then used a liquid sander to clean them (I had already cleaned them with a degreaser and wiped off again). Then I used Kilz ORIGINAL to prime them... I don't care what anyone says, it works extremely well. Let dry very well with each coat of primer and paint. I did my mom's kitchen in Sept haze of Jax, Fla, when the sun that year did not come out till NOON (it seemed to be the bewitching hour that year). But it took days longer for the cabinet doors to dry.. I thought I would not win that battle, but I did. Takes a lot of patience. I had no trouble with anything but the waiting to dry thingy.
    • B. Enne B. Enne on Jun 02, 2015
      @Sheryll S You are right! I was told it wouldn't work either...I had nothing to lose. I was considered quite avant-garde for doing it LOL. The reason I said to not SOAK with liquid sandpaper, was like you said, crumbling occurs easily....it absorbs any liquid. That is why people must prime really well and seal the whole door, profile and all.
  • Julie Julie on Aug 21, 2013
    We just recently painted our cabinets in our mobile home. We primed the cabinets with Bulleye...anything will stick to it. My son even primed our plastic trash can and painted it. The small sponge rollers are great. Good luck.
  • GranArt GranArt on Aug 21, 2013
    A good enamel paint should cover them nicely but enamel has a sheen to it.... glossy. I agree, putty or glue back down what is peeling, throw a good primer on it and paint away!
  • Hamtil Construction LLC Hamtil Construction LLC on Aug 21, 2013
    Try using spray adhesive to glue back down the peeling paper. I would suggest trying a small test area first. Agree that a good primer is key if you want to try and paint over it.
    • Debbie Debbie on Aug 22, 2013
      @Hamtil Construction LLC@ My grandson thought he was doing me a favor (he's 10) and peeled off the paper so can I just prime and paint it then?
  • Julie Julie on Aug 22, 2013
    I never use oil, if I can avoid it, so latex it is! Everyone told me it wouldn't work, but it does and the cabinets look a lot better. We wanted to reuse as much as possible, so we spray painted the hinges and handles...I love them. If you are considering redoing your counter tops, we used Rust-o-leum. It worked great. I'm not through with my kitchen. We are doing an Aztec type theme, so I have to get some items to pull everything together. Please let me know how it works for you.
    • See 1 previous
    • Judy Williamson Judy Williamson on Dec 26, 2016
      What do I look for for the rust o leum? Want to do counter top.what is or look like. What does Aztec theme look like? Thanks
  • Rick Hale Rick Hale on Apr 17, 2014
    Rustoleum Makes a great product kit for this. "Cabinet Transformations" (they also offer a kit for countertops). Available at Home Depot. Kit consists of a de-glosser, base coat, a glazing coat and a protective coat… plus all the applicators. It will cover over any material… wood, metal, plastic etc. Essentially a painted on re-finish but it looks like fine wood when complete, including a faux "Grain". Available in many colors both dark and light. You can find tutorials and examples online at YouTube. A fabulous product.
  • Rick Hale Rick Hale on Apr 17, 2014
    In addition… if you do have damaged corners to your cab doors use Durhams "Rock Hard" putty. Mixes with water, sets... well… Rock hard. After it sets you can sand , shape, drill.. whatever. But it does set hard… apply and shape while putty is damp to avoid excessive sanding etc after it sets. Minor surface issues to door faces and cab trim can be filled with normal wood putty, any peeling paper or melamine can be cut back and edges sanded / feathered before proceeding with the Rustoleum kit. Properly prepped… you'll be amazed with the final finish. Do yourself a favor… put on new hardware/hinges…. everyone will think you spent thousands on new cabinets.
  • Debbie Debbie on Apr 17, 2014
    @Rick Hale Thanks for the information it is really helpful. I won't be so afraid to tackle this project!
  • Nanette F Nanette F on May 01, 2014
    Almost a year later after post, but I'm a firm believer in painting and reusing(I'm cheep too). Remove hardware(all of it) Sand em down to ruff them up, remove dust, u can use a primer(latex) but I didn't. Paint em, may take 2-3 coats if u want a uniform cover(I didn't). I used a good latex satin, applied with a brush and foam roller. I distressed mine with sandpaper to work with the wear and tear. Remove dust again. Sealed with a water based polyurethane(fabulous), replaced hardware and rehung doors. Let the doors and cabinets dry thoroughly between coats, took me a week but so much brighter and easier to clean. Previous owner had glopped clear sealer on the original finish trying to make them look newer, so I worked with the glops. Seal BOTH sides of doors. If u happen to chip a little paint, it won't look so bad if distressed. Just touch up with paint and sealer, or not. In another kitchen, i primed laminate cabinets with alcohol based primer which dried very fast and was easy to work with but hard to find(HD). I like what I did in these cabinets better, easier and not so worried about wear and tear showing. Be brave, do a test door front first. I'm not a big fan of oil based paint, but it works too.takes a LONG time to dry. I replaced all the hardware, but u can clean up or paint the old and make it work.
  • NissiNis NissiNis on May 26, 2015
    What if I have already picked off all the "paper" that was peeling and missing after 13 years with 4 boys.... so they are down to the particle board.... do I just prime and paint?
  • B. Enne B. Enne on May 26, 2015
    YW Nissi NisJust so you know, my doors didn't have paper but shrink wrapped vinyl...They were however pressboard underneath.
    • See 1 previous
    • B. Enne B. Enne on May 31, 2015
      @NissiNis A lot of people on here refer to paper, especially in motor homes...I'm not sure what that is exactly. Mine are called "Thermofoil." They were warrantied for 5 years, on the 6th they started releasing in the middle panel. At least the panel was carved into the MDF, apparently the profile of some is in the vinyl only. I was told to have them rewrapped and to not attempt to paint them, by many painting and kitchen cabinet stores. I figured if I did that, I would have the same problem again in a few years. Sometimes it is worth the risk.
  • NissiNis NissiNis on May 31, 2015
    we ended up doing 2 coats of Zinnser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer and then 2 coats of semi-gloss Behr paint. we used the same on the doors (pantry) trim and baseboards, painted a lighter neutral in satin on the walls and the kitchen is gorgeous! it has been suggested that we use a clear coat on the cabinets to keep them looking this good for years to come. so i'm looking into that now but deff DON'T want a shiny wet look so will have to take that into consideration. Pics to come soon
  • NissiNis NissiNis on Jun 02, 2015
    We <3 our "NEW" Kitchen
  • NissiNis NissiNis on Jun 02, 2015
    now for the backsplash!!! :)
  • Stephanie Diamond Stephanie Diamond on Jun 17, 2015
    Any tips on how to work with doors that have water damage where it is slightly swollen? It's not much but would stand out I think if measures aren't taken to fix it. Is this where the liquid sanding comes in? Thanks!
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    • Blake barber Blake barber on Dec 08, 2018

      You may have to reshape with bondo to add material to the inswollen areas drywall compound is not made to be bused in this manner if any more than the thinnest skin coat is required the drywall mud will eventually crack and release and fall off of non wood cabinets plus the movement of cabinet doors and drawers would accept this process you would have to use plaster (veneer)to have hope of success it again you would run into same eventual result bondo is made to bond permanently to non ports or smooth surfaces and is sandabe if you really handy you can even use it to simulate the fake router marks on the edges like when corners have crumbled the glue or mud trick only works on flat facings anything with routed (simulated )edges would have to be mathched as closely as possible to look like anything less than horrible...go with bondo

  • Mary Higgins Mary Higgins on Sep 18, 2015
    what colors did you use? I love the cabinet color. I would love to know what it is as we are painting our mobile home as well.
  • Sheryll S Sheryll S on Sep 19, 2015
    Is this smooth, the surface I mean?? Cause I had to spackle in a rental condo.... well I did it, I guess I did not 'have to' do it. it was a first for me, but I got it smooth, then painted it, the landlord loved me.
    • B. Enne B. Enne on Sep 19, 2015
      @Sheryll S mine were...as smooth as MDF you buy in a hardware store. On the top of the frame on 1 door it was very slightly rougher, and I gave it a 2 second sand.
  • Sheryll S Sheryll S on Sep 20, 2015
    Oh I forgot to tell you, that I tried to sand a corner of my parents cabinets that were not real wood and it did not go well, so I put some mud or spackling on that corner and got it smooth, but you need to just wipe on some liquid sand paper first over all and then spackel and I used Kilz Original on the cabinets and walls and part of the ceiling and when I ran out I got a gallon of Behrs and I could tell a big difference in coverage with the Behrs not being as good. I was covering all white walls and ceiling, but my dad had put that high gloss on both and it was awful. I recommend to not use much shine cause it shows every little flaw. I would use semi gloss on the cabinets and no shinier than satin on the walls. But you did not ask about that...... sorry. It was a big job for me by myself to do that kitchen, so I still get a bit carried away talking about it. And it came out just gorgous too. This was years ago and paint changes through the years too.
  • San13855025 San13855025 on Oct 27, 2016
    How can I repair the scuff on my partial board kitchen cabinets
  • I did a post about painting pressed laminate wood. You CAN paint laminate and it CAN look good! https://bachelorettepadflip.com/2016/08/14/painting-laminate/
  • Sherry Nushart Sherry Nushart on Jan 26, 2017
    Do you have to peel off the paper off? I am assuming you do, but I would like to be sure.
  • Kim Garczynski Kim Garczynski on Feb 07, 2017
    I also love the look, great job on the cabinets. I how ever have a medicine cabinet in the bathroom also partical board witch the paper started wearing threw. We have an odd shaped on and would have to have a new one custom made. First I tried applying contact paper but it wouldn't stick , only to pull more of the original paper off. I used a butter knife and sand paper and striped it bare. But now I'm not sure what would work best on it? Would stain work.? Or would painting be my best bet? All the wood trim is oak. Any suggestions would be great.....
  • B. Enne B. Enne on Feb 12, 2017
    I know primer and paint works. I would be afraid of using penetrating stain, since that may cause it t swell. Maybe gel stain would work since it doesn't penetrate. You can buy tiny sample sizes of it and try it inside the door to see...
  • Rachel Purdy Rachel Purdy on Feb 13, 2017
    I'm ready to paint my cabinets! They are the particle board with paper over them. How are everyone's cabinets holding up that used the cabinet paint kit?
  • Tin19592866 Tin19592866 on Feb 15, 2017
    We had MDF cabinets on a project and were told to be sure to use oil based primer because a latex primer would soak in and make the material pucker. I'm thinking the same would hold true for particle board unless it was the exterior grade, which is made to not be affected by moisture.
    • B. Enne B. Enne on Mar 09, 2017
      It probably would since MDF soaks up water. I used a high adhesion oil-based primer that could be covered with latex paint, on some of my cabinets.
      I personally prefer BIN 123 RED label. It is shellac-based, and dries fast, and smells like alcohol as opposed to heavy oil, but haven't tried it on straight MDF yet.
  • Gayle Livingston Gayle Livingston on May 23, 2017
    Just bought a double wide'97 I think the cabinets look like pressed paper. Is this pressed board and what can you do about swollen corners?
  • Beatrice Tangeman Beatrice Tangeman on Jul 17, 2017
    Please post pics of finished Aztec kitchen!

  • Raggedyannie Raggedyannie on May 11, 2020

    My cabinets have a contact paper like coating with an accent strip that appears to be formica or similar countertop material. My question is what should I use to fill on the gap created by the accent strip? It is recessed to be flush with door sirface but has a groove on both sides of ot and taping doesnt work as Im painting the accent strip a different color. Wood putty?

  • Jackie Jackie on Jan 28, 2021

    I had peeling and where it has gotten wet on the floor it has got wet and It is really bad. So I trimed off the peeled off the excess paper. I got some immediate contact glue and trimmed off the excess paper with a trimming knife very gently. Then I put the immediate glue on the edges where I trimmed it let it dry. Then I sanded the edge with two 20 just to wrap it up like one stroke I bought my paint at Lowe's but it was Sherwin-Williams paint it was also outside latex paint primer all-in-one it was 4895 again which I don't care it was also outside paint that would stick to vinyl or anything without priming no oil base latex space. It went on great did it with a little white sponge fuzzy roller it was amazing I love my cabinets never figured out how to fix the spot where the wood swelled up from getting wet. So if anyone knows what to do about that problem let me know please. Cabinets look great!!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Sep 09, 2021

    Hi stick the paper back on or strip it all off, then paint them or use Contact paper.