Repairing Peeling Vinyl on Kitchen Cabinets

by Elizabeth
The vinyl is peeling off some of our kitchen cabinets. It needs to be repaired before I paint the cabinets. Has anyone else had this problem, and how did you fix it? Thanks.
  11 answers
  • Mary Mary on Aug 17, 2014
    Are you sure it's vinyl? I have those white kitchen and mine peals off, but the pieces break off so I steam them off. Better to paint when it's off of them!
  • AmericanWoman AmericanWoman on Aug 17, 2014
    I talked w/ Bubba...He agrees that the vinyl needs to come off ALL of your cabinets before you paint. He suggests that you go to a home improvement store or a paint store taking a drawer front or a cabinet door with you. The trained staff should be able to tell you what to buy to help in removing all of that vinyl. Hope this helped...
  • Dianne D Dianne D on Aug 18, 2014
    If 'thermofoil', it can be rewrapped, at a fraction of the cost of new cabinets. You may have to take the doors off and take them to shop to have it done. The stuff under the thermofoil is like pressboard, so don't know about painting it.
  • Ursula Murphy Ursula Murphy on Aug 18, 2014
    Just found this. I have the same problem.. I will paint mine too. So much cheaper than replacing. They seem to come off pretty easy. USe Heat gun or hair dryer to heat and peel.
  • Wendy Johnson Wendy Johnson on Aug 18, 2014
    Almost sounds like not all talking about the same problem.. hope you find a solution
  • Toby O'Handley Toby O'Handley on Aug 18, 2014
    I had the same problem. I used a chisel to peel off the edges, sanded and then used some filler to smooth out any spots that needed it. I would have painted the entire surface, but I was able to find a paint that matched perfectly so only needed to cover the areas I addressed.
  • Karen Karen on Aug 18, 2014
    My cabinets were thermofoil and I had the exact same problem. As a previous commenter noted, it's really easy to take a hair dryer or a heat gun to further lift up the edges and then the thermofoil peels off very easily. Underneath is MDF (medium density fiberboard). My cabinets were actually quite smooth underneath and didn't require much sanding, but you'll definitely want to sand it smooth. Put a good-quality primer on and then several coats of paint and you're good as new! Because I knew it would be a while before I got around to painting all of the cabinets, I took the laminate that I had peeled off to Home Depot and had them color-match the white. A satin finish matched the finish. Mine came out so well, you can't really tell the difference between what I have painted and what was originally on there - so now I don't have to be in a rush to paint the entire set of cabinets. Give it a try! It was really easy and SO much less expensive than any of the other options.Good luck!
    • Kay Hamilton Fendley Kay Hamilton Fendley on Dec 26, 2015
      @Karen Living in Louisville, I bet we have the same cabinets! Did you leave the thermofoil on the rails between the cabinets? I have been putting this project off for a while now!
  • Sandra R Sandra R on Aug 18, 2014
    We have the problem in the bathroom. mi tried painting over but made it worse.
  • Debi-14 Debi-14 on Aug 18, 2014
    Great info...thanks.
  • Esther Esther on Aug 19, 2014
    My painter used the edge of a box cutter and/or spatula at edge of cabinet doors or drawer fronts. Was able just to peel back and lift off. Came off in big sheets/pieces. Then primed all fronts and painted cabinet drawer fronts/edges, door fronts-edges-backs, front cabinet frames, sides, top molding. Matches now all one shade of white. Used Sherman Williams Pro Classic (satin - didn't want shiny/gloss). No more peeling, lifting of thermofoil, it has been all removed.
  • Karen Karen on Dec 26, 2015
    Kay, my cabinets didn't have the thermofoil on the rails between....they are simply solid wood painted to match. So I didn't have that problem. If yours are thermofoil, I would go ahead and take the thermofoil off. It really is so incredibly easy and quick, it's probably just best to go ahead and do it. After I did this on both my kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanity, I was telling my two aunts about it. They - one in her 70s and the other in her 80s - went right to it on their kitchen and said it was so fun and easy to pull off the thermofoil, it was almost like a party at their house, lol!