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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    1

    Default RE-covering formica kitchen cabinets

    We have great kitchen cabinets we would like to update with new cabinet doors. They are the 80's style formica with wood trim. The boxes would need to be veneered to match the new wood cabinets. Can this be done well and with longevity? Cabinet makers want to tear them all out which seems really wasteful.
    Help!
    Thanks!
    tsbusch

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    5,084

    Default Re: RE-covering formica kitchen cabinets

    I got news for you: the cabinet makers are right.

    Your cabinets are at least 30 years old. I don't know their condition or what type of cabinets they are, but maybe it's time to replace them.

    Shop around, there are huge price differences among cabinets.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    central pa
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    98

    Default Re: RE-covering formica kitchen cabinets

    I disagree with dj1 I think if they are in good shape and you like the layout why not reface them. this may involve removing the laminate of just scuffing it you will have to follow the recommendations on the adhesive you are using

  4. #4
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    Default Re: RE-covering formica kitchen cabinets

    In many cases refacing may make sense and will save money. However, cabinets built in the 80s with foremica are most likely not made of plywood. Particle board cabinets that old are worn out and smelly making refacing a waste of good money.

    We don't know the exact condition of the current cabinets, but if all cabinet makers suggested replacing and not even one recommended refacing, it tells us something.

    One thing about investing money in remodeling will always be true: In most cases, the cheaper is more expensive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    1

    Default Re: RE-covering formica kitchen cabinets

    There are many good products (Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations and Sherwin Williams has one also) out there now that make it easy to re-paint these kind of cabinets.

    I'm very shocked by some of the responses you received. Who said they were "worn out and smelly?" If I'm not mistaken, the original posted stated they were "great." "All cabinetmakers?" He stated cabinetmakers wanted to tear them all out, not that there's been multiple cabinetmakers who've even looked at 'em. I would assume cabinetmakers would want to rip 'em out either way, since that's their job.

    If you want to do it to save money, or just to save cabinets that are in good condition, go for it. You can also add trim/molding before painting to also change to look.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    975

    Default Re: RE-covering formica kitchen cabinets

    If you want to do a full reface on them, including new doors, then you need to see if the faceframes are up to the task. See how well they are holding the hinges/screws. If all is tight, you have acceptable boxes for a reface.
    there's really no way to reface the laminate doors (melamine over p-board most likely) and a more respectable door style will actually give you a tangible result, any less will look only like a paint job. There are many places that manufacture cabinet doors for the refacing industry; find one nearby because doors are heavy and the shipping can kill the budget. Find a door you like in a finish you like, and you're off to a good start.
    If the cabinet boxes are frameless, then there is really nothing worth saving, as you have nothing but particle board there to fasten to. In that case, paint away.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: RE-covering formica kitchen cabinets

    Quote Originally Posted by cammianne View Post
    There are many good products (Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations and Sherwin Williams has one also) out there now that make it easy to re-paint these kind of cabinets.

    I'm very shocked by some of the responses you received. Who said they were "worn out and smelly?" If I'm not mistaken, the original posted stated they were "great." "All cabinetmakers?" He stated cabinetmakers wanted to tear them all out, not that there's been multiple cabinetmakers who've even looked at 'em. I would assume cabinetmakers would want to rip 'em out either way, since that's their job.

    If you want to do it to save money, or just to save cabinets that are in good condition, go for it. You can also add trim/molding before painting to also change to look.
    I'm the one who said that some old cabinets are "worn out and smelly", even when the homeowner thinks that they are in "great shape". You see, for resurfacing you need a cabinet that can hold new doors (weight and new screws). Most old particle board cabinets can't do that, they just fall apart.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: RE-covering formica kitchen cabinets

    "...weight..."

    Wait...really????

    Almost all face frames are made of solid wood. And doors are mounted to the face frame.

    Small cabinet doors don't weigh that much - even if made from solid wood.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,584

    Default Re: RE-covering formica kitchen cabinets

    Almost anythng s possible given enough labor and money. the question is whether it is cost effective. Real veneers are not inexpensive and their application not all that easy for a novice. Very labor intensive for someone who is experienced.

    If the cabinet footprint is not being changed, it may be well easier, and not all that much cost difference, to just change out the cabinets. Changing the cabinets would actually be quicker and easier for a relative amateur than all that reworking of the existing cabinets.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: RE-covering formica kitchen cabinets

    I agree that replacing the cabinets would give you the kitchen you really want. However, if you are looking for a short term fix-up that does not cost much money there is a “decorator fix”. The blog Simply Chic Treasures on the Feb. 8, 2013 blog gives a treatment to change the look of the doors of melamine cabinets. Scroll down to the blog archive on the right side of the screen.

    I have not done this myself and I think it is only a temporary solution until you can afford to get the cabinets you really want. This does require some DIY skills. The guys on here always recommend the good sound construction answer, and I think they are right, but I also remember those days when I used a “decorator fix” to get me through a few years before I could afford to do the real construction job.

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