Refacing Cabinets

I have no income to reface or replace my cabinets in my kitchen professionally. They are 36 year old pressed wood with plastic veneer over the top. They were badly painted white about 15 years ago. What can I do to update them?


My husband said he could cut new pressed wood and possibly buy wood veneer and re-face them himself. Has anyone done this? I have searched the net and can't find anyone who did this ?

By hanisrose from Fort Myers

August 12, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

For wood veneer, yes, you can do this but you need to use a special glue (not rubber cement) or the veneer can easily warp (I saw this happen on TV). Go to a place that sells hobby wood (look up "wood" in the yellow pages) & ask them or give them a call. You could take your cabinet door off, then use it as a pattern to cut the wood then after he glues on the veneer he needs to use a router to finish& cut around the edges.

I'll also give you some other (mostly) low cost ideas that I've been thinking of using for my VERY cheaply made mobile home cabinets that were painted a nasty bright pink when I moved in:

1) Matting: I also saw thin on TV. Cover them with cane or woven matting & trim the edges with a thin wood trim (like a frame around the matting) You'd have to seal them with a clear varathine, probably water-based. The ones I saw on TV were absolutely gorgeous! You can even use a woven or bamboo type rug.

2) Placemat: Hang large rectangle Placemats on the front. Like woven or placemats made of bamboo strips. Cover edges with wood strips or molding.

3) Picture Frames: 11" x 14" or larger wood picture frames (maybe from a dollar store) each hung after painting the cabinet with a wood colored paint, or white cabinets with white frames. Inside the frames you either put old fruit or botanical type prints or wallpaper.

4) Cover with Paper: Use gift wrap or wallpaper: woven-look or any simple tiny classy print... You decoupage the gift wrap on.

5) Cover with Fabric: Same thing, decoupage it on with white glue mixed with water.

6) Add Molding & Paint: Re-paint but add some nice molding around the edges or in form the edges 2 or 3 inches.

7) Antiqued Look: Do a streaked or "antique" look or a decorative type painting on them.

8) Hammerite Paint: Use Hammerite. for a metallic brass or stainless look. It's oil based so very smelly!

9) Flashing: Cover with copper roofing flashing or punched tin or Aluminum roof flashing. The copper roof flashing is very thin & bends easily, so you can wrap it around the edges of the cabnets.

10) Stainless Veneer: They sell a stick-on stainless steal veneer. It has a stick-on backing & looks wonderful (I also saw this on TV).

11) Cut Outs: Cut out rectangles in the center then frame the edges of the outside of the rectangle cut-outs in simple wood molding then behind the hold tack or hang metal grating (made to cover radiators) punched tin, screening, clear glass, frosted Plexiglas, fake stained-glass, or mirror.

12) Framed Mirrors: Hang framed mirrors on the front (like the frames above #3 above) only mirrors instead.

13) Fake Leather: a fake "leather" look done with tissue paper.

14) Faux Paint: paint then do a faux-wood frame that looks framed but is really only highlights (you could do this with a stencil.

15) Stencil, but instead of gaudy colors, just do a light & dark "shadow" or reverse-shadow effect; like white on off white cabinets or light brown on medium brown in simple frames or shapes around the edges.

16) Paint: Use a foam roller & a high quality brush... Wash cabinets well first then wipe them down with rubbing alcohol & an old T-shirt rag, then prime & use 100% acrylic paints.

17) Wood veneer: Your wonderful idea!

18) Melamine Veneer: For an easy to clean surface, melamine will do the trick! Much cheaper than the wood veneer. Easier to hang but not nearly as nice looking as wood (in my eyes).

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
August 13, 20090 found this helpful

I have toyed with this idea, but it just seems like so much work. Also, we have raised panels, so I think adding the veneer would get tricky with the varying grooves. What about repainting them? Still lots of work, but it gives you more room for error without it showing in misplaced veneer!

Here's an article I found with details:

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August 17, 20090 found this helpful

For a temporary fix you could:

-stencil a design on the doors in a coordinating color for your kitchen. This should help disguise the white paint job while still using it as a background.

-find a contact paper that you like and either put it on as a center panel (framed with painted trim like 1/2-round or even stacked popsicle sticks) or even cover the entire door.

-sand and repaint with a shiny enamel (only if you can get the surface really smooth).

-repaint with another color or series of colors for a marbled effect

-try some of the granite (or other stone) paints in a can. They look pretty good if you follow the directions.

-try taking the doors off and turn them "inside out". (use the former inside of the door as the new outside. Requires resetting the hinges on the doors and patching the old hinge holes to seal them.)

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