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Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

Category Kitchen
Some special preparation may be needed to refinish your laminate cabinets; but it can be done. This is a guide about refinishing laminate cabinets.


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By 0 found this helpful
November 26, 2009

Is it possible to tint laminate cabinets from lavender to gray? Then I would like to replace the purple counter tops for a more neutral color, as well. I can not afford to replace the cabinets.

By lyn from Tampa, FL


November 27, 20090 found this helpful

By tint, I assume you mean paint. Laminate cabinets are much like wood cabinets, they can be painted as long as you do all of the preparation work correctly.

Laminate is a very smooth surface that can attract grease, dirt and other contaminants that need to be removed before priming and painting. Make sure you use a good quality primer that will stick to surfaces such as laminate.

This article suggests the correct primer to use, how to clean the cabinets and how to paint them properly.
http://www.how2  en_Cabinets.html
I hope that helps.

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December 29, 20090 found this helpful

This is a very affordable project, but you need to have the time to devote to it. Here's a link that can help:


http://www.oldh  n-cabinets.shtml

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May 18, 20160 found this helpful

This guide is about painting laminate cabinets. Depending on the composition of the laminate surface and the kind of paint, you may be able to have the cabinets the color you want to see.

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November 26, 20090 found this helpful

Refinishing Laminate Cabinets
I painted my counter tops per the information from this site and they look fantastic. Now I need help to figure out what to do with the cabinets. They are also a horrid laminate. I hate them, but have no idea what to do and can't afford to replace them. I guess its time for paint, but I'm stuck. Any ideas for colors or designs would be helpful. Thanks.

Ben from Tolleson, AZ


Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

One thing you may consider other than painting is to replace the doors. You could buy just the cabinet doors in any style you choose, take off the old doors and put up the new doors. This would be less expensive than replacing the entire cabinet. (11/15/2008)

By Harry

Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

I was told you could paint laminate cabinets. First you need to get a wire Brillo or some type of harsh scraper and scratch them up so that the paint will stick. Coat with Kilz and then when it dries, paint. Now that is what the paint man at Lowe's told me. You could paint your cabinets and then get new doors. (11/15/2008)

By Chris

Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

I've also seen posts about covering the doors with a wood-like veneer. I'll see if I can find the posts, but otherwise, you could google it and find some good advice. Need flat doors, though, for it to work. (11/15/2008)


By Allison

Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

There are several things that you can do. If you decide to go the painting route, get Zinsser B-I-N primer. This stuff sticks to anything. I even used it as a primer to cover the horrendous 1950s pink tile in my bathroom followed up by a high-gloss white. I also used it to prime my tile backsplash, which I then painted with a copper metallic paint.

When I redid my kitchen I just replaced the doors and then used a woodgrain contact paper (yep, contact paper) for the boxes themselves. I cannot see any reason why you could not do it for the doors as well. The "bonus" of the contact paper is that if you decide you don't like it or want a change, just peel it off and do something else. It's fairly cheap, too.


Get good measurements of your doors and then check places like Craig's List or Freecycle for people that are remodeling, just because they do not like it does not mean you won't. (11/17/2008)

By Michael

Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

I think painting the laminate black would look awesome. It would have a warm cozy feeling and add a lot of depth to the other colors in your kitchen. (11/17/2008)

By Ann

Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

You can wall paper the cabinet faces and re-stain the trims. Be sure to clean the surface first very well and remove any wax build up. I've done this in a cottage and it looks great, but don't get any kind of flocked paper. (11/17/2008)


Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

Here's something cheap and really creative.

Find wallpaper samples you like. I find them about 3 inches by 4 inches and sometimes you can find out of date books that have samples in them. You can also find wallpaper border rolls at the Dollar Tree.


If there is a theme or pattern you like, such as butterflies, coffee urns, wine labels, fruit, apples in a basket, etc. look for that.

You can either do a border along the top or cut out the images that interest you (might want to keep them small) and randomly put them on on the doors and drawer fronts. I know that style. I am a property manager and have had it in a lot of apartments. There is an indentation on the bottom so you don't need handles.

If you choose to keep this that way, you may want to protect the wood. Eventually, the oil from your hands will discolor it. Another idea is more tactile. You can cool glue on corks, broken china, wine or fruit/veggie labels, and more. Good luck. (11/17/2008)

By Sandi/Poor But Proud

RE: Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

I am in the middle of this very project right now. I primed the cabinet boxes last night.

The steps that I found were:

  1. Clean with TSP.
  2. Sand with medium grit sandpaper (150 or so).
  3. Clean with tack cloth to remove particles (I also hit it with the TSP cleaner again).
  4. I used the Zissner BIN shellac based primer. I'm painting mine white, so I'm not sure if this is a tintable primer. The best part of this is it does not need 14 days to cure. According to Zissner, you actually don't need to sand (I would, or at least use a deglosser), and it is ready to paint after 45 minutes, but I'm waiting a week to be sure.
  5. Sand again with a fine grit (220+) and wipe with a tack cloth again.
  6. Paint. I can't remember if there is a special type of paint I need to use, but if I remember I'll put it here.
Here are photos of before, and after I primed last night (12/11/2008)

By Bill

RE: Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

After priming:

By Bill

RE: Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

The looks now. (12/23/2008)

By Ben

RE: Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

This is a little late, but for anyone else. I found a great product called Cabinet Rescue. It does all the work for you and bonds to laminate. It's a about 25$ a gallon which covers 10 linear feet of cabinets. It can also be tinted. (01/04/2009)

By Paige

Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

Thanks. One more question. Did you apply the paint with a brush or did you use some type of sprayer. And if you did use a brush did it leave any streak marks? (04/14/2009)

By Brian Murphy

Refinishing Laminate Cabinets

Actually I used a brush. It may have a few marks, but overall we're very happy with them. I did paint them on a flat surface. (04/14/2009)

By Ben

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