Can Formica cabinets be refaced?

Author: Ayla Hyatt DVM  |  Last update: Thursday, June 30, 2022

Refacing Formica cabinets is most easily done by adding a new fresh layer of Formica laminate over the old. This is an easy, cost-effective method of giving your kitchen a fresh look without doing a lot to the rest of the room. In some cases you will need to remove old Formica.

Can laminate kitchen cabinets be refaced?

Yes, laminate cabinets can be refaced as long as the cabinet boxes are in good shape. But if the cabinet boxes are weak or damaged, you may need to replace your cabinets altogether.

Can you remove Formica from cabinets?

Removing the Formica laminate from kitchen cabinets is an easy process that is labor intensive. The care you take in removing the Formica will depend on whether you plan on re-using it elsewhere. If the laminate will be scrapped, then you don't need to worry about it coming off in parts.

Can laminate cabinets be refinished?

Painting laminate cabinets offers an inexpensive way to update the appearance of your kitchen in a short amount of time. With a minimal financial investment, a little time and some elbow grease, your kitchen can have a richer, more customized look.

Can you paint Formica laminate cabinets?

Rather than replacing the cabinets, paint over the Formica to give it a fresh look. Formica requires a bit more preparation than wood when it comes to painting since its surface is not porous like plain wood. A specialty primer or paint designed for slick surfaces is required.

Kitchen Cabinets – Refinish, Reface or Replace

How do you resurface Formica cabinets?

  1. Remove all hardware from the cabinets. ...
  2. Sand the surface. ...
  3. Spray a household degreaser on the surface and wipe it with a clean towel. ...
  4. Mix the contact cement with water according to the manufacturer's label. ...
  5. Position the new Formica face on the cement, squaring it to the corners.

Is laminate and Formica the same thing?

The truth is, laminate, Formica®, and Wilsonart® are basically the same; laminate is the material while Formica® and Wilsonart® are the brand names. Both brands come in a wide range of colors and patterns and are widely marketed for kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, and bar counters.

How do I know if my cabinets are laminate or veneer?

A sure way to recognize wood laminate is when the grain does NOT follow through your piece. Wood Veneer is a sheet or thin layer of 'quality-natural-hardwood' that is adhered to a lesser quality wood surface. Wood Veneers give the impression of a more desired quality wood without being as costly.

What to do with peeling laminate cabinets?

Depending on the damage, you can either fix the existing laminate or reface the door to fix the problem without installing entirely new units. As a general rule, if there are any cracks in the laminate, the entire piece needs to be replaced; however, if there's only peeling, you can reattach the laminate with adhesive.

How do you fix peeling laminate cabinets?

  1. Unscrew the hinges from the cabinet with a screwdriver. ...
  2. Lay the door flat and peel back the laminate with your fingers as far as it will go. ...
  3. Apply solvent-based, waterproof contact cement to the exposed core as well as the underside of the laminate surface that you peeled away, using a small paintbrush.

Can you paint over Formica cabinets?

Stir your paint, and apply a thin, even coat to your Formica using a clean foam roller or pad. Brushes aren't the best choice for painting over Formica; they're likely to leave stroke marks. If painting cabinets, work from the top down; if painting a counter, start at the back and work your way forward.

How do you remove laminate veneer from cabinets?

Position a heat gun along the edge of the cabinet base to soften the glue. Wedge a thin piece of wood between the veneer and substrate every 3 to 4 inches along the edge. Continue to heat the glue, wedge in the wood and lift the veneer until you've removed all the veneer from the cabinet surface.

Can laminate cabinets be Relaminated?

When the cabinets are exposed to excessive humidity, sunlight or when the laminate was installed poorly to begin with, it can come loose. You can relaminate cabinets, restoring the finish to renew the look of your home or camper.

Is it cheaper to reface cabinets or replace?

Refacing is about 30 to 50-percent less than replacement. Expect to pay about $12,000 to $20,000 for contractor-grade cabinets. Best when the cabinet boxes are in solid shape and cost is an issue. Best when doing a whole-kitchen remodel or when cabinet boxes are in poor shape.

How much does it cost to re laminate cabinets?

Laminate costs an average of $91 per linear foot or $1,000 to $3,000 total. High-quality veneer costs an average of $193 per linear foot or $2,500 to $6,500 total. Real wood veneer costs an average of $454 per linear foot or $6,000 to $14,000 total.

Can you strip laminate cabinets?

The best way to do it is to use a heat gun to soften the adhesive and pull the laminate off in sections, starting with the edging. Some MDF cabinets have a plastic coating, and removing a plastic coating from kitchen cabinets is usually easier than removing a wood laminate.

What is cabinet refacing?

Cabinet refacing is the process of replacing cabinet skin panels to give your kitchen a dramatic new look. Your cabinets may be scratched or cracked, or you may simply desire a change — much like replacing a perfectly good smartphone with the latest model.

How do you touch up laminate cabinets?

As Pro Handyman describes, pry the loose laminate open and use a wooden block, chisel or small tool to keep the two pieces separated. Scrape old glue off the laminate and the core with a putty knife. Apply contact cement to the laminate and core, and allow it to dry to the touch — typically between 15 and 30 minutes.

Can veneer be stained?

If you are asking yourself “Can you stain wood veneer?” The answer is yes! Staining veneer furniture is a great alternative to paining veneer, and allows you to restore the beautiful wood.

What is the difference between Thermofoil and laminate cabinets?

The fundamental differences between thermofoil and laminate stem from their terminology. Laminate refers to any type of material used in the laminating process, whereas thermofoil constitutes a very specific type of PVC vinyl coating. Thermofoil comprises just one of the numerous laminates used in and around the home.

Can you strip veneer?

That being said, most veneers can sustain a moderate amount of sanding, but there are ways to avoid it. Use a strong chemical stripper so you don't have to sand off finish and bleach the wood to lighten it and remove spots.

Can you install new Formica over old?

On countertops with square edges, Formica® brand laminate can be installed over the existing laminate – provided it has been cleaned, degreased and lightly sanded. Before cutting your laminate surface, check corners with a carpenter's square so you won't have problems later.

Is Formica cheaper than laminate?

Laminate is cheap, even if you're going for the brand name Formica countertops. If you're looking to get a new kitchen on a budget, then a laminate countertop is probably best for you.

Previous article
Can I mix stainless steel and white appliances?
Next article
Can Kevo unlock remotely?