How To Reface Laminate Cabinets? A Step By Step Guide

Refacing cabinets can be a tricky job, especially if you plan on doing this all by yourself.  Not sure from where to begin or how much the entire procedure will cost? This article might help you out with all of your questions regarding how to reface laminate cabinets. 

The process of refacing laminate cabinets is pretty identical to that of natural wood refacing. Thin layers of wood veneer are used in cabinet construction. But if you want to laminate cabinets, you will need to use a thin layer of laminate. Once the laminate has been applied, the cabinets will look brand new. Then, you can replace the doors with new ones.

There are many things you need to know if you want to reface laminate cabinets. In this article, I will talk about all the necessary steps you need to know to reface laminate your cabinets. Furthermore, you will gain information on all the pros and cons that reface laminating cabinet brings. 

Steps To Reface Laminate Cabinets

The process of refacing laminate cabinets is fairly simple and requires only a few steps. To remove and clean the old laminate, you may need to pay slightly more.

You can reface laminate cabinets the same way you would any other cabinet if they are not falling apart. Below is a step by step guide on how to reface laminate cabinets!

Prepare The Cabinet By Taking Measurements

Firstly prepare your cabinets. Then it is time for you to start the laminating process. Measure all the sides and the bottoms of the cabinets as well.

You need to take a larger measurement of where you need an overhang. You’ll have more room for error or last-minute tweaks if you do it this way.

Unpack The Laminate Roll And Make Sure Everything Is On Point 

Carefully unroll the laminate roll. Make sure you don’t cut the backer when cutting. Avoid scratching or scuffing the laminate when cutting. You can use the cardboard from the box that it came in to make your cuts. Begin by chopping your rough parts.

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When fitting parts against walls, joints, or other areas that require precision, using a straight edge can help. We utilized a metal yardstick in this example. Dry fitting your components before peeling down the backing is always a smart idea. You’ll be able to verify if your cuts were exact before applying the lamination.

Apply Lamination To The Cabinets Properly

To begin, only peel back about a half-inch to one-inch of the backer. Peelstix has a strong adherence. Line up the edge with the chosen beginning point and stick it there. Working from top to bottom or side to side, make sure you firmly push down on all laminated surfaces. This will prevent air bubbles from forming beneath the lamination. 

It is recommended that the backer is removed 6 inches at a time to allow all air to escape and the laminate to be pressed to the structure’s surface. If you find yourself in a scenario where you need to remove the lamination, do so right away. It will be quite difficult to remove after a few minutes. You should continue this until it is fully laminated.

Finish The Lamination 

Trim all extra laminate with the Band-it trimming tool and a utility knife with a good blade. There must be a perfect trim line where the two joints meet the laminate to hold it together.

If you place a utility blade flat against the structure, you’ll get a perfectly smooth trim line that won’t need to be sanded. After laminating the sides, use the same process to laminate the faces.

Install The Cabinet Doors And Drawers 

If this had been an upper cabinet, the bottom would have been laminated first, followed by the sides, and lastly, the faces. The cabinet faces are always the last to be installed. After the faces have been laminated, rough-cut the holes with your utility knife. Because the trimmer does not cut into inside corners, it is easier to use your utility knife on tiny holes. 

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When it comes to trimming, take your time. To avoid damage down the road, do not leave any laminate overhang.

The Pros and Cons Of Refacing Laminate Cabinets

Refacing Laminate Cabinets have more pros than cons. The cost is almost half of the replacement. Also, there is no need to break old cabinets. It also creates a uniform appearance to the doors and drawers and also becomes scratch and moisture-free. However, there are certain drawbacks to it. You cannot upgrade the design or can’t use newer hardware.

Cost Is Lesser

Refacing cabinets is always cheaper than completely replacing them. For a laminate cabinet, it almost costs $1000 to $3000 to fully reface. If you plan to replace it, this figure can increase up to $5000- $8000, depending on what type of designs you want, materials you need, etc.

For minor problems, I recommend refacing over replacing laminate cabinets. Most of the time, the cabinets are in renewable condition and just need a bit of polishing. It also costs significantly less, almost half the cost of replacement.

There Is No Need For Breaking Cabinets

If you are content with your cabinet’s current layout or design, then refacing is the way to go. Furthermore, replacing the doors and drawers would need breaking them. As a result, you will require more resources.

On the other hand, refacing laminate cabinets does not have this issue. Laminating existing doors and drawers eliminates the need to replace them.

Less Time And Hassle

Compared to wood cabinets, laminate cabinets are usually installed within a short amount of time. It generally takes around 10-15 days to replace cabinets and install new materials.

But if you are refacing laminate cabinets, then there is less hard work. There is no need to build new doors and drawers. All steps of refacing are complete within 2-3 days. This is a lesser amount of time and hard work than replacing them.

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Sturdy And Easier To Clean 

Laminate Cabinets are better than wooden cabinets in certain areas. For example, laminate cabinets conceal scratches. You can also clean laminate cabinets easily, and it takes less effort to maintain them.

Refacing laminate cabinets also increases the strengths of the doors and drawers. They become as good as new. They look better and have a gloss to them. Also, the drawers and doors are more robust after refacing. This enables them to last a more extended portion of time.

Similar Design As Before

There aren’t many cons to refacing laminate cabinets. Although there is one existing issue. The old design stays the same during refacing. If you want a newer look to your cabinet, then you have to rethink. 

Also, you can’t install newer hardware. As a result, you will have to stay content with the old design and hardware, just reworked into better condition.

Storage Issues Are Unresolved And The Functionality Remains Same

Refacing Laminate Cabinets does not increase storage. So if you are planning to get a bigger space, then just refacing cabinets will not help much.

Furthermore, the cabinets will work the same. As a result, you have to remain settled for what you had before refacing. It only improves the longevity of the cabinet and polishes it, but doesn’t change anything else.

You can reface your cabinet in many ways, but laminate refacing is the most convenient way to go. Hopefully, by going through the article, you have learned how to reface laminate cabinets.I have also mentioned the pros and cons in the article. Hope this guide helps you in getting all the information you need. Thank you for tuning in.