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Old 11-30-2014, 10:44 AM   #1
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Refinishing / updating cabinet doors

Sorry -- I searched for this and couldn't find an answer (but I did find a couple of other posts in which the question was raised).

I've still got the van bug...bad. I'll probably buy a used rig in 2015. I've started looking at used SMBs, and the two that have come close to my specs are a 1998 and a 2006 -- both with almond cabinets (some door edging coming off) and U-shaped plastic pulls that stick out, and drawer locking hooks that work badly (lift the drawer, tug, wobble, pull)

If I get such a van, I'd like to switch the old pulls and hooks for the newer black flush mount circular pulls/latches. That then raises the question of how to refinish the cabinets.

Does anyone have experience painting them? Or putting a new veneer of some sort on them?

Thanks,
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:37 AM   #2
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Re: Refinishing / updating cabinet doors

I refinished the cabinets with a sort of wrap. It works great since 2 jears now.

In the pics i only did the doors first. Afterwards i reworked the complete cabinets with it. It was a lot of work but i love it now



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Old 11-30-2014, 11:38 AM   #3
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Re: Refinishing / updating cabinet doors

thats how it looks now
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Old 11-30-2014, 06:54 PM   #4
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Re: Refinishing / updating cabinet doors

Very nice! This is exactly the sort of thing I'm thinking of. Thank you for sharing.

Do you have more information on the material that you used?

And has it been tested in high temperatures (e.g.: van parked in 100*F heat with windows closed).

Cheers!
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:20 PM   #5
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Re: Refinishing / updating cabinet doors

That looks great! I, too, am very interested, and would really appreciate any more information you can share about the products, methods, lessons learned, etc.

What a transformation!
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:52 AM   #6
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Re: Refinishing / updating cabinet doors

Thanks
as i am from germany i do not know if it is available in the states
http://www.d-c-fix.com/tur/deko-folien. ... e=0&top=1&
it is for furniture and doors. It is self adhesive so it is nice for a diy.I am shure you will have also this sort of wrap over there. A lot of different colors and designs are available

It works also good in high temperature. I made a table in my home with it and it resist since 20 years now without any problems.
The only thing what may cause a problem is that it is relativ soft if it is hot. So if you "work" on the surface with sharp things it will damage it.
But if it is damaged you can change it easy
Do work with it is nearly the same than wraping a car. But as you only have flat surfaces it is much easier

How i did it:
Most importand is the prework.
So first close all holes you do not need. You will see every hole or bump through the wrap! Grinding the surface to be smooth, than clean it with brake cleaner. After this i protect all the frame (sorry i do not know the right word) of the doors with a water resistand glue. This is not necessary but i did it to protect the material from water. My furniture was at some places soaked so i was afraid water will damage the material again....
After all this prework i took the wrap on it. Best is to do it with heat (hair dryer) and a racloir. After this i cut all the overlaying wrap with a cutter and also grind it with a "dremel"
http://www.dobyu.de/dremel/multitools/W ... -1-25.html
(sorry again, no idea how you guys call it)
i took a grinder on it to slope the wrap at the edges of the surface. This protect it chiping
Take NO water/soap emulsion! The adhesion is prompt but after a week or so it is realy solit.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:13 AM   #7
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Re: Refinishing / updating cabinet doors

schluchtenflitzer: We call it a Dremel tool also.


Greydawg: Applying new laminate (Formica) is quite straightforward, the only special tool that you need is a laminate trimmer. You don't really even need a laminate trimmer. If you have a router, this will work just fine but it's a little heavy/big for the job.

You need a sheet of laminate, a quart of contact cement, a few cheap paint brushes, and a laminate trimmer bit for the router or laminate trimmer. You also need a small saw to rough cut the laminate.

Here are the steps:

Rough cut the laminate to be an inch or two larger than the cabinet door, panel, etc that you want to cover.

Apply contact cement to the back of the laminate and the surface of the door with the paint brush and let both surfaces dry until tacky (about 5 minutes usually)

stick the laminate to the door-the only tricky part is to make sure that the laminate is overhanging the panel on all sides; once the contact cement contacts itself, there is no repositioning.

Trim the excess laminate with the laminate trimmer bit.

On a scale of 1-10, this is a 5 banana job.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:29 AM   #8
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Re: Refinishing / updating cabinet doors

Putting new laminate on the doors should not be a big problem, although you do need some kind of a workshop because the laminate trimmer makes a huge mess of "sawdust." I suppose it could be done outdoors in good weather.

The edging might be more of a problem, It would all need to be removed because it would interfere with the laminate edge trimmer. Some types of edging is installed into a slot in the edge of the plywood. This slot might also interfere with the proper operation of the laminate trimmer. then new edging would be required since the door would now be thicker.

If the only problem is filling holes in the laminate from old door pulls, it might be possible to fill the holes with putty and then apply a laminate repair coating. The coating can be purchased to color match major laminate brands. Loose edging might be repairable with glue.

Another idea would be to put in carriage bolts or pan head screws to cover the old holes. They could even be pre-painted before installation.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:51 PM   #9
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Re: Refinishing / updating cabinet doors

Thanks, all, for your detailed replies.

D-C Fix is a very heavy-weight vinyl version of "Contact Paper" -- lightweight self-adhesive plastic (with a very poor adhesive). A quick Google search shows it available through Amazon and eBay; what I haven't figured out is whether it comes in different weights, with different adhesives, etc.

The D-C fix approach would be the easiest, and probably the only way to recover the cabinet bodies without removing the cabinets from the van.

There would remain the question of the edging -- but presumably that could be sourced if necessary.

Of course, in my case this is all theoretical since I haven't found used van yet. But now I know that renovation of the cabinets is quite feasible -- so that's not a deal-breaker..

Thanks again!
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