How to Repair Vinyl Kitchen Cabinets

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Vinyl cabinets are one of the most popular choices for the kitchen, along with laminate cabinets and thermofoil cabinets. This material is a low-cost option that still makes the kitchen cabinet door look visually appealing without breaking the bank. While the vinyl wrap is generally durable for wood cabinets and cupboard doors, they’re still vulnerable to damages like cracks and peeling as years pass by.

So what’s the best way to repair a damaged vinyl cabinet door? Repairing kitchen cabinetry's damaged area depends on the extent of damage it has. A peeled vinyl coating can be fixed using a waterproof adhesive, while peeled and cracked kitchen cupboards must be repainted or replaced with a new vinyl coating. Homeowners may also replace all the damaged cupboards with new cabinets.

Step-by-Step Guide to Repairing Your Damaged Vinyl Cabinets

Solid wood kitchen cabinets add a certain charm to any kitchen. They’re also highly durable as they can tolerate stains and resist warpage. But like any product made of real wood, these cabinet boxes cost a fortune – homeowners may spend about $6,000 to $12,000 for the materials and installation costs.

The good news is that vinyl kitchen cabinets can mimic the aesthetics of solid wood cabinets without their hefty price tag. However, they’re not as durable as the real thing so homeowners might notice cracks and peels on the drawer front or kitchen door after a while. Depending on the extent of the cabinet damage, there are still a few ways to repair it:

Peeled Vinyl

  1. Find which part of the cabinet is peeling. Use the corner of sandpaper to gently scuff the wood veneer, separating the layer of vinyl coating from the rest of the cabinet. This allows you to remove the wood glue or wood putty, making it easier for the new adhesive to hold the vinyl back in place.
  2. Apply a small amount of the waterproof adhesive between the peeled vinyl and the wood veneer. Put the vinyl back in place and secure it with heavy-duty masking tape. You may also use a clamp purchased from the home depot to hold the vinyl in place until the adhesive dries.
  3. Remove the clamp or tape once the adhesive has dried after a few hours. Scrape off any excess adhesive using a utility knife or another similar tool.

Peeled and Cracked Vinyl

  1. Separate the cabinet door from the rest of the kitchen cabinet by unscrewing it from the hinges. Set the pieces aside so they don’t get lost when it’s time to reassemble everything. Start working in a well-lit place in the house.
  2. Loosen the contact cement that holds the material together using a flammable glue solvent. Make sure to keep away from poorly ventilated rooms and open flames when doing this.
  3. Use a utility knife to slowly separate the vinyl and the substrate. Proceed with caution as some of the pieces might break off and cut the skin as you work. Continue working until the damaged part of the cabinet door is removed.
  4. Measure the area that needs to be removed then cut a matching piece from the new vinyl coating.
  5. Gently sand the substrate to fix its surface. Use a damp cloth to remove the dust and let the piece air dry. Slowly place the new vinyl coating until everything looks good and even. Let the adhesive dry for a few hours.
  6. Trim the edges using a trimmer and sand the cut marks to smooth them. Put some petroleum jelly to the drill bit before reinstalling the kitchen cabinet through the existing hardware holes.

Bonus: Cabinet Painting

Instead of cabinet repair using new vinyl coating, some homeowners prefer to paint kitchen cabinets with their preferred finishes instead. To transform damaged vinyl coating into painted cabinets, there are 3 important steps to follow:

  1. Prep the kitchen cabinets and make sure that they’re not too cracked or damaged. Rinse the cabinets with trisodium phosphate and clean water, but don’t forget to use gloves and protective eyewear during this step.
  2. Gently sand the doors to allow the paint to adhere better. Apply a tack cloth over the surface to ensure that no dust is left on the door before painting.
  3. Do a spot test first to ensure that the paint adheres well to the door’s surface. Apply a primer over the entire painting area before putting your preferred paint on the door. Allow the paint to fully dry before reassembling the kitchen cabinet.

Repair vs. Replace: What To Do With Your Kitchen Cabinets

Although refacing or repainting vinyl kitchen cabinets is easy enough to do for some people, it might not be the best option for cabinets with severe damage and delamination issues. In such cases, it’s better to choose cabinet replacement.

To decide if the kitchen cabinets need to be repaired or replaced, ask local handyman services to check the extent of the damage. If the vinyl coating shows localized damage on one or two cabinets, then a simple repair job might do the trick.

But if the problem affects most of the kitchen cabinets, then these cabinets should be replaced. For kitchen cabinet boxes that are still intact but with noticeable damage on their doors, it’s better to purchase new cabinet doors instead of replacing the entire kitchen cabinet.

Find the Best Kitchen Cabinet Options at Zothex

At Zothex, we do more than just help our clients with their flooring and kitchen cabinet needs. We consider ourselves your partner when it comes to different home construction and remodeling projects.

Our team of experts can help you find the perfect materials, styles, and finishes for your kitchen cabinets at home – all based on your budget, home aesthetic, and lifestyle. Share your vision with us today by calling us to book an appointment.

Read More: Do Upper and Lower Kitchen Cabinets Have to Match?

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