I am refacing my cabinets. I'm going to order new doors for my kitchen cabinets and cover the painted cases with laminate: does all the paint have to be removed first? Will the laminate form a good bond with the previously painted cases?
Wade ~ Flint, Michigan
Wade, the answer to your question depends on what type of adhesive you plan on using to attach the new laminate to your existing cabinet cases. Some solvent-based adhesives may soften the underlying paint, which could then cause separation problems down the road. Conversely, there are some water-based solvents that just aren't that effective when it comes to cabinet refacing projects.
Another crucial factor to consider when determining how best to prepare the cabinet surface, is the type of laminate that you have chosen. If you are refacing your cabinetry with a high pressure laminate or a paper-backed wood veneer, then you may consider a product called Flex-Pro. In certain situations, this glue can be successfully applied over painted surfaces, and it cleans up pretty easily with warm water.
I think your best bet is to choose a laminate that meets the aesthetic characteristics of your refacing project, and then use the adhesive that is recommended by the laminate manufacturer. Of course this may mean that you have to strip the cabinets to bare wood before you can complete the project. If you want to avoid the sanding and stripping all together, then you should choose a laminate that is can be applied to your cabinets with a glue like Flex-Pro. Good luck with your project!