How can I restore peeling cabinets?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ December 8, 2014 ~ No Comments

My kitchen cabinets are oak/particle board. The two lower cabinets by the sink are peeling and the finish has peeled away. Is there a way to fix this? I am afraid if I go to the effort to refinish them, they won't match the cabinets on the top.


Jeffrey Anderson

AM, a lot is going to depend on the amount of damage to the lower cabinets and their construction. When you say that it is only the two lower cabinets by the sink that are peeling, that makes me believe that a water leak could be causing the damage. If that is the case, before doing any work on the cabinets, whether repair or replacement, the leak should be repaired. Not doing so is more than likely just going to result in additional damage to the kitchen cabinets.

As far as repairing your base cabinets, if the particle board itself has been damaged, you are probably better off getting new cabinets. Depending on the age of your existing units, you may be able to match their style and finish from the selections offered by the numerous manufacturers of new kitchen cabinets. If not, quite a few cabinet companies sell unfinished units that can be finished on-site. A paint contractor or your local home improvement retailer should be able to match the finish on your existing cabinets. If you purchase RTA (ready to assemble) cabinets, you should be able to save quite a bit as they are often much less expensive than pre-finished and already assembled units. Painting all of the cabinets in your kitchen would also be an option. That way you are assured everything will match.

If the particle board is in good condition with just the veneer peeling, re-facing your two base cabinets could be an option. There are many online companies that offer wood veneers for cabinet re-facing so there should be a good chance of finding a finish to match the existing units. Re-facing an entire kitchen with particle board cabinets is usually not recommended, but doing a couple of units if all of the others are in good shape could be a budget-friendly option. Cabinet re-facing can be done by homeowners, but is usually considered a fairly advanced DIY project. If you aren't sure of your abilities to do the job properly, it might be best to contact a local cabinet re-facing contractor for the project.

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