Reface particle board cabinet with area "fluffed" by water?

kitchen cabinets are ugly and almost black in color. we're thinking of refacing (with new doors), but this one damaged area needs special prep; it's below the sink:
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http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/460/flakflufcabnt42468xu.jpg thumb version:
http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/460/flakflufcabnt42468xu.th.jpg
it's still sturdy, so shouldn't need to be cut out and new 1x spliced in for strength.
Darkish blotches remind me that, years ago, we gave this edge a coat of brown paint, but the edge has since been scratched by fingernails. I think even without the scratching, water would still have soaked it.
right now, i'd guess this would be best prep: sand off the swollen high spots. something that can soak into the particle board porousness, to firm it up? otherwise primer, to seal "plastic" wood filler (not the water-based patch), sand. fill and sand until good. probably prime again to seal (all around, including inner side of cabinet front)
then apply refacing "veneer"
so yes, a question, is there a better way?
TIA
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I am not sure what the picture is showing me. Do your cupboards have a face frame made with particle board covered with vinyl? I think I would just pull off the doors and face frames and then install new face frames and doors.
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yes.
hmm, i'll check how well the faces are attached. if well glued, i'd expect the joined area to turn to crumbles.
the cabinets are a mix individual cabinets and multiple-cabinet subassemblies (manufactured in a large batch for apartment complex which was later converted to condos)
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Can you cut out the piece of crap wood and put in a piece of real wood in it's place?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com in

that's what i was expecting be my second choice - screws and glue/adhesive. i'd use a piece temporarily clamped across front surface to prevent the new piece from being recessed vs cabinet front. then smooth with plastic wood procedure, seal, etc.
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If it is on the bottom, you may just want to put some wood grained contact paper over it to match your new cabinet faces. My home desk was rather small so I cut a piece of plywood 30 Inches by 60 inches to place on my much smaller desk top. I then put some contact paper over it. I did this two four years ago and it still looks good.
Pat
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