Is it possible to reface kitchen cabinets that have a plastic-like covering on them?

Our kitchen is old, ugly, and our-dated and need updated terribly. Unfortunately, I have a kid that just started college and another that will be starting next year, so money is going to be at a premium.
I am looking into possibly refacing the existing cabinets but I don't know: (a) if I can reface them since they have some sort of covering on them that makes them look like (fake) oak. (b) if they are even worth refacing.
The covering is some sort or plastic-like covering; almost like a huge piece of tape that is extremely thick and durable. (I will say this: the cabinet are 25+ years old and absolutely none of this crap has peeled off or worn off.) This crap is very, well, slippery and I don't know if contact cement would even hold, would it?
Also, the cabinets are made of junk particle board. They are reasonably sturdy still although all of the shelves and such will need replaced, too. Are these even worth refacing if I could?
If I do this, I plan on buying new drawer fronts and doors off the Internet and veneering the exposed area to match them. Nothing fancy, just to spruce it up a little bit. But I fear this will be almost as much as installing new, cheap cabinets. The only thing I really save is that I don't need to rip out the old ones and install the new ones. I guess that is a little bit of a trade off but I don't know.
Finally, one big thing that is holding me back is that there is a HUGE blind corner in there now. There is a single door into the blind corner cabinet which extends at least 30-36 inches to the right of the door opening and it is REALLY hard to get to the back of this darn thing. There is a door on the cabinet immediately to the right of this one--the doors are perpendicular to each other. The biggest problem is that each door is only about 8 1/2" wide!!! the face frames are fairly wide on both of these door openings.
Can I do something to help remedy this situation? I guess I could hack the frames to widen them, especially on the blind cabinet door. Or I can possibly get rid of the entire inside corner and install one of those doors that encompasses two doors with a hinge in the middle of the doors (but I don't think that would be that easy). Or I can maybe hack the inside of the cabinet next to the blind corner so you can reach thru there, too. Or a combination of any or all of these. Or NONE of them!
Any suggestions are extremely welcome.
Thanks!
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On 2/7/2012 11:05 AM, busbus wrote:

Tough to offer advice without being able to see the situation in person.
You are correct in that changing/refacing the doors and drawer fronts will give you a new look.
There are company's who specialize in doing just this who would be able to give you better advice than coming from sight unseen ... and would most likely give you a bid free of charge to do so.
My suggestion is to do that first. Once you have done do, then you can consider other options from a firmer ground.
As far as the blind corner cabinet, the solutions are somewhat limited to lazy susans and pullouts ... and it's pretty difficult to effect a custom solution with an existing corner cabinet that is less expensive and equally as effective as most store bought solutions.
That said, take a look at this:
http://www.kornerking.com/Default.asp
This guy is on G+ and there has been a bit of banter back and forth about it being a good solution. AAMOF, I've been thinking about incorporating it into the next kitchen we do just to give a try.
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Wow, those may be the best solutions I have seen yet. However, I would need to do a lot of retrofitting to make this work if I kept my cabinets. Who know? Maybe it would be nigh on impossible!
Swingman, I have read a ton of your posts and I value your opinion a lot. I understand what you are saying about getting a company to come in and take a look at the cabinets. What would stop any of them from saying, "Yeah. I can do that. No problem." and yet have it not be worth it?
I guess what I should do is also price out a set of cheap-o cabinets that will last maybe 5-8 years or so butt hen I feel like I am buying twice. Of course, if it is cheaper to get the cheap-o cabinets than it will be to reface and replace the drawer/door fronts, I need to consider it as a viable alternative.
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On 2/7/2012 12:19 PM, busbus wrote:

Get references with the bid(s) (get more than one), and call ALL the references ... that is a practice that works.
You got an AngiesList for your area? Great source for all kind of contract work.

I'm serious about getting the refinish bids _first_. Just going through that process will get you more hands on, professional advice about the current state of your cabinets, and what can/should be done with them cost effectively, than you can get anywhere, including here ... and is almost always FREE! :)
Only after you have done that, and from the information gathered in that process, will you have a realistic idea of other options to pursue, and a bit more knowledge to know whether someone is attempting to pull the wool over your eyes.
Any way, check out AngiesList ... highly recommended. Even as general contractor, I often use it locally to both check out references, and to find folks who are doing the best work. (AAMOG, I used AL this morning to get another bid on window cleaning (and did a handshake deal with the service based on their reviews and price bid before the guy left the property); and used it last week to get our two pups groomed by a mobile grooming service that I will most definitely use again.
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On 2/7/2012 1:19 PM, busbus wrote:

If you do it your self, including the cabinet tops you may be surprised what you can get for the money.
I believe you can get some quite nice ones for about $150/30 inch units, with the price going up or down for the other units. Tops can be made custom to your kitchen
We are in the process of putting cabinets in the utility room. We are considering good look low grade cabinets. For two 30" and two 12" uppers it is going to cost less than 300 dollars. (My labor)
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I am considering doing everything myself: either by hanging new cabinets or by applying veneer to the existing structure, installing new doors and drawer fronts, and finishing the whole thing. We have a very small kitchen and I have four weeks of vacation and no money to go anywhere this year, so I believe that I can take a week or so off and get it all done. I know it will take me five times as long to do this than somebody who does it for a living but I think I can handle this no problem--especially if I wait until after the middle of August when the only people in the house will be me and the wife since both kids will be in college. I am sure she will get sick of my slowness after a while but, well, she will have to put up with it!
I am wondering now if it would be worth it to cover the thermofoil with some 1/8" luan or something? Sand the thermofoil a little, may apply some sort of primer that sticks to everything(?), install the luan with glue and an air nailer, rout out the openings, then apply veneer over top of everything.
We only have one upper and one lower cabinet that has an exposed end-- and even those are covered by the fridge. Well, wrong. There are two more exposed uppers next to the sink. Other than that, the only things that need covered are all of the rails.
I don't want to have to use the luan if I don't have to but it seems like a viable alternative to covering the thermofoil using both glue as well as mechanical fasteners. Plus I know the veneer will stick to the luan.
I don't think I would even need very much veneer. I bet I can get away with only on 4x8 sheet and be done with it.
If I am way off the mark on this, please tell me as that is what I need to hear. I don't want to start doing this and end up screwing myself and paying to do it twice!!!
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On 2/8/2012 8:56 AM, busbus wrote:

OK" _You are way off the mark!_ :)
Call someone who does this for a living, get a bid on how they (with their experience) will approach it ... you will then know what EXACTLY you need to do should you decide to DIY.
There is NO other way, short of experience.
Once again, you are not going to get an answer that you can count on here.
It takes an _onsite_ evaluation of your kitchen to determine what is possible and what is not.
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There is a recent article in one of the regular woodworking magazines on taking "basic" cabinets and making them pretty with very little expense.
I can't remember which magazine..Wood, FWW or AWW but in the last few issues.
On 2/7/2012 10:19 AM, busbus wrote:

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wrote:

Ethics. (Alas, in today's world, that can be risky.)

Here, buy this book and then build your own in minutes! <g> http://tinyurl.com/7enrlyf or maybe this one: http://tinyurl.com/75azcg8
-- Energy and persistence alter all things. --Benjamin Franklin
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That retrofit clip is pretty cool.
This guy may be on to something.
On 2/7/2012 9:34 AM, Swingman wrote:

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Those are outrageously cool ideas and implimentation.
How repairable are the mechanisms if something goes wrong, like an irate hubby kicking/stupid teen stepping onto one of the drawers or main lazy susan structure, or something falls out of one of the drawers when an energetic child spins it at 80 RPM?
Oh, I watched the installation video and there wouldn't be any problem, would there? Double Kudos to KornerKing. Klassy Schtuff.
-- Energy and persistence alter all things. --Benjamin Franklin
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busbus wrote:

Regarding the veneer, you could do that but another option is paint. Still another is wallpaper. Vinyl wallpaper, that is, preferably cloth backed.
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