Our house is 30+ years old and the kitchen cabinets are showing a good deal
of wear so we've been contemplating reworking the kitchen a bit. Our
cabinets were built on-site as opposed to drop in modules and looking at the
construction, it looks like they are made of plywood with about 1/4" (maybe
a little less) veneer glued on all of the faces. What I'm wondering is if
there is some say of getting the veneer off to be replaced? If I could
replace the veneer and make new doors, I could freshen things up a good deal
without having to do a complete tearout and re-build (which I'm not even
sure is within my capabilities and I hate to mess with the the contertop
which had fresh formica put on 7 years ago).
A very pracitcal approach for many.
With well built cabinets, replacing the doors and drawer fronts, and
sprucing up the end panels is an excellent way to "rework" your kitchen. If
you don't feel up to the job, there should be someone in your area that
actually specializes in doing just that.
The "better" refacing outfits put a 1/4" solid wood face over the existing face
frames, exposed sides and bottoms. This is accompanied by new drawer faces and
cabinet doors. Failry expnsive to have someone else do it, but not too
difficult to do yourself, with time and the right tools/material.
Look in the book for "cabinet refacing"...
or if you have the skills, get the book
(Amazon.com product link shortened)00812394/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/002-3199489-3582460?v=glance&s=books&nP7846
in either case, if your boxes are still well built, refacing
is sure an option. Some folks even use laminate as the finish
If the existing cabinets are well made a rebuild is the way to go. If are
located here in the heart land of USA custom made doors in red oak or maple
are available at reasonable cost. What wood is the 1/4" veneer on the face
frames? 1/4" thickness gives you plenty to work with. Perhaps you can just
scrape off the old finish, sand and refinish. If you want to change the
wood on the face frames you may be able to remove the 1/4" layer but it may
be stuck (glued) so good it will not be worth the effort. In which case I
would scrape away the old finish and glue a new veneer over it.
Don't miss the opportunity to make any cabinet modifications that are
needed. For example: 30 years ago microwave ovens weren't as popular as
they are now. If you have one taking up space on the counter top now would
be a good time to move it up and build it into the cabinets. Some older
cabinets don't have good drawer slides and in some cases the drawer boxes
weren't made well. If your drawer boxes are okay then reuse them but at
least consider an upgrade of the drawers that get a lot of use.
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