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Peeling White Thermafoil Cabinet Door and Drawer Front

Our kitchen is about ten years old, and we have one 15" cabinet door and one 27" drawer front that the thermofoil is peeling at the seems.  We are not quite ready to take on a whole kitchen redo, but I really want to fix these problems.  I contacted the manufacturer (Marsh Cabinets)  and they sent an auto-reply stating that they will not sell replacement parts.  Do you have any suggestions on how to make these look presentable until we are ready for a kitchen redo???peeling cab.jpg

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Posted 2011-02-09T17:30:14+0000  by zokadesigns zokadesigns

Hello zokadesigns,


My name is Christine and I work in the paint department at The Home Depot. I’m sorry for you peeling cabinets, but don’t worry, I have something that will work for you.


I was a little stumped on how to help you with this, so I called Thermafoil directly and talked to a gentleman named Rich, who was very helpful. I told him your problem and he suggested using contact cement. Just apply the glue on both sides, press down and hold for about a minute. Depending on which contact cement you purchase, you may not have to hold it down at all, so be sure to read the instructions first. If a little bit oozes out, just wipe it off with a dry rag.


Let us know if we can help with anything else!



Posted 2011-02-09T18:12:50+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL

Hi Christine,


My name is Marisol. We just moved in to our new home, and the cabinets on the house are the thermofoil type.  And I am facing the same situation as zokadesign. The cabinets are in good conditions but the doors are peeled off, that 

hint you gave sounds like a good idea, my concern is after you glue it their might some parts that are completely removed, how can you paint it? and what type of paint? can you use to make it all one even color.



Posted 2011-09-27T20:34:25+0000  by Marisol31086

Thank you for your question Marisol and welcome to our community!


In the event that you have areas that are not covered by the Thermafoil you CAN paint those areas, but I would advise against it. :smileysad: To be honest, the problem with doing this is that you will always be able to see where you painted. No matter what paint you use, it will not look like the Thermafoil coating. It will either be too shiny or not shiny enough and it won’t be as smooth. So, I would advise against spot painting your cabinets.


Not to worry, there is hope! :smileyvery-happy: Would you be willing to paint the cabinets completely? Doing so can completely change the look of your kitchen and it will look very nice. 


Here are the steps:  


  1. Remove and/or glue down any Thermafoil that is peeling.
  2. Clean the cabinets thoroughly with water, dish detergent, and a sponge. It will be easier for you to take down the cabinet doors, if you are able.
  3. Once clean and dry apply a bonding primer. I would recommend using Glidden Gripper primer- it will stick to anything!
  4. Apply an oil- based paint in the color of your choosing. Using a natural bristle brush and a medium nap roller for the broad areas will ensure that you get the smoothest finish. I would recommend doing 2 coats of paint.

Another option for you would be to refinish your cabinets with the Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations kit. There is a pretty extensive post on this community with a video. Click here to learn more about it.


I hope that helped you out.


Please let me know if I can help with anything else! 


Christine :smileyvery-happy:

Posted 2011-09-28T13:29:09+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL

Hello Christine (or whomever will respond to this),


I too am having trouble with both peeling and bubbled Thermafoil cabinets.  These cabinets are 10 years old, so I imagine the product was even worse then than it is now.  I just want to confirm a couple of things from your prior post:


1) You mention to remove the peeling areas; I just want to make sure that that the finish will look the same for both the peeled and unpeeled areas of the cabinet?  (This would be if we use your first option for painting the cabinets).


2) If I choose your second option, Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation Kit, is the process the same? i.e. remove the peeled part as well?


Of the 2 options, paint or Transformation Kit, do you recommend one over the other?  (Note: I have a ton of cabinets, so I want to make sure I do the right thing the first time).





Posted 2012-12-12T03:00:44+0000  by porger


Thermofoil doors are not my favorite. The peeling of edges is all too common with them, along with badly yellowing with time.


Were I trying to repair the original poster's door,  I would take a medium to fine grade sandpaper and sand through the foil along the entire edge, leaving a smooth edge  transition  from the foil to the exposed particle board underneath.


A couple coats of an oil based enamel undercoater would seal the particle board and hide its rouge texture. Avoid using a water based primer as these tend to swell the particle board surface. After a sanding with fine sandpaper, the surface should be ready to paint.


Take the door to HD and have it it matched as to color and sheen. On the door shown in the picture, I would probably square off the new paint at the sharp edge just beyond the radius. When touching up, the less that is newly painted, the better. A fresh coat of paint on the entire door would probably stand out more than just the edge having been painted.

Posted 2012-12-12T03:55:36+0000  by ordjen

I have been in this business for 17 years and I've never seen any good fix for thermafoil doors that are peeling.  I've also worked for Marsh.  They have only a five year warranty on their boxes and frankly, they're really cheap cabinets.  Save up, re-model the kitchen and don't use Marsh or Ikea.  They both are cheaply made.

Posted 2013-12-26T19:18:29+0000  by marshman
Hi Christine, I like the idea of gluing down the peeling thermofoil. I have one door has peeled but the loose part has curled and is very brittle. If I try to glue it down, I'm sure it will just snap off. Is there a way to soften the Thermofoil so that it can be held down and glued?
Posted 2017-04-02T15:00:33+0000  by George72
You talk about removing the peeling areas and then painting.  Can I peel the entire thermofoil from the doors and just prime and paint the particle board?  The rest of my cabinets are in really good shape, it's just the doors that are bad.  Thanks in advance.
Posted 2017-04-14T19:03:55+0000  by GregZ
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