Laminate Cabinets - Can They Be Repaired?

Old 09-24-05, 03:09 PM
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Laminate Cabinets - Can They Be Repaired?

Hi everyone--

I have a 2-year old new home, and the builders (SummerHill) played a dirty trick. They pretended we were getting maple wood cabinets and instead we got wood-laminate cabinets. After 6 months I noticed something that looked like confectioner's sugar on the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. It took me a while to figure out that the cabinets were laminate and that the laminate was disintegrating in areas where water had touched them. (The Merry Maids cleaners, for one, have done a lot of damage.) I am not a do-it-yourselfer but wanted to see what my options were aside from costly resurfacing:

* Is there a product that could repair some of the damaged areas? (the builder used some sort of repair 'stick' for a few scratches they had caused)

* Is there some sort of sealant that could be applied that would protect the cabinets from water damage? I would prefer a non-glossy sealant.

Any help would be deeply appreciated. I am fairly naive and clueless about such matters... Many thanks.

Old 09-24-05, 10:24 PM
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Where is the damage located? is it limited to a sink base, or are the cabinets at the end of a run damaged as well?

The only thing I can think of is mabye trying to scrape up any loose/bubbling laminate til its smooth and priming with a very good primer. At most places like H Depot, Lowe's or Menards, they sell real wood veneer that can be self sticking or applied with a contact cement. Once applied it can be stained and sealed. If the damage leaves the surface uneven you might buy a 1/4" piece of plywood (maple or birch), cut to fit and apply with contact cement. Then stain and varnish to match.

Another thing in your favor is you know the builder. Ask him for the name of the cabinetry manufacturer and you mabye able to order repair laminate directly from them, so color shouldn't be an issue.

Hope this helps.
Old 09-25-05, 02:40 AM
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Thanks KMN--

I appreciate your thoughts. I am not good at this kind of work, so I'll need to pay someone to help. The damage is all over in the areas where the cabinets are near water. I would like to repair the existing damage--but the main thing is stopping further damage from occurring--which means protecting the cabinets from water damage. I was hoping someone could recommend a non-glossy sealant. My understanding of primer is that it's used before painting? i wouldn't want to paint these cabinets since they are maple laminate and imitate natural wood. I afctually thought the laminate was wood--it looks so natural. I believe now that it's wood particles etc. ground into laminate sheets. I'm not sure how they make it look like a grained maple...


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