How to Reface Your Kitchen Cabinets with Veneer

  • 2-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200-500
What You'll Need
Table saw
Wood veneer
Contact cement
Laminate roller

A popular way to add a new look to your kitchen is to use some veneer on kitchen cabinets. By refacing the surface of your kitchen cabinets with some type of wood or laminate veneer you can instantly transform the look of the kitchen without spending a lot of money. Doing the project yourself will also help you to save some money. The project itself, of refacing kitchen cabinets with veneer, is moderately challenging.

Step 1: Remove Door from Cabinet

Before you can do anything to the surface of the cabinet you should remove the door first. Use the screwdriver to remove the screws from the hinges. Remove hardware such as handles and latches. Once the door is removed from the cabinet face, then check over the entire door for any screws or imperfections in the door.

Step 2: Sand and Fix Door

Use a sander and sand the front of the door and the sides down to bare wood. Be sure to hold the sander flat on the surface so you do not create any gouges. Use 80 grit paper to start and finish with some 200 grit paper. If you find any nicks, or holes, in the surface then you will need to use some wood putty to fill them in before applying the veneer. Sand down the wood putty so that it is even with the surface.

Step 3: Clean Cabinet Surface

Before the wood veneer is attached to the cabinet surface you need to remove and dust caused by sanding. Wipe the entire cabinet down with a damp rag.

Step 4: Measure and Cut Wood Veneer

It is important to take great care in making sure that the veneer is cut to fit the cabinet face exactly. You need to measure both the face and the sides of the door frame. Transfer the measurements to the veneer. Take measurements again to make sure it is correct. Cut the veneer, with the face on the bottom, on a table saw.

Step 5: Apply Contact Cement

Using some good contact cement, apply it to both the cabinet face and the veneer back. Use a brush and make sure it covers the entire surface. Make sure you have enough cement before you start. You do not want to run out in the middle of this step. Work only with individual pieces at a time. Do not brush on the cement over the entire kitchen cabinet surface at the same time.

Step 6: Place Veneer on Cabinet

Carefully place the veneer on the kitchen cabinets. Once the veneer is set in place, then use a roller to ensure a strong bond and without any type of air bubbles. Continue to apply the cement and veneer until you have completed the entire kitchen cabinet.

Step 7: Clean Veneer Surface

After the cement has had some time to dry, finish off the cabinet refacing by cleaning off the veneer. Apply some furniture polish so that the cabinets shine.

Step 8: Repeat with Cabinet Doors

If you want matching doors, then repeat the process to apply veneer to them also. If not, then simply replace the doors back into their original position.