Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing
Fixing up melamine cabinetry: relaminating and moreby Karl Fendelander
Face Your Kitchen Columnist
Melamine is one of the most popular choices for cabinet construction and for good reason. It's inexpensive, strong (under the right circumstances), uniform and blemish-free. Like most inexpensive materials, though, it's not without some drawbacks. To understand these drawbacks, it helps to know a bit more about the material itself. Melamine consists of a particle-board core that has a resin-saturated paper-based finish (or laminate) thermally bonded to it. This finish is easy to clean and resists water well, but edges, nicks and drilled holes can let in moisture, at which point the product gets unsightly fast.
If you've got failing, delaminating or just ordinary, ugly, melamine cabinetry, you have some options available for fixing it up without fully refacing or replacing.
Before you start
Working with melamine requires a little bit more attention than plywood or hardwood. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Fixing peeling melamine
One of the most common issues with aging melamine cabinetry is peeling laminate. It's easiest to fix this problem with the offending board removed. Start by removing or covering hardware and taking out the board in question. Here's what to do next:
Working with melamine isn't easy. If you feel like you're in over your head, call in a professional instead of ruining perfectly good materials.