cabinet door repair, melted thermofoil

homeboundSeptember 30, 2011

Anybody had success with repairing white thermofoil kitchen cabinet door edges? I have two doors with melted/peeled edges (radius edge) adjacent to the stove. Door replacement is out, since the exact profile (routed panel) has been discontinued. Any ideas? I've exhausted all attempts at finding a similar enough profile. At this point I'm even thinking of trimming and patching with polysueamseal caulk or some sort of other vinyl repair if I can get it acceptable to the eye. Any help appreciated. Thanks.

I'm in Northern Virgina (Arlington/Metro DC).

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Might be better served to just replace all the doors. That particular design/product is not very condusive to use in kitchens.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 1:55PM
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Unfortunately, replacing all the doors is not in the owner's budget. This is part of a prep-for-resale job and I'm committed. I may end up carving some vinyl off the bottom edge and performing transplant surgery, skin-graft style.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 6:29PM
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The only 'repair' for damaged thermofoil is replacement.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 6:20PM
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You could try taking a heat gun and peeling the thermofoil completely off. Then take one of the undamaged doors and have it color matched. Several coats of an alklyd primer and a couple of topcoats of paint in the right sheen, and it might not be noticable to someone home shopping. The texture won't be the same upon close examination, but at least it won't scream damaged.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 12:26AM
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I have been providing tech support and consulting to thermofoil component manufacturers for nearly 20 years and can tell you when this process is done right the doors should last 20 years +. I have a set that are 16 years old with no peeling. Your cabinets should have come with instructions on how to protect the doors from the extreme heat some self cleaning ovens release. If you will check my website and email a photo of the door I may be able to find someone that can replace it for you.

If the door was manufactured using an inferior glue system, the heat gun idea may work. However, chances are it will leave a gummy mess making it very difficult to paint.

Here is a link that might be useful: Formella CSI

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 12:26PM
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Yes! My last house had white thermofoil cabinets. Except when we bought the place I didn't know that's what I had or even what thermofoil was, so you can guess what happened the first time I ran the clean cycle on the oven.

In my case the damage was just a small area on the edge of the drawers on either side of the oven. We cut away the damaged area, filled in (with wood putty IIRC) and painted the repair white. It actually turned out much better than I expected. You couldn't see the repair at all when the drawers were closed, and barely when open & looking right at it. I say give it a shot!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 3:31AM
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Sorry for the delayed follow-up. Also, thanks for the follow-up, Bill3D.

Owner ended up going with a custom cabinet guy who routed new panels to match, then sprayed them with color-matched lacquer. (Two doors + two drawer fronts = $600.) They're actually whiter than the existing, but acceptable.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 6:09PM
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Thank you for posting the follow up.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 11:15PM
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I have Thermofoil cabinets in the bathroom. They're the greatest but one drawer front in peeling on the side. Home Depot no longer sells these and I've looked for a replacement front to no avail. Does anyone know who manufactured for HD 15 years ago?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 10:15AM
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Mine are Yorktowne from 17 years ago. One has a bubble and one door is starting to peel on the bottom edge, you can't see it but sometimes my finger catches it and eventually a piece will crack off.

I want to get new wooden doors painted white. Has anybody done this? I'm not sure where to buy them. HD does not sell individual doors. I think the real wood looks nicer than the thermofoil because the thermofoil is so rounded in the corners where it is routed. I think the sides of the cabinets are painted and could be repainted to match the paint color of the doors.

Anybody have any thoughts as to light grey cabinets? (instead of white)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 3:02PM
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Custom doors: Scherrs, Advantage, cabinetnow, Barkers, maplecraft USA

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 11:39AM
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If repainting after the repair is the plan, using auto body materials may be effective. The damaged area could be sprayed with sandable primer, then shallow low spots filled with glazing and spot putty, sanded smooth with 600 grit and then painted with your choice of materials. Buy at auto supply store.
Filling over about 1/16 deep should be done with other materials, then use the above for really smooth surface.

Here is a link that might be useful: Putty

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 1:43PM
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