Want to add a veneer over the plastic fake wood sides

walnutmanSeptember 25, 2012

Hello all. I'm new here.

I have these nice oak Kraftmade cabinets that the original owner of the house spec'd with fake wood grain on the ends of the cabinets.

I don't mind the cabinets themselves but the plastic coating drives me nuts. It also looks like the color has changed.

Anyway, I am going to overlay the ends with a real oak veneer. Kraftmaid has lots of selections of the stuff in different thicknesses.

I am looking for some help doing this project. We are currently getting new countertops (soapstone), so I want to do this this week.

Fortunately the cabinets have the protruding frames. I have about 3/16" to work with.

What thickness veneer should I use and how should I attach it?

Thanks all,


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Sophie Wheeler

You would usually order a wood "skin" instead of the "viraguard" vinyl one that you have. But be aware that wood changes color over time, and even the wood skin will not be the same color as your current cabinets. You could also order beadboard paneling in the oak from KM, or the easiest (but most expensive option) would be to order a decorative door panel to apply over the vinyl printed skin that you currently have. I'd also panel the back of the island and side of the refrigerator or any other exposed cabinet side.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:59AM
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The cabinets USED TO match the vinyl and the wood parts of the cabinet have changed color. Even if you replace it with a skin, it may never become the same color as the finishes used by Kraftmaid have changed over time. Holly springs' idea (and I hope she'll forgive me if this is just the way I'm reading it) of putting something like beadboard on all three exposed sides could help lessen the issue as the part that faces others would "read" as the same color. Doing something like painting just the island would do the same thing.

Not pushing you to spend more money, but have you thought about perhaps replacing the island cabinets with something that contrasts with your current finish? If you did the replacement cabinets, you could make the island a different size or configuration if you wanted.

I think some of the pre-built islands are very pretty and useful so that's another idea - but they can cost a lot and/or leave some unfinished floor exposed.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:57AM
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You could also gel stain the island too. Just don't use Minwax gel stain, try General Finishes or Old Masters. And you won't have to do anything to the side, it takes the gel stain like nobody's business. Follow celticmoon's instructions for this if you decide to do it.

Good Luck.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 3:11PM
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I got a bad feeling about this one Chief.

I vote for a new island.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:27PM
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I don't know if this will help. We put an overlay of v groove on ours and actually meets that same edge you're talking about. Try checking those 4x8 sheets in oak (if you don't mind those panels and the v-groove) for width. I know some think they are sort of country. But, my husband built frames to go over the edges that look like picture frames to cover up the seams. It matched that edge perfectly. I'd say it looks a million times better. If my camera was working.... We modeled ours from this blog. She may still be around. The pics are of her peninsula. Ours isn't as fancy with her columns and such. But, it's a really good representation of ours. So, maybe the v groove and some oak 1x4s would do the same as ours. BTW, our kitchen is white and are the cabs.
Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: blog.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:57PM
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Thanks for all of the responses. We don't have a problem with a slight color difference. I just can't stand the vinyl sides. The cabinets are in excellent shape. Nothing broke, no signs of wear.

That's a great idea possibly just getting a nicer island to offset the rest. I'll look into that today too.

I found that Kraftmaid offers precut sheets that are specifically made to cover the ends. They are 3/16" thick real wood veneer. I'm going to order today. A 34-1/2" x 96 sheet cost $123. That takes care of the frig end. Probably over all it's gonna cost around 3-400 to do all of it.

I asked how to install. They said they use 3M 80 spray adhesive.

Hey, I'm not getting notification emails on replies. I didn't see anything in my profile to check off to turn that feature on. I am turned on for this thread but I still get no emails.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 7:56AM
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Another pic of the kitchen

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 8:01AM
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Soapstone is going to look so nice in there!

As far as sticking the new veneer on, I've used that 3M spray for many types of projects. It's great stuff. The only real trick is to make sure your new piece is cut just exactly the right size, and it helps to have two people to put it in place. I usually try to spray outside, but in this case, you'll need to set up a spray area close to the island. Lots of newspaper on the floor or even a piece of plastic at least a foot larger on each side than the sprayed piece - this stuff is really sticky and you don't want overspray on surfaces you care about. Be sure to spray all the way to the edges because you can't go back after it's in places to stick down a little place that you missed. It also sets up fast, so you don't have lots of time for fiddling around. Cats are not helpful for this project, so you might want to invite Mr/Miss Fuzzball to have a nap elsewhere with a closed door between you.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 8:40AM
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Sophie Wheeler

That 34 1/2 x 96" will have horizontal graining, as it's designed as a skin for island or peninsula backs. Read the spec book carefully. You want the 96"x24" panel that has the vertical grain for the side of the refrigerator. It's nomenclature should be something like TWSK (Tall Wood Skin)

But frankly, I wouldn't put any money in this kitchen as it exists. DO NOT put soapstone on it! It's a waste of money. I simply cannot believe that layout. Someone put an appliance garage in a corner, then did a tiny cabinet and then a wall oven? Who designs a kitchen like that? Not to mention that the cooktop and wall oven should exchange spots for the most optimal work flow, there isn't a spot in the cabinets for the trash, the over the range cabinet is too low making the vent practically in your lap..... And then there are those cathedral arches and white tile floor.

Yes, soapstone would go with an oak kitchen quite nicely. But not THIS oak kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:31AM
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