cabinet refacing

lam702September 24, 2013

We've decided to reface our cabinets, because the layout and original boxes are in good shape and we don't want the hassles of a demo and not being able to use our kitchen until its all done. Anyway, we ordered everything but now I am reading some conflicting things about the pressure sensitive veneers we are using. Some posts say it works and adheres well, others say it will start to peel and bubble in time. Some sites I've checked out say that even with the adhesive on the back, you should still apply contact cement to the surface you are applying the veneers to, others say its not needed I don't mind doing that if it needs it, but I want to make sure that is correct. We don't want to do all the work just to find it peels off in a year or two. Can someone help me with this question? My husband and I are doing the project, he's very handy but we've never done this so we want to make sure we do it right. Help please if you can!

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Sophie Wheeler

It all peels unless you can do it with a vacuum press. And that's not gonna happen on existing cabinets. The best you can hope for is for a 4-5 years, and probably less than that around the heat and steam locations.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 5:57PM
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I would think it depends on what you are sticking it to.
Using contact cement over old laminate (cleaned and sanded) will last a long time.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 7:51PM
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I am kind of regretting in ordering these veneers from what you tell me. Is that really all I can hope for, 4 - 5 years out of the refacing? We are applying the veneers over the wood face frames. For the side panels we are using sheets of 1/4" maple. The face frames are mainly my concern. The current finish is in good shape, we'll sand it and clean it well and then apply the veneers. Does the type you need to apply contact cement to last any longer? Unfortunately, we've already ordered the PSA veneers, but we will use the contact cement on the face frames if that will help it to adhere better. As I understand it, when using contact cement with non PSA veneers, you need to apply it to both the veneer back and the frame it is going on. So, if we use the PSA veneers, is the adhesive on them a type of contact cement? If so, it would stand to reason that you should apply contact cement to the frames as well, since contact cement bonds only when applied to both sides I believe. Is that right? Can anyone tell me what type of adhesive is on these PSA veneers? I want to do whatever is best to make it last.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 1:25PM
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I think the only "person" who can answer what is on your PSA veneers, is your manufacturer. What do they recommend?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 1:33PM
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I think the only "person" who can answer what is on your PSA veneers, is your manufacturer. What do they recommend?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 1:45PM
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If it is a decent psa I would not use contact adhesive ever.
If it is one of the better "3M" brand "VHB" (very high bond)
Added- there is typiocally a repeating 3M logo on the back
AND you are going to a good surface-well finished wood, AND they are free from grease AND you wipe with a lint free cloth using alcohol that you let dry AND you are applying narrow strips (not to the 12" sides) then apply plenty of pressure across the surface (they sell a tool for it). THEN...
The bond is nearly permanent.

I've used the 3M adhesives in multiple applications for decades. There are outdoor signs where you live that are held together with them.

OTOH- if the adhesive is anything else, there is a poor substrate, or application then... all bets are off

If you ended up with a knock off PSA-I would first test a strip as is. The adhesive needs 24 hrs to cure (it is not the same as contact) if it is any good and the substrate is suitable it will be close to impossible to peal up in 24 hrs.
If the surface you are applying to is poor you've got a problem.

Sides should be done with 1/8"-1/4" panels and a scribe strip, not the psa as that is too wide. .

This post was edited by jakuvall on Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 14:44

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 2:36PM
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Wow, thank you so much for that helpful reply! We did a lot of research in choosing a reputable supplier. I'll let you know when the materials arrive how good the quality is. We did purchase 1/4" end panels, and 1/8" ends for one place where the 1/4" would have been too thick to fit. All the panels are coming precut to fit which simplifies it a bit too. Our basic cabinet boxes are very sound, just worn looking after 28 years. The doors are worn too, and I wasn't interested in stripping and refinishing (too much mess, fumes and work! ) Besides that, the current cabinets are oak, which is very outdated now and we really wanted a change, so we're going with maple, in a lighter finish than we have now. I guess we'll use the self adhesive without the contact cement and hope for the best!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 2:56PM
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