Laminate Kitchen Cabinets

How to paint or reface laminate kitchen cabinets

Q: I have laminate cabinets and would like to redo my kitchen. What are my options? Can they be painted or resurfaced? Or should I ditch them altogether?

A: There are several options for your cabinets. Painting laminate cabinets, changing out the doors, and entirely replacing the cabinets are all possibilities. Your choice depends on how much you want to spend.

Replacing your cabinets is the most expensive option—cabinetry constitutes nearly three-quarters of the price of a new kitchen. Stock cabinets are least expensive.

Refacing is the next option. Adding a couple of glass doors can dress up your existing cabinets. Check out quality companies in your area to do the work, or save money by doing it yourself. You can spend a bit more on real wood cabinet doors and drawers, or go with premium rigid thermal foil. Prices depend on materials, door style, and construction (frame or frameless).

The least expensive option is painting. Prepping the cabinets properly is critical. Sand them with fine or medium sandpaper so the new paint adheres well, and use a good-quality primer such as Kilz Total One. Then use Cabinet Rescue, a paint product designed to be used on laminate cabinets. It comes in white but can be tinted colors such as almond, light gray, or beige. It dries quickly for a tough, chip-resistant finish and cleans easily with mild liquid soap. For more information, go to


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