How To Refinish Vinyl Covered Cabinets? Transform Your Vinyl Cabinets




Since you’ve reached here, I guess you are looking for how to refinish vinyl cabinets. As you might have already understood, the process is quite confusing.

Congratulations! You have reached the right place. I am a cabinet maker with more than 10 years of experience in making and refurbishing different types of cabinets. Today, I will tell you how to refinish vinyl covered cabinets with just 7 simple steps.

How To Refinish Vinyl Covered Cabinets

Refinish Vinyl Covered Cabinets

  • 1. Prepare the area.
  • 2. Remove all the cabinet doors, cabinet hinges, and hardware. 3. Clean the cabinets. 
  • 4. Sand the surface.
  • 5. Apply a primer if you are thinking about painting your cabinets. 
  • 6. Pant or refinish the vinyl cabinets.7. Reattach all the cabinet doors, cabinet hinges, and hardware.

Now that you know the steps, let’s learn how to execute them. So, are you ready to learn? Here we go!

An overview of the project-

Estimated CostEstimated DurationSkill LevelTools And Materials
$25010 hoursBeginnerHead screwdriver, soft cloth, mild cleaner, tack cloth, grit sandpaper, orbital sander, primer, paintbrush or paint pad, paint or finish.

Summery of the article is-

  • Refinishing or repainting is a lot more budget-friendly than replacing your cabinets entirely.
  • If you are thinking about painting your vinyl cabinets, apply a suitable primer before applying the paint.
  • The paint job and the refinishing process are pretty much the same.

Can You Refinish Vinyl Wrapped Cabinets?

Do you know what is the most common question I get from most of my clients? No, it is not how to paint over vinyl kitchen cabinets. You will be amazed to know most people are still confused about whether they can refinish vinyl cabinets or not.

Can You Refinish Vinyl Wrapped Cabinets

So, here is the answer. Yes! You can definitely refinish and even paint over vinyl cabinets. However, you need to be very careful about everything. Vinyls are quite fragile. A simple mistake can ruin the whole outlook of your vinyl cabinets. This is why it is recommended to use the right steps and techniques to prevent any unwanted damage.

Is It A Good Idea To Refinish Vinyl Covered Cabinets?

If you are still questioning your decision to refinish your old vinyl cabinets, it’s completely fine. In fact, you should paint or refinish your cabinet doors with your vinyl cabinets. Otherwise, your cabinet doors won’t match your cabinets.

But is it good? To help you make the right decision, here are some pros and cons of refinishing your vinyl cabinets;

It helps you to match your vinyl cabinet style or color with your current home decor.Depending on how you are refinishing your cabinets, the new finish may or not be as durable as the original vinyl covering.
Refinishing or repainting is a lot more budget-friendly than replacing your cabinets entirely.Refinishing cabinets requires proper preparation, painting, and drying time which can be a little time-consuming.
If you are wondering how do you repair vinyl wrapped cabinets, refinishing can be a way of repairing the finish, and small wear and scratches.Vinyls are quite fragile. You must be careful during the process so you don’t damage anything.

How To Refinish Vinyl Covered Cabinets?

Wondering, can you paint over vinyl wrap kitchen doors? Of course, you can. As you are here, I think you have decided to refinish your cabinets. Well done! I will guide you through the entire journey.

So, take a deep breath and gear up! Here’s how to paint vinyl cabinets in the kitchen or refinish them;

How To Refinish Vinyl Covered Cabinets

Prepare the Area

If you wanna know how to resurface vinyl cabinets, the first step would be preparing the work area. Clear out the cabinets and remove all items from inside. You can fix the gap between the cabinet and the wall in this chance. Use particle boards or wooden shims to do so.

Cover the surroundings with newspapers. You can also use masking tapes like Blue Painters do. This will protect them from any drips or spills.

Remove Cabinet Doors and Hardware

If you want to work without worrying about damaging the cabinet hinges or cabinet doors, you should remove them from your kitchen cabinets before starting to work. Just like you do with a twisted cabinet.

Use a Philip head screwdriver and unscrew all the screws. Take off all cabinet hinges and doors. You can also remove other hardware, such as knobs or handles, using these instructions.

Clean the Cabinets

The next thing you need to do is clean the kitchen cupboards and cabinets before the process. This will remove all the dust, dirt, and debris from the laminate surface. 

If you want a smoother finish, this step is a must for you. Now the question comes, How do you clean vinyl wrapped cabinets?

Well, all you need is a soft cloth and a mild cleaning solution. You can also use mild soap mixed with water. Just make sure not to use anything harsh.

After you are done cleaning all the kitchen cabinets, wipe them again with a tack cloth. This will get rid of any leftover residue. 

Now, your vinyl cabinets and cabinet doors are completely ready for the process.

Sand the Surface

A common question that I get from most of my clients is can you sand vinyl cabinets? The answer is yes! 

Sanding is one of the most important steps in any woodworking process. It is essential to get a durable finish. So, you must sand.

Do you know sanding can fix your sticky painted cabinets? Also, if you are wondering how to refinish vinyl covered cabinets white, it is by sanding them.

Use fine-grit sandpaper and lightly sand the vinyl cabinets and cabinet doors. Do not be too rough or you will damage the laminate surface.

You can use an orbital sander instead of traditional sanding. In that case, you must be careful not to apply any excess pressure on the sander while working. This will ensure a smoother finish.

After you are done sanding, use a tack cloth and wipe off all the cabinets. This will get rid of the dust and debris.

However, sanding is necessary when you are fixing your split wood cabinet. Therefore, be careful and don’t be aggressive while sanding.

Apply The Primer

Before going to the refinishing process, here is an optional step you may or may not need.

If you have questions like ‘Can you paint vinyl covered cabinets?’, this step is for you. Yes! You can paint your vinyl cabinets instead of using a finish. However, you must apply a primer before the paint. This will create a satin finish that you will fall in love with.

In case, you are wondering what is the best primer for vinyl cabinets, bonding primers are the best option. Apply a thin layer of bonding primer. Make sure that the layer is even all over the surface.

Paint or Refinish

As I have mentioned earlier, you can paint or apply a finish on your vinyl cabinets depending on your preference.  What is the best way to paint vinyl kitchen cabinets? The paint job and the refinishing process are pretty much the same.

You will need a paintbrush or a paint pad, fine-grit sandpaper, a tack cloth, and a suitable paint or finish.

Apply the first coat of paint or finish. Allow it enough time to dry. When the first coat is completely dry, sand it lightly using fine-grit sandpaper. Then, wipe it off using a tack cloth and apply the next coat.

Repeat this process a few times. All the coats of paint or finish should be thin layers except for the last one.

Reattach Doors and Hardware

After the entire process is done and everything is dry, reattach all the cabinet doors, cabinet hinges, and hardware.

Start with the cabinet doors and cabinet hinges. Align the screw holes, insert the screws, and tighten them using a Phillip head screwdriver. Repeat this for all of them. If needed you can install cabinet knobs.

And just like that, you are done refinishing your vinyl cabinets! It might seem like a long process, but it is not. The steps are simple, too.

Best Paint For Vinyl Cabinets

Aside from the process, there’s one more important thing that I need to share with you. 

If you are thinking about painting, you must be thinking about the suitable paint. You are on the right track. You must choose a suitable paint for a smooth and durable paint finish. Here are some suitable options to help you with the paint selection;

Best Paint For Vinyl Cabinets
Acrylic Paint
If you are looking for a type of paint with high adaptability, go for acrylic paint. Another benefit of acrylic paint is that it works really well on vinyl surfaces. It also dries quickly and is available in a wide range of colors.
Chalk Paint
If you ask what is the most popular choice for refinishing cabinets, the answer will be chalk paint. This is because it requires minimal surface preparation. So, you don’t need to worry about damaging your laminate surface. It can match any vinyl surface.
Melamine Paint
Melamine paint is formulated for use on melamine and laminate surfaces. It also provides a durable finish and good adhesion.
Oil-Based Paint
Oil-based paint is also a great option to apply on vinyl cabinets. However, the drying time is a bit longer, and you will be required to ensure proper ventilation during application.

Vinyl Covered Cabinets Maintenance Tips 

Till now, I’ve discussed everything about how to paint vinyl kitchen cabinets or refinish them. To end the discussion, here are some tips to maintain your newly painted or refinished vinyl cabinets; 

  • Clean the cabinets regularly to prevent dust buildup.
  • Use a soft, damp cloth to remove dust and dirt every day and a mild cleaning solution at least once a week. You can also use trisodium phosphate once in a while to remove any buildup.
  • Never use harsh cleaning solutions or metal wool sponges to clean. They can easily damage the laminate surface.
  • Do not place hot items directly on your vinyl cabinets. Excessive heat can damage the surface.
  • Use coasters or trivets to protect them from heat.
  • Keep your cabinets away from sources of moisture to prevent any water damage.
  • If your vinyl cabinets get wet especially vinyl kitchen cabinets, dry them promptly to prevent any damage.
  • Use protective pads to protect your laminate kitchen cabinets from scratches.
  • Inspect the cabinets at least once a month and look for any signs of wear or damage.
  • Repair any scratches or wear promptly to prevent it from getting even worse.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

How To Paint Vinyl Cabinets Without Sanding?

If you want to paint your vinyl cabinets without sanding, you must use liquid sandpaper. It will remove the previous finish. The rest is the same.

How To Remove Vinyl From Kitchen Cabinets?

Use a heat gun and gently heat the vinyl covering. This will loosen the adhesive and you will be able to pull the vinyl off your cabinets.

Where To Buy Vinyl Wrap For Kitchen Cabinets?

You can vinyl wrap for kitchen cabinets from your local hardware shop.

Can You Paint Over Vinyl Wrapped Cabinets?

Yes! You can. Just lightly sand your cabinets and apply a primer before applying the paint finish.

Final Thoughts

I hope now you are clear on how to refinish vinyl covered cabinets. The process is similar to any other refinishing job. So, if you have previous refinishing experience, it will be an easy task for you.

However, if you don’t have any previous experience, fear not. I have mentioned everything you need to know. So, you will be just fine. 

If you have any queries, feel free to let me know. All the best!
If you are interested in learning more about restoring a table, stay with- Restore Journey.

Richard Journey

Written by

Richard Journey

Meet Richard Journey, the Antique Furniture Maestro. With a Fine Arts degree in Furniture Restoration and Conservation, he’s a guardian of historical craftsmanship. His accolades include the Golden Chisel Award, and he’s your guide to discovering and restoring antique treasures.

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