How To Remove Thermofoil From Cabinets? For All Cabinets




Basically, I put thermofoil on my kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets as cabinet covers as it does cabinet covering really nicely. I actually use thermofoil on the furniture of the entire kitchen. Because after putting on thermofoil cabinets, it looks really amazing. 

However, recently I noticed that the thermofoil on my cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and cabinet surfaces from many sides was looking old, dull, and damaged. So, I decided to remove the thermofoil. But I learned how to remove thermofoil from cabinets, and the result was fantastic. Wanna know how I did that? Keep reading and learn about it.

How To Remove Thermofoil From Cabinets

Here is How-

To remove the thermofoil from the cabinet, you need to apply heat to the thermofoil. It will make the adhesive soften. After that, you need to gently peel the thermofoil off from the cabinet surface.

Some main facts-

  • Thermofoil is an affordable choice for cabinets that is durable and can help to style common-looking cabinets.
  • Thermofoil can be removed from the cabinet surfaces by applying heat through a heat gun or clothes iron.
  • You need to remove the old thermofoil glue or adhesive using a putty knife before placing a new one.

Wanna learn about the removal process in detail? Keep reading and learn everything about the method.

Estimated CostEstimated DurationSkill Level
$502 hoursBeginner

Why Is Actually Thermofoil Used In Cabinets?

Wanna try cabinet redo? Don’t wanna face the issue of refinishing or repairing kitchen cabinets frequently. Or else, can’t give a finished look like a factory finish? Have common laminate cabinets? Bored of the common kitchen cabinet styles?

Well, for all issues like this, there is a solution, and that is to put thermofoil on the cabinets and cabinet hardware. You can put thermofoil on the cabinets installed over laminate flooring.

This is undoubtedly one of the best choices for kitchen cabinets. Why is that so? It is easier to put on a thermofoil than face these kinds of cabinet chaos. Putting on thermofoil cabinets is really affordable. Besides, there are styles and designs available on thermofoil, you can choose any according to your choice to change the kitchen cabinet styles and look.

Why Is Actually Thermofoil Used In Cabinets

Thermofoil is durable. It can protect your cabinets from scratches, dents, moisture, stains, etc. Besides, the  painting thermofoil cabinets before and after will make you fall in love. Thermofoil brings you a  chance to get smooth and beautiful cabinets for your home and a chance to customize your cabinet amazingly. After putting the thermofoil on, you can replace halogen under cabinet lighting with LED lights for a transformation.

How To Remove Thermofoil From Cabinets?

I know that when the thermofoil starts looking old and gets discolored it ruins the beauty of the cabinets instead of enhancing it. Are you facing the same issues? But how to remove thermofoil from kitchen cabinets? Don’t worry; a few days ago, I removed my thermofoil from the cabinets and replaced it with a new one. Let me share with you how to do it. Here you go:

How To Remove Thermofoil From Cabinets

Gather Necessary Tools

Start the process by gathering the necessary tools, such as a heat gun or clothes iron, putty knife, and adhesive remover if needed.

Prepare The Work Area

Try to perform the process in a well-ventilated area. Now spread newspapers or paper towels on the floor of the work area to avoid mess.

Apply Heat To The Thermofoil

Now, it is time to apply heat in order to soften the thermofoil. With the help of a heat gun or clothes iron, apply heat. Make sure you are not overheating it. Hold any of the chosen heat sources a few inches away from the thermofoil. Now, move it around and warm up the adhesive or thermofoil glue. It will make the adhesive soften.

Peel Off The Thermofoil

After the heating process softens the adhesive, you need to peel off the thermofoil. With the help of a putty knife, lift the edges of the thermofoil and gently peel the thermofoil off from the entire cabinet carefully. You can apply more heat if needed. You can keep the granite and replace the cabinets’ thermofoil if there is any.

Remove Adhesive

Now, inspect the cabinet situation carefully to find out if adhesive, if any is left. You can use a putty knife, adhesive remover, or rubbing alcohol to remove the adhesive and clean the surfaces. In this chance, if needed, you can replace my kitchen cabinet doors as well.

Clean The Cabinet And Place A New Thermofoil If Needed.

Lastly, clean the cabinet using a soft cloth and mild soapy water. Let the cabinets dry properly. After the cabinets dry, if you want to place a new thermofoil, you can start the process of placing a new thermofoil. Now, you must know wondering how to replace thermofoil cabinets doors. You just need to apply the adhesive on the cabinets according to the instructions and place the thermofoil. You can place thermofoil on the wall oven installed in a base cabinet also.

The process is very simple, and it generally takes a few hours to remove the thermofoil from the cabinets. Follow these steps and remove your thermofoil from the cabinets without damaging them.

Why Do You Need To Remove Thermofoil In Cabinets?

This is basically one of the best choices for kitchen cabinets to use thermofoil on them. But before you get to learn how to remove thermofoil from cabinet doors or from entire cabinets, do you know why you need to remove it from the kitchen cabinets? Don’t know? Let me help you deal with this:

Why Do You Need To Remove Thermofoil In Cabinets
  • Thermofoil changes the kitchen cabinet styles by adding extra beauty to it. But if they are damaged or discolored, they need to be removed or replaced.
  • If you need to make a change in kitchen cabinet styles or if you want to try a new color on the underlying cabinet surfaces to perform the painting process, it is crucial to remove the thermofoil.
  • If you notice grease on the thermofoil cabinet doors or cabinets and if you don’t know how to remove grease from thermofoil cabinets, it is better to remove the thermofoil.
  • If you are facing issues with closing the cabinet doors because of the thickness of the thermofoil, it is better to remove it from the MDF cabinets.
  • Want to change the stain on the thermofoil? and if you don’t know how to remove stains from thermofoil cabinets, it is better to remove them.

You can put thermofoil on cabinets, but can you remove thermofoil from cabinets? Yes, you can. Even, it is better to remove the thermofoil from the cabinet surfaces if you are facing any of these issues.

Can You Peel And Paint Thermofoil Cabinets?

So, Can thermofoil cabinets be peeled and painted?  The answer is yes! After removing the damaged thermofoil from the cabinet surfaces, clean the cabinet properly and remove the thermofoil glue. Wondering how to remove thermofoil glue? You can use a putty knife to clean the glue of the thermofoil. Otherwise, you can also use mineral spirit or acetone to clean the glue.

After removing the dust, debris, and thermofoil glue, clean the cabinet box as well and apply primer to the cabinet along with the cabinet box evenly using a paintbrush. The primer will help to set the paint on the cabinet surfaces properly. 

Now, choose a paint color of your choice and apply coats of paint with the help of a paintbrush. But remember, let the paint dry completely before applying more coats of paint on the cabinets. Paint the cabinet box as well. When you are done with painting, let the paint dry and enjoy your results. You can also hire cabinet installers to get it done by them.

Will The Removal Process Damage The Cabinets?

To be very honest, during the removal process, the cabinets can get damaged or not it depends on the person removing them. Basically, the cabinets can’t get damaged that easily if you are gently and carefully removing the thermofoil. But still, if you wanna know what kind of damage the cabinets can get and how can you prevent these, I can help you. Read ahead and learn about these all.

Will The Removal Process Damage The Cabinets
Surface damage during peelingPeel the thermofoil off gently to avoid damaging cabinet surfaces.
Leave scratches on the cabinetsDo not use any sharp objects to peel the thermofoil off to avoid getting scratched.
Make the surface rough because of using the wrong tools.Do not use any kind of wrong tools to remove the adhesive or glue from the cabinets as it can make the cabinet surfaces rough and damaged.
Roughly peeling the thermofoil off and damaging the surface.Handling the peeling with care to avoid getting scratches or gouges on the cabinets.
Sanding the surface and making it unsmooth.Sanding the surface is the worst thing to do as it can make that surface rough. Do not sand the thermofoil cabinets to remove them.

What To Do With Peeling Thermofoil Cabinets?

Is there anything to do with the peeling thermofoil? What can be done with it? Well, no need to get confused. I have a little info on thermofoil cabinets for you. Such as;

Repair The Thermofoil

If the thermofoil damage is minor, you can fix it. How to fix peeling thermofoil cabinets? Basically, you need to use a heat gun or clothes iron to apply heat to it. Thus the adhesive will soften, and you can easily press the peeling area to reattach it. Let it cool down and set before you start using the cabinets. This is how you can reuse the thermofoil.

Remove And Replace The Thermofoil

If the peeling thermofoil is beyond repair, it is better to remove it and place a new one. Remove the thermofoil using a heat gun or clothes iron. When the adhesive will soften, remove the thermofoil gently. Now, using a putty knife, remove the glue and clean the kitchen cabinets. Lastly, using an adhesive, place the new thermofoil and let it set before using the cabinets.

Refinish The Underlying Cabinet Surfaces

You can also refinish the underlying cabinet surfaces after peeling the thermofoil cabinets off. Remove the thermofoil and paint and finish the underlying surface using your chosen paint color and finish. Let them dry and set. Here you go,  enjoy the new look of your cabinets.

Some Tips To Make Thermofoil Last Longer

Though thermofoil is cheap and affordable, it should be maintained properly to make it last longer. However, do you know how to do that? Because I have recently changed my thermofoil and used the previous one for a long time, I know how to make it last longer. Let me help you with this. Here are a few tips to help you:

  • Do not place any hot object on the thermofoil surface directly, as it is sensitive to heat.
  • Try to use hot pads to protect the surface used thermofoil from heat.
  • Clean the cabinets using a soft cloth and mild soapy water.
  • Do not use any rough materials to clean the cabinet surfaces as they can damage the thermofoil.
  • Immediately wipe off any spills on the thermofoil cabinets as they can damage them.
  • Close the cabinet door and drawer softly and slowly. 
  • Handle the cabinet’s drawer fronts gently to avoid any risk of damage.
  • Try to maintain the indoor environment as the humidity level can affect the thermofoil.

You can last longer with the thermofoil following these tips. I have tried them, and the result is worth the effort I put into maintaining the thermofoil.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can Kitchen Wrap Be Removed?

Kitchen wrap can be removed following the right method easily.

How Long Does It Take To Remove A Wrap?

It can take a few hours to remove a wrap depending on the difficulties.

Can You Sand Thermofoil?

To be honest, it is really a bad idea to sand a thermofoil. Sanding can result in a rough surface and can damage the surface as well.

Can Thermofoil Cabinets Be Refinished?

Thermofoil cabinets can’t be refinished like solid wood cabinets. But you can remove the thermofoil and refinish the underlying cabinet surfaces.


How to remove thermofoil from cabinets? No matter if these are kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, or common laminate cabinets, the removal process is the same for all kinds of cabinets. But you need to be careful during the entire process.

Make sure you are not overheating the surface while removing the thermofoil. Also, don’t be rough while peeling it off. You can hire cabinet installers or professionals to get it done as well.To learn more about restoring a table, stay connected 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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