Formica Cabinet Door Repair

warped cabinet door repairThe most common Formica cabinet door repair types are peeling laminate, loose edges and chips in the plastic. Depending upon how old your kitchen is the color or pattern on your doors may or may not be available. Even if your plastic is discontinued there are other options for fixing your cupboards without completely installing new kitchen cabinet doors.

What’s the Best Glue for Fixing Loose Formica?

Formica Repair Contact GlueMost plastic is adhered to the board using contact glue adhesive. There are two different kinds, flammable and non-flammable. The liquid is generally applied to both surfaces and allowed to dry for several minutes, then the two pieces get stuck together. Just for the record, stay away from the non-flammable adhesive.

It is vitally important that the Formica be perfectly aligned to where you want it to stick before unifying the two surfaces. Once the glue sticks it cannot be moved at all. This means there’s no room for error or making any adjustments.

  • Note: If you miss the mark when you are adhering the plastic laminate to the cabinet door, the bond can be broken by squirting lacquer thinner between the two surfaces. You will need to put the solvent in a plastic liquid dish-washing detergent bottle. Using a putty knife separate the Formica from the board, being careful to NOT break the plastic, then squirt the solvent between the two surfaces.

Repairing Chips In Laminate Doors

Chip in Formica Cabinet DoorThere’s a product on the market that is called Seam Fill. It is designed for the cupboard manufacturing industry and works very well for repairing small chipped areas on Formica cabinet. You can purchase the product from your local cupboard hardware supply store.

For larger chips, you should have the plastic laminate kitchen cabinet door recovered. If your color is discontinued, have your cabinet repair specialist peel off some Formica next to the refrigerator from the base cabinet.

Curved Formica Door Repair

In order to fix a warped Formica cabinet door a few tools will be necessary and some basic finish carpentry skills.

  1. Remove the door from the cabinet.
  2. Place a 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ thick board that is the same width as the door on a piece of three quarters inch thick ply-wood that is the same size or a little larger than the door.
  3. Place the warped plastic laminate kitchen cabinet door on the 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ board and clamp the door on both ends to the piece of plywood.

The idea here is to repair the Formica cabinet door by reversing the bend with the pressure of the clamps. Leave the door for twenty four hours (24 hrs) in the clamp set up. If there’s still a curve in the cupboard door, you will need to make a series of cuts on the backside. Please refer to the video for further information on taking a curve out of a plastic laminate cabinet door.

Repairing Loose Formica Cabinet Door Edges

Using a small paint brush and some contact adhesive, apply the glue to both surfaces. While the adhesive is drying, place something between the laminate and the cabinet door edge that you are fixing. A pencil works well for this. The purpose of the separation is to allow the glue to dry before you stick the plastic laminate edge to the board. Once you have stuck the two pieces together, apply pressure with your finger or a small piece of wood on the edge. This will cause the bond to be stronger when you press the two glued surfaces together with additional pressure.

I always suggest that any repair should be done by a professional. Repairing cupboard doors might seem to be a simple task, but there are tricks to the trade just like anything else. Plastic laminate Formica specialists spend years learning how to work with this material.

There were many steps that I did not cover such as cutting the plastic sheets, how to route the material and what the procedure is for filing it. If you just have a small chip or loose strip, then fixing the door should not be very challenging. If you have a warped door or an entire piece of Formica that needs to cut and glued, hire a pro.

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