Having Formica Plastic Laminate Doors Refaced

Formica Kitchen Cabinets


Planning on refacing old kitchen cabinets? Companies do not recover the Formica on doors. Plastic laminate kitchen cabinet doors are usually fabricated new and the old cupboards get refaced. In this article, we will discuss why they do not cover over the existing ones and what the basic process of re-laminating entails.

Why Don’t They Cover Over the Old Laminate?
The main reason is to give the customer the best product for their money. It takes about the same time or a little longer to just make new ones. When comparing the amount of labor involved it’s always the wisest decision to make all new doors. Really the only additional materials cost is the new board that the doors are made out of. It takes the same amount of labor to install the Formica and a little additional to cut the boards.

Steps for Replacing Formica Plastic Laminate Doors

There are three things that get considered when you are remodeling your plastic laminate kitchen cabinet doors:

  • Will you have a handle, knob or beveled edge for opening the cupboard doors?
  • Will you keep the same door margins as the existing ones?
  • What type of new hinges will be installed?

Once you have made these decisions along with your color selection, the cabinet company you hire will begin the process of fabricating your new items.

Resurfaced Formica CabinetsThe process:

  • Measure the existing cabinet openings.
  • Figure the door sizes in relation to the hinges being used.
  • Fabricate and deliver the new plastic laminate kitchen cabinet doors.
  • Remove the old doors.
  • Reface the existing kitchen cabinets.
  • Install the new plastic laminate doors.
  • Drill for the handles or knobs and install them.

It should not be necessary for the fabricator you choose to reface your kitchen cabinets to take the existing doors off before the new ones are ready to be installed.

Here’s a video of an entire series on laminating cabinet doors.

Tools and Materials Manufactures Use to Make New Laminate Cabinet Doors

  • Table Saw
  • Contact Adhesive
  • High-speed Routers
  • File
  • J-roller
  • Paper Cutter
  • Lacquer Thinner
  • Rags

The process is very complex, but simple for the professional cabinet maker. Prior to the cabinets being refaced the doors will be fabricated. This will speed up the process of completing the job with as little inconvenience to the customer as possible.

Making Formica Doors


  1. First a list will be made of the doors that are needed for the refacing job. Then materials will be ordered. Most deliveries are next day depending upon where you are located. The next thing is that the boards are cut to a very accurate size. Sometimes one sixty forth of an inch (1/64) will make a difference in how things look and operate when the refacing is complete.
  2. Once the doors are cut, then the plastic laminate is cut one inch larger both ways and all for the door’s laminate edges are milled a little larger too.
  3. The edges get glued on with the contact adhesive and routed, sanded and filed. Next, the faces are glued on, routed, filed and the entire Formica laminate door is cleaned with lacquer thinner.

Having your kitchen cupboards refaced is a very dirty process. Make sure that your cabinet company takes sufficient time to protect everything in the immediate area from dust. Once the job is finished you can clean your new Formica cabinet doors with any glass cleaner. I generally just spray it on the plastic and wipe it off with a clean rag.

This entry was posted in Laminate. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Having Formica Plastic Laminate Doors Refaced

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.