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How To Overlay Cabinet Lamiante

If you have Formica cupboards, you can overlay the kitchen cabinet laminate yourself. I would certainly advise that you hire a professional installer to do the work if you do not have adequate tools or basic finish carpentry skills.

Your cabinet doors play a large part in both the style and the function of your kitchen. As they become old and outdated you are left with a choice, replace or reface. If you are looking to save a little money, then refacing kitchen cabinets is defiantly your best bet. All you will need is a little plastic laminate and your kitchen will show an amazing transformation, for a fraction of the cost of buying new doors.


Plastic laminates are highly durable, stain resistant and easy to clean. These plastics offer a sleek, contemporary look. They are a perfect alternative to wood. The only prerequisite is that you have flat panel doors. These are the only kind of doors you can overlay Formica kitchens with laminate. The material will not work with inset panel doors.

  1. Before you begin, strip the doors of all the hardware and remove them from your hinges.
  2. Start the laminate overlay with the edges of the doors because you want the face to cover the black edges.
  3. How To Spray Contact Glue

  4. Study this video on how to cut Formica edges .
  5. Use a table saw to cut larger pieces.
  6. Cut a piece of laminate larger than the surface it will be adhered to. It’s always a good idea to dry fit the overlay before starting the gluing process. Once the veneer is glued in place it is extremely difficult to remove. Consult with this article about how to remove Formica from a cabinet.
  7. Spray contact adhesive onto the door and laminate in a thick even coat.
  8. Be sure to put on a heavy industrial type respirator to protect you from the fumes.
  9. Let the overlay adhesive set up until it is tacky; then apply the laminate to the door or cabinet.
  10. Run a roller over the surface to create a tight, uniform bond.
  11. This stuff is very sturdy. You need to trim the excess off with a router.
  12. How To Align Overlay Cabinet Lamiante

  13. Finish off the edges with a file or belt sander. Refer to this article on How To File Formica.
  14. After the edges are glued on, spray the overlay laminate face pieces of the doors with contact glue designed for cabinets.
  15. Prior to sticking the overlay plastic on large surfaces, use dowels to keep the two surfaces from sticking together while you align things.
  16. Place the new kitchen cabinet laminate on top of the dowels. The dowels will allow you to roll the plastic back and forth as you align the edges into the proper position.
  17. Remember, this glue is strong. So, once it is down it’s very difficult to peel back up.
  18. Formica Laminate Trimming

  19. Once you have the laminate right where you want it, start sliding out the dowels.
  20. Use your roller and apply pressure over the entire surface.

Route the overlay plastic off. Here are a few important things about working with Formica.

There are tricks to every trade. This video gives excellent instructions on how to overlay Formica cabinets with new laminate. The one thing that was omitted is how to clean glue off of plastic laminate. An average size set if cupboards in the kitchen will take about two days for a professional to apply the overlay laminate and an amateur four to five days.

Categories: Cabinet Resurfacing
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