How to Repair Cracks in Old Kitchen Plastic Cabinets

What You'll Need
Plastic filler

Plastic cabinets have vintage charm in a kitchen. The problem is that, over time, the plastic can become brittle and crack. When this happens you can repair the plastic and repaint the plastic cabinets. It takes a little time and care, but it can easily be done by a DIY beginner. Those willing to spend the money can weld the plastic, but this is expensive and requires a professional.

Step 1 - Cracks

The method you use is going to depend on the size of the cracks. Most can be repaired with plastic filler, which is available in different colors, so you might be able to match your plastic cabinets.

In other cases, where the cracking is bad, bringing in a professional to weld the cracking will give a much better result, even though it costs more. Be honest about what you feel will give the best look in the end. Small cracks should be easy to repair yourself.

Step 2 - Filler

Start by trimming any curled edges from the cracks so that it’s flat. Don’t take off any more of the plastic than absolutely necessary. Remember, the more you remove, the more you have to fill. Take the plastic filler and squeeze it into the crack on the plastic cabinets. Use a popsicle stick or small putty knife to shape it. Feather the filler out from the crack over the plastic.

Step 3 - Sanding

Once the filler has had a chance to dry on the plastic cabinets, take a piece of fine grit sandpaper and sand the filled area until it’s smooth and even with the rest of the plastic cabinets.

Don’t sand a greater area than necessary. You want to have it as smooth as possible so take your time. Rub your fingertips over the surface to judge the smoothness. When you’ve finished, use a damp cloth to take off all the dust.

Step 4 - Primer

If your plastic cabinets haven’t been painted in several years they might be due for a complete repainting, and this is a perfect time for that. If so, you’ll need to sand all the cabinets in preparation after cleaning all the grease and dirt off them.

Now you should cover the area with plastic primer. Be careful not to use just any primer. Plastic adhesion primer ensures that the paint will adhere properly to the surface. By bonding to the plastic, the primer creates a good porous surface for the paint. Give it ample time to dry before moving on.

Step 5 - Paint

Finish by putting on a thin coat of paint, either with a brush, for small areas, or a roller for larger areas. This will give you a coating for the plastic cabinets. Once it’s dried, put on a second thin coat. You might need a total of three coats to give a solid, protected surface to the plastic cabinets. After this, the cracking on the cabinets should be absolutely invisible.