How to Repair Peeling Vinyl Cabinets

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  • 3-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • $0-150
What You'll Need
Masking tape
Wood glue
Xacto knife
C clamps
J roller
Contact adhesive

Vinyl cabinets can look good if you take care of them. At least they do until the vinyl begins to peel. At that point, they become an eyesore. You need to fix those vinyl cabinets. There are a number of things you can do as solutions. None of them are especially difficult, and most only require equipment you’ll have around the house anyway.

Step 1 - Glue

If there are just small sections of veneer coming away from the vinyl cabinets, you can fix this with glue. Very carefully, apply some wood glue to the board under the veneer with a brush or a cotton bud. Press the vinyl back down on the cabinet and keep it in place with masking tape until the glue has dried. After that, peel off the tape and the vinyl should be firmly in place.

Step 2 - Deal with Bubbles

You could have bubbles in the vinyl of the vinyl cabinets. This is unsightly, but you can take care of these quite easily. Slice open the bubbles with an Xacto knife. Now put some wood glue in a paint syringe, which you can buy cheaply at any paint store. Inject a small amount of the glue into the bubble and press down on the vinyl until it’s flat. To see it stays flat, either put a weight on top of the bubble or use masking tape on top until the glue has dried. This will eliminate those bubbles.

Step 3 - Do Larger Repairs

With vinyl cabinets that are in worse shape, you’re going to need to undertake larger repairs. If you’re gluing down a bigger piece of vinyl, then you’ll need to use boards and C clamps on top to keep the pressure on the vinyl until the glue dries. There will also be instances where some of the vinyl is missing and you have to replace it. You’ll need to find some matching vinyl first, which might not always be easy. Once you’ve managed that, cut a piece that has the same grain pattern as the old vinyl. Don’t attempt to fit it into the blank area. Cut a piece to cover the entire panel and put contact cement on the back of it.

You’ll need to wait a certain length of time before applying the new piece to the vinyl cabinets. To smooth it out, use a J roller. If you don’t have one you should be able to use a rolling pin for the job. When the surface is smooth, use boards and C clamps to hold it firmly in place until the contact cement dries.

Step 4 - Use a Router

Where there’s an excess of vinyl after replacement, use a router with a flush cut at the edge of the vinyl cabinets to cut the vinyl. In a pinch you can also use a sharp knife with a serrated edge, but don’t use an Xacto knife for this.