How to Fix Peeling Vinyl Cabinets

Are your vinyl cabinets peeling and looking a bit worse for wear? Are they outdated and you’re not sure how to fix them without replacing the entire unit? Unfortunately, even though vinyl is known for its durability, it will still eventually peel or crack if not properly cared for – which leads us to our topic today: how to fix peeling vinyl cabinets. Fear not! With a few simple steps, you can get your vinyl cabinets looking like new in no time.

How to Fix Peeling Vinyl Cabinets

In this post, we’ll walk you through our tried and true tips for quickly sprucing up those dingy peelings cabinets with minimal effort. No matter if it’s covering them or using other items to decorate, these easy tricks will help restore your vinyl cabinets, so they look as good as new.

Read on to discover all the awesome ideas that have been proven to work time after time!

What are the Causes of Vinyl Cabinet Peeling?

Before we delve into fixing the peeling on your vinyl cabinets, let’s take a look at how it got there in the first place. The most common cause of peeling is exposure to moisture. If too much water gets on your cabinet’s surface, it will bubble and peel.

Additionally, too much heat or cold can cause the vinyl to become brittle, which makes it more prone to peeling. Finally, if you use harsh cleaning products on your cabinets, it can also create a reaction that will cause the vinyl to peel at a faster rate than usual.

Now that we know how and why this happens let’s look at how you can fix it.

What Will You Need?

Before you can begin fixing your vinyl cabinet peeling, you’ll need to gather the following materials:

  1. Clean cloths
  2. Mild detergent
  3. Sandpaper
  4. Liquid filler
  5. Hair dryer
  6. Paint or adhesive sealant
  7. Soft brush
  8. Vinyl glue (optional)

Now that you have all the necessary materials, it’s time to get down to business! Here’s how to repair peeling vinyl cabinets.

10 Easy Steps on How to Fix Peeling Vinyl Cabinets

1. Clean the Area:

Start by cleaning the area where the peeling has occurred. Use a mild detergent and your soft brush to gently scrub away any dirt or grime that may have accumulated. Wipe the surface with a clean cloth to remove any excess soap residue. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as you don’t want the vinyl to become damaged.

2. Sand:

Use your sandpaper to sand down the area that is peeling and any surrounding areas. This will help create a rough surface to which the new adhesive can better stick. Make sure you pay extra attention to any peeled areas that may be jagged or uneven. Use a blow dryer to help remove any excess dust particles if needed.

Using Some Sandpaper

3. Fill:

You can use a liquid filler to help restore the surface for deeper peeled areas. This will create a smooth finish that is ready for adhesive. Allow the filler to dry completely before continuing. Otherwise, your repair may not be successful.

4. Heat:

Use the hair dryer to heat up the surface of the cabinet. This will help the new adhesive bond better and stay in place. Move the dryer around until the entire surface is warm but not too hot to touch. Be careful not to stay in one place for too long, as it can cause the vinyl to bubble and warp. Remember, vinyl is heat sensitive, so use caution.

5. Apply Adhesive Sealant:

Once the surface is warm, apply your adhesive sealant. Make sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies of the cabinet and ensure there are no gaps or missed spots. Using the correct type of sealant for your cabinet is important, as not all adhesives are compatible with vinyl. Another, usually easier, option is to use a spray-on type of adhesive. Simply spray the surface evenly and let dry.

6. Smooth:

Use your clean cloth to smooth out the sealant. This will ensure that it is evenly applied and there are no air bubbles or lumps. If you want to add some extra strength, use vinyl glue on top of the sealant. Many types of vinyl glue are available, so make sure to choose one compatible with your cabinets.

Use Vinyl Glue

7. Allow to Dry:

Allow the sealant to dry completely before continuing. Depending on how much you applied, this may take several hours or overnight. You can use a fan to speed up the drying process. Be careful not to touch the surface of the cabinet until it is completely dry, as this could leave fingerprints or smudges on your vinyl.

8. Paint (optional):

If you want to add a decorative touch, use a matching paint color to paint over the dried sealant. This will help to create a more uniform look and cover up any imperfections. Additionally, it will also help protect the adhesive sealant against further moisture damage. So, make sure to use high-quality paint made for vinyl surfaces.

9. Buff:

Once the paint has dried, use a clean cloth to buff the surface. This will help to give the area a polished look and make it easier for you to clean in the future. Moreover, it will also help to protect the surface from further damage.

10. Enjoy Your Newly Repaired Cabinets:

Finally, sit back and enjoy your newly repaired cabinets. With a bit of effort, you can make them look as good as new and protect them from further damage. Remember, if the peeling issue returns, you can repeat these steps to restore them once again.

By following these easy steps, you now know how to fix peeling vinyl cabinets. With the right tools and materials, plus some patience and skill, anyone can repair their cabinets in no time at all. So go ahead and get started! 

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

Use a Putty Knife
  1. Use a Plastic Putty Knife: Applying a thin coat of adhesive to the back of the vinyl requires patience and precision. To ensure you get an even spread, use a plastic putty knife to help guide you as you apply it.
  2. Heat Up the Vinyl: Before applying your adhesive, heat up the peeling vinyl with a hair dryer or heat gun in order to soften it and make it easier to work with.
  3. Cleansing Solution: Use a cleaning solution like rubbing alcohol or white vinegar on a cloth to remove any dirt or debris that may be stuck underneath the vinyl before applying any adhesive. This will ensure that your new adhesive sticks better and lasts longer!
  4. Sandpaper: If any rough edges are left after removing the old vinyl, use sandpaper to smooth it out before applying your adhesive. This will help ensure a more even spread and better adhesion.
  5. Let the Adhesive Set: Once you’ve applied your adhesive, let it sit for at least 24 hours to set and bond with the vinyl fully. Doing this will provide you with better results and increase the longevity of your cabinets!

Now that you have all these tips fix those peeling vinyl cabinets! With just a little time and effort, you can make them look new again in no time.

5 Things You Should Avoid

Use a Heat Gun
  1. Don’t Sand Peeling Vinyl Cabinets: Sanding with any kind of power sander or manual sandpaper will only further damage the cabinet and make it more difficult to repair.
  2. Don’t use a heat gun:  A heat gun will cause the vinyl to become brittle and cracked, making it nearly impossible to repair.
  3. Don’t Use a Chemical Stripper: Chemical strippers are designed for wood and can not be used on vinyl. They will damage the cabinet surface and make it more difficult to repair.
  4. Don’t Use Paint or Primer Over Peeling Vinyl Cabinets: Paint or primer won’t adhere properly and could further damage the cabinets.
  5. Don’t Pour Epoxy Over Peeling Cabinets: Epoxy is too thick of a substance and can seal in any moisture that may have caused the original problem in the first place, leading to more peeling and bubbling down the road.

Fixing peeling vinyl cabinets is not an easy task, but by avoiding these five mistakes, you can make the process much simpler and ensure that your cabinets look their best for years to come.

Can You Paint Over Peeling Cabinets?

No, it is not recommended to paint over peeling cabinets. Paint or primer won’t adhere properly and could make the issue worse by trapping moisture and leading to more peeling down the road. To repair your cabinets correctly, you should first remove any existing peeling vinyl with a heat gun or razor blade before applying adhesive sealant and allowing it to set. After that, you can sand and paint the cabinets as desired.

Now that you know how to fix your peeling vinyl cabinets and how to avoid common mistakes, you should be able to repair your cabinets in no time at all successfully! With these helpful tips in mind, you can sit back and enjoy your newly repaired cabinets.

Using a Sealant or Silicone Adhesive

Do You Need Primer to Repaint Cabinets?

No, you don’t necessarily need a primer to repaint cabinets. If the surface is smooth and even, then a primer may not be necessary. However, it can help ensure better adhesion of the new paint and prevent chipping or flaking down the road. Primers also provide extra protection against moisture damage, so if your cabinets are in an area with high humidity levels, it’s a good idea to use one.

Regardless of whether you decide to use a primer or not, make sure that any peeling vinyl is removed beforehand and that you have allowed plenty of time for the adhesive sealant to set before attempting to paint your cabinets.

With these tips in mind, you should be able to repair and freshen up your peeling vinyl cabinets with ease!

What Kind of Primer Do You Use on Cabinets?

The best kind of primer to use on cabinets is an oil-based primer, as it will help protect the surface while providing a good base for your paint. It’s important to ensure that you do not use a water-based primer, as this can cause the paint to crack and peel in the future. After priming, you should allow the primer to dry completely before painting with your desired color.

Additionally, it’s important to note that when painting over vinyl cabinets, you should use a special adhesive primer specifically designed for this purpose. This will help ensure a better bond between the paint and the cabinet surface, resulting in a better finish.

Now that you have all the information you need about fixing peeling vinyl cabinets and how to choose the right primer for them go ahead and get started on repairing those cabinets! With just a bit of work and patience, you can achieve beautiful results in no time at all.

Use a Spray Primer


In conclusion, refreshing and repairing your vinyl cabinets is a relatively easy process. By following the above steps, you will be able to bring them back to life once again. Whether that means replacing the hardware together or just cleaning up and refinishing, this will be enough to get your cabinets looking good as new in no time. Even if you are not an experienced DIYer, giving your vinyl cabinets a refresh is a task that is easily achievable by anyone. It can also provide a great way to add more value and charm to any kitchen space – plus, it won’t require breaking the bank!

So if you’ve been looking for a cost-effective way to give your kitchen interior a makeover, don’t forget about fixing up those old vinyl cabinets.

Hopefully, the article on how to fix peeling vinyl cabinets has been useful and informative. With these tips in mind, you should be able to successfully restore your cabinets in no time! Good luck with your repair project!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

Leave a Comment