How to Fix Thermofoil Cabinets

Has your thermofoil cabinet finish begun to peel, bubble, or discolor? You don’t have to replace the cabinets if you want them to look like new again. Instead, it is possible to fix a range of issues that may arise with thermofoil cabinets.

How to Fix Thermofoil Cabinets

This blog post will walk you through how to work on repairing and fixing up a range of common problems homeowners experience with their thermofoil cabinets. With the right knowledge and materials, your cabinetry can be restored in no time! 

Let’s take a look at what should go into properly caring for thermofoil cabinets so they can last year after year without any major issues. Thermofoils are known for being a durable yet low-cost material and it’s no surprise why many people choose them for their home cabinetry. 

However, once the years pass, these cabinets may begin to show signs of wear – discoloration, chipping paint, or just some general aging. Fortunately, restoring thermofoil cabinets is simple and can be done with minimal effort and cost. Here, we’ll go over the steps on how to fix thermofoil cabinets so they look as good as new again!

What Causes Thermofoil in Cabinets?

There can be many reasons why thermofoil cabinets may start to peel or crack. Such as:

1. Water Damage or Changes

One of the main causes of thermofoil damage is water exposure or a sudden change in temperature. Thermofoil cabinets are made from vinyl sheets that can easily be warped when exposed to too much moisture or sudden changes in the environment.

2. Improper Installation

If your thermofoil cabinet is not installed properly, then it could start to come undone or start to peel. This is usually due to either a lack of sufficient adhesive or improper application of the adhesive.

3. Poor Quality Product

If your thermofoil cabinets are made from poor-quality materials, then they can easily crack and peel over time as the material wears out. This is why it’s important to only buy thermofoil cabinets from reputable and experienced manufacturers who use high-quality materials.

No matter what the cause of your thermofoil cabinet damage is, it’s important to fix it as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage. How do you do this? Read on to find out!

13 Tips On How to Fix Thermofoil Cabinets

1. Use Mild Dish Soap and Warm Water to Clean the Cabinet Surface

Use a Soft Cloth

This is very easy and straightforward. Use a soft cloth or sponge and mix some mild dish soap with warm water, then use the solution to wipe down the entire surface of your thermofoil cabinet. This will help remove any dirt, grime, dust, and other debris that may have built up on the cabinets.

2. Inspect for Signs of Cracks or Peeling

Thermofoil is a relatively fragile material, so it’s important to inspect the cabinet surface for any signs of cracks or peeling. If you find any, then you will need to repair them quickly before they cause any further damage.

3. Use Super Glue to Repair Small Cracks and Holes

If your thermofoil cabinets have small cracks or holes, you can use super glue to repair them. Make sure the area is dry and clean before applying a thin layer of super glue. Allow it to dry completely before touching or using the cabinet surface again.

4. Sand Down Any Rough Edges

Make sure that any rough edges around the cabinet are sanded down and smoothed over. This will help prevent any cuts or scrapes when handling the cabinets. This will help keep the cabinet looking new for longer.

5. Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint

If you want to give your thermofoil cabinets a fresh look, then you can apply a coat of paint to them. Make sure to use a paint that is specifically formulated for thermofoil surfaces in order to ensure the best results and longest-lasting finish.

6. Use a Heat Gun to Repair Peeling Surfaces

If the thermofoil is peeling, you can use a heat gun to repair it. Simply move the gun over the surface in a continuous motion until the peeling pieces of foam come away from the cabinet surface.

7. Use a Wood Filler or Bondo to Repair Large Cracks

To Use a Wood Filler

For larger cracks, it’s best to use a wood filler or Bondo. These products fill in the gaps and give the cabinet surface a smooth finish. Make sure to follow the instructions on the product before applying it to your cabinets.

8. Reattach Loose Pieces of Thermofoil

If any pieces of thermofoil have come loose, you can use a strong adhesive to reattach them. Make sure to clean the area thoroughly before applying the adhesive and allow the piece to dry completely before using it again.

9. Replace Damaged Pieces of Thermofoil

If any pieces of thermofoil are too damaged to fix, then you may need to replace them. Measure the area carefully and purchase a thermofoil of a similar size in order to ensure that it fits correctly. Also, make sure that the adhesive you use is strong enough to hold the new piece in place.

10. Apply a Clear Coat of Polyurethane

Using a clear coat of polyurethane helps protect your thermofoil cabinets from further damage and keeps them looking great. This is especially important if you’re using oil-based paints or other finishes on your cabinets.

11. Use a Heat Gun to Remove Old Thermofoil

If you need to replace an entire piece of thermofoil, then you can use a heat gun to remove the old foam from the cabinet surface. Make sure to use caution and follow the safety instructions for your heat gun in order to avoid any accidents.

12. Replace Any Damaged Hinges or Hardware

If you notice that any of the hinges or hardware on your thermofoil cabinets are damaged, then it’s important to replace them quickly. This will help ensure that your cabinets open and close properly and last for many years to come.

13. Clean the Cabinets Regularly

Finally, it’s important to clean your thermofoil cabinets on a regular basis in order to maintain their appearance. Use a mild solution of warm water and dish soap to wipe down the cabinet surfaces and remove any dirt or dust. This will help keep your thermofoil cabinets looking as good as new for many years to come.

Cabinets Looking as Good as New

By following these steps, you can fix any issues with your thermofoil cabinets and keep them looking great for a long time. Make sure to inspect the cabinet surface regularly and take care of any minor repairs before they become major problems. With a little bit of maintenance, you can keep your thermofoil cabinets looking like new for many years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Precautions Should I Take Before Fixing Thermofoil Cabinets?

Before starting any repairs on thermofoil cabinets, it is important to take some precautions. First, make sure the area is well-ventilated, and wear a dust mask if needed. 

Clean off any dirt or debris from the cabinet surface before attempting any repairs. Additionally, check for any loose screws or hinges that may need to be tightened. Finally, use a soft cloth to apply pressure when removing any stubborn materials from the cabinets.

What Is the Best Way to Repair Peeling Thermofoil?

The best way to repair peeling thermofoil is by using a putty knife and some thin layers of vinyl adhesive. Begin by carefully removing any peeling portions of the thermofoil with a putty knife. 

Then, spread a thin layer of vinyl adhesive over the surface and press firmly to adhere the new material in place. Allow for ample drying time before applying additional layers of vinyl adhesive if needed.

How Can I Fix Crazing on Thermofoil Cabinets?

Crazing, or cracking in the thermofoil finish, requires a bit of extra effort to repair. Begin by cleaning the area with a soft cloth and mild soap. Then, use a hair dryer on low heat to soften up the crazed area.

Cracking in the Thermofoil Finish

Once softened, apply some vinyl adhesive and press firmly to adhere the material in place. Finally, allow for ample drying time before using a putty knife to smooth out any rough edges.

How Can I Fix Scratches on Thermofoil Cabinets?

Scratches can be fixed with a bit of sandpaper and some vinyl adhesive. Begin by gently sanding away any loose pieces of thermofoil around the scratch.

Then, clean off any residue with a soft cloth. Once cleaned, apply some vinyl adhesive to the area and press firmly to adhere the new material in place. Finally, use a putty knife to smooth out any rough edges before applying a sealer if needed.

Are There Any Special Considerations When Fixing Thermofoil Cabinets?

When repairing thermofoil cabinets, it is important to take special considerations in order to ensure the best results. Make sure to clean off any dirt or debris from the cabinet surface before attempting any repairs. Additionally, use a soft cloth and mild soap for cleaning purposes.

Using a Putty Knife to Smooth

And finally, allow for ample drying time before using a putty knife to smooth out any rough edges. These are some of the frequently asked questions when it comes to How to Fix Thermofoil Cabinets. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact a professional for assistance.


Repairing thermofoil cabinets is a great way to give your home an upgrade without breaking the bank or needing professional help. You don’t have to be a seasoned DIYer to be able to reap the rewards of fixing up these cabinets, either.

With the right materials and some determination, you’ll be able to make your kitchen cabinet doors look as good as new. Just be sure not to exceed the limits of your skill level when taking on this kind of project. 

We hope this guide on how to fix thermofoil cabinets has helped you. Furthermore, it’s always best practice to reach out for help if unsure about any step in the replacement process! Once you take on the challenge of repairing thermofoil cabinets, you’ll feel renewed pride every time you look at your kitchen space.

With patience and dedication, anyone can make quick yet meaningful home improvements that will guarantee satisfaction as soon as they’re done!

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.

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