Can You Paint Thermofoil Cabinets?

Can You Paint Thermofoil Cabinets?
  • Author: Amanda Arnold
  • Posted On: October 17, 2021
  • Updated On: August 21, 2023

Thermofoil cabinets are created up of a laminate material. Thermofoil is designed to be easy to clean, stain-resistant, and damage-resistant. As a result, painting thermofoil is extremely difficult but not impossible.

Paint is a cost-effective alternative to replacing your cabinets, and you should test painting the thermofoil before tearing out your existing cabinets.

Yes, you can paint thermo-foil cabinets in your home. Modern kitchens have thermofoil cabinets, which are noted for their affordability, ease of maintenance, and versatility. The thermofoil is manufactured of Vinyl onto a Medium-Density fibreboards and does not include any metal.

You can make these cabinets by vacuum pressing a thin layer of material to create a clean, seamless finish that will last for years.

Despite their attractiveness, thermofoil cabinets have certain drawbacks. Cabinet’s peel and chip as a result of exposure to sunshine and normal wear and tear. To solve these issues, the cabinets must be repainted.

How To Determine The Type And Material Of Cabinet’s Doors?

It’s tough to tell if your cabinet doors are thermofoil or not, but skilled painters will notice the PVC coating that peels away when the cabinets age and are exposed to heat in the kitchen. Make sure you’ve got the proper material before starting the painting experience.

Thermofoil lamination can look very similar to laminate cabinets. So, make sure you’ve got the suitable material before starting the painting adventure.

Both of these finishes are essentially MDF with a thin film bonded on top. If you need assistance determining what your drawer fronts and cabinet doors are composed of, consider hiring experienced painters to come to your home.

Steps To Paint The Thermofoil Cabinets

Make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated environment before starting any painting endeavor. Furthermore, If you won’t be painting the cabinets, open all available doors and windows and, if possible, use a fan to keep air circulating while you fix the peeling Thermofoil cabinets.

Clean The Area Appropriately

To remove all oil and grime from the cabinets, clean them thoroughly. Cooking oils and the oils from your fingertips cover kitchen cabinets in particular. Completely clean the cabinets using an ammonia-based cleaner. Allow them to air dry entirely.

Before you start painting, you should sand the cabinets thoroughly. To lightly roughen the surface, use fine-grit sandpaper. The job will go much faster if you use a palm sander. Compared to hand sanding, the vibration from a palm sander makes the sanding work smoother and more thorough.

Add Primer

When painting a smooth surface like Thermofoil, the primer is essential. As you apply the primer to the cabinet doors, make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area. Apply a broad-brush stroke to the central flat area with a paintbrush before carefully painting the nooks and crevices or any detailed wood design.

Use your roller to go over the cabinet again after the initial coat of primer, smoothing out any brush strokes to make the primer seem lovely, smooth, and even. Consider applying a second layer of primer after the first has dried if you think it’s necessary. If you’re going for an entirely different look, two or three coats of primer might suffice.

Paint The Cabinets

For the Thermofoil cabinet doors, you can use any water-based latex paint. Paints are also a fantastic option because they are incredibly durable and will not chip or scratch over time. If you don’t want a high gloss finish, go with a satin finish latex paint.

Apply many thin coats of paint to the cabinets. The best way to achieve a smooth finish is to use a foam roller. Between applications, lightly sand the cabinets with a fine-grit sandpaper. Before sanding and applying the next coat, let each layer dry thoroughly.

Use A High-Quality Sealant

After your cabinets have dried completely, apply a layer of water-based polyurethane for added protection. When applying polyurethane, use good-quality brushes. Polyurethane is available in matte, glossy and satin finishes. All three will provide adequate defense.

Choose the finish that appeals to you the most. Allow the cabinets to cure for seven to ten days before putting them through their paces. For the first week, the paint will be soft and readily dent and peel.


The thermofoil kitchen cabinets are difficult to paint. It would be beneficial if you sought the opinion of experienced local painters to determine the best primer and paint for your home. Cabinets with a semi-gloss shine are commonly utilized to give your kitchen a new look.

However, you can also get the complete guidelines and instructions from the above points if you want to paint the thermofoil cabinets yourself. Enjoy giving a completely new look to your old thermofoil cabinets like a pro!

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Author: Amanda Arnold

Amanda has been working with ConstructionHow since 2021. Her experience spans over 5 years in the creative niche such as home decor and trends, landscaping, renovations, and custom architectural values. As a home designer expert, she has a keen eye for the latest home improvement trends with accurate facts that readers find impossible to ignore. Being invested in home-building trends is how she has gained her lucrative expertise exploring more to bring a positive ambiance for all homeowners (and even tenants!). Currently, she lives in a beautiful beach home, a source of fascination for her.