How to Install Veneer on Cabinets


Replacing scratched or outdated cabinets can be costly depending on the number of cabinets in need of replacing. Applying a veneer to the outside of the cabinets updates the look of the cabinets without the expense of a complete remodel. A veneer is a thin piece of material that bonds over another surface. Correctly installing a veneer on cabinets will provide a long-lasting, updated look for many different types of cabinets.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Plastic bin
  • 400-grit sandpaper
  • Rag
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Straightedge
  • Rubber roller
  • Remove all hardware --- including the doors --- from the cabinets by turning the screws counterclockwise with a Phillips screwdriver. Set the screws in a plastic bin.

  • Scuff all the surfaces of the cabinets with 400-grit sandpaper until all the surfaces are dull. Wet a rag with isopropyl alcohol. Wipe all the surfaces of the cabinets with the wet rag. Allow the alcohol to evaporate from the cabinets before continuing.

  • Measure the vertical stiles of the cabinets, using a tape measure. Unroll the veneer on a firm, protected surface. Make two marks on the veneer, matching the width of the stiles. Cut the veneer from the roll, using a utility knife. Use a straightedge to keep the cuts straight.

  • Remove the paper from the back of the cut piece of veneer. Align the piece with a stile. Press the veneer firmly to the cabinet. Run a rubber roller over the veneer to remove any air pockets. Repeat this process to install veneer on all the vertical stiles.

  • Measure the width and length of all the horizontal cabinet faces. Cut the pieces as described. Remove the paper from the cut pieces. Install the pieces using the method described for the vertical stiles. Run the utility knife along the overlap between the vertical and horizontal pieces of veneer. Remove the cut piece of veneer. Run the rubber roller over all the installed veneer to ensure that all pieces are tight to the cabinet.

  • Install the hardware on the refinished cabinets.

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