Budget-friendly tips on reviving pressboard cabinets

Reviving Pressboard Cabinets

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Reviving Pressboard Cabinets

We have pressboard cabinets that are 25 years old and they are fraying at the edges. We are retired and money is tight. How can we revive these kitchen cabinets at the top and the bottom?

Make Accent in Your Kitchen

If it is just the edges of the actual cabinet structure, get corner trim and stain/paint to match or accent, and just cover up the areas. If it is the cabinet doors, cover them with wallpaper for an accent pattern in your kitchen.

Related: Renewing Your Kitchen Cabinets for $100

Give Facelift with Laminate

A nice facelift for pressboard cabinets is laminate. Use a router to clean up the edges once the laminate has been applied. The cabinet edges are not only cleaned up then, but they also have added strength. Many wood grain looks are available and it only takes a small sheet to redo the face, doors and drawers of a cabinet.
Leona in Spokane

Paint and Add New Hardware when Reviving Pressboard Cabinets

We also had pressboard cabinets at our old house. To revive them, I painted them and added knobs (on clearance at a hardware store). In your situation, I would glue a corner piece to the top and bottom of the cabinet to hide the fraying. From the side, the wood piece looks like an L. Then stain or paint, whichever blends in better.

If the cabinets are in good shape, another option would be to take the doors off, especially the upper cabinets. Then move the doors around to have the best ones on the bottom.

If you have just a little money, see if you have a Re-store in your area. You can pick up cabinet doors or new hardware or the trim pieces I mentioned above really inexpensively. Also, check with home improvement stores. They sometimes have clearance items from jobs that weren't completed or that didn't have the right measurements.

Related: How to Clean Greasy Kitchen Cabinets

Advice from Years of Experience

We remodeled and flipped houses for years. We had a set of pressboard cabinets, and though they were in great shape, the doors had gotten too much use. We purchased copy sheets of paneling that looked like wainscoting with the thin panel strips. We cut them to size and used liquid glue on the back to secure them. We then used a short nail to reinforce the security in each corner. Using inexpensive trim around the edges, we secured again with liquid glue and short tack nails. We then slightly sanded them, used primer, and then painted them. We reattached the handles. One of the realtors that looked at the house said that she had to touch them to assure herself that they were not handmade wood panel doors. If you only want to fix the edges, just apply the trim and paint.

Don't Bother with the Pressboard

Anything made out of pressboard does not last long and is difficult to repair. Even if the surface looks acceptable, the interior gets weaker over time. If you live in an area where there are termites, the news is even grimmer. I would recommend finding a hardware outlet store and start looking for discounted cabinets made from real wood rather than sink your money into repairing pressboard. Or look into local vocational schools where students could build new cabinets as a learning project. Or if your county has an Office for the Aging, they may have some resources available for home repairs. Finally if you belong to a local church, maybe someone (contractor) in your congregation can help you out.
Toni B.

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