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How to remove paint from a laminate cabinet

Laminate cabinets are a popular addition to many homes because they appear to be made from real wood. Laminate is easier to clean and cheaper than wood. You can find laminate cabinets at most home improvement stores, as well as kitchen and bath stores. There's an easy way to remove paint from a laminate cabinet, as long as you have the right tools.

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  1. Combine equal parts of white vinegar, water and rubbing alcohol in a bowl and mix the concoction well. Add five to 10 drops of dishwashing detergent--one without dyes added--to the mixture, and mix until the ingredients are blended.

  2. Dip a clean, white cotton cloth in the mixture and apply to the surface of the laminate cabinet wherever you see the paint. Rub the cloth over the paint, using quick, even strokes. Let the surface air dry, then check for any remaining paint.

  3. Apply a small amount of acetone based nail polish remover to the laminate cabinet, and let it sit for no more than five to 10 minutes. Remove the nail polish remover using fresh water and a clean cloth.

  4. Inspect the surface of the laminate cabinet for any signs of paint. If you still see paint remaining, use the nail polish remover a second time. Coat a clean, dry cloth with the nail polish remover and rub it across the paint. Keep using more nail polish remover until the colour fades. Follow up by using the water and vinegar mixture again.

  5. Clean the rest of the cabinet by wiping it with a clean cloth. Rub the faded colour with your cloth, and let the cabinet air dry. Apply a small amount of nail polish remover if you haven't successfully removed the paint.

  6. Tip

    Use a degreaser or product specifically designed for removing paint. These products work on latex-based paint and won't damage or harm the surface of the laminate cabinet.


    Acetone-based nail polish remover works well at removing paint from laminate surfaces, but you must exercise caution when using it. It can easily cut through the coating on your cabinet and reach the laminate underneath. When this happens, you'll need to fix the surface of the cabinet with a touch up stick, which you can purchase from the manufacturer of your cabinet.

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Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • White cotton cloths
  • Acetone based nail polish remover

About the Author

Jennifer Eblin

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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