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How to fix thermofoil peeling

Updated April 17, 2017

Throughout years of wear and tear in your home, you may find that the thermofoil on your kitchen cabinets or other furniture is starting to peel ever so slightly. Fix the peeling yourself at home without the high cost of replacing the furniture. Thermofoil is analogous to any other type of laminate or veneer over MDF or wood, except it is adhered to the MDF substructure during manufacturing using a heat process instead of glue. By treating the thermofoil like laminate and using the adhesive that furniture companies use, your thermofoil furniture will be like new.

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  1. Brush off any excess dirt or particles from the underside of the peeling thermofoil using your hand.

  2. Apply a liberal amount of contact cement to the thermofoil and the surface you want the thermofoil to stick to. Let the wet piece sit for two minutes or until the cement is tacky.

  3. Push the two tacky surfaces together and let sit. Wipe away excess cement with a clean dry rag. Tape down pieces that won't stay down using masking tape. Allow to dry for 15-20 minutes.

  4. Remove tape. Carefully chip away excess glue that may have dried onto the surface of the thermofoil.

  5. Wash all tools in warm water to remove the cement before it sticks.

  6. Tip

    Make sure the MDF substructure of your thermofoil furniture is not moist, chipped, or otherwise damaged. This can effect the final finish.


    Do not dampen the thermofoil, rag or MDF. Extra moisture can ruin MDF.

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Things You'll Need

  • Small nylon bristle paintbrush
  • Contact cement
  • Clean rag
  • Masking tape
  • Small handheld chisel

About the Author

Darren White is a third-year student studying photography and art history at Haverford College. Raised in the Philadelphia area, he has followed its art scene for some time, which has influenced his column, The Fashion File, that he writes for the "Bi-Co News." He also writes, edits and photographs for Haverford's fashion magazine, "Feathers & Fur."

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