3 Reasons Not to Glue Peeling Vinyl Cupboard Doors

Date:  May 18, 2015


Categories:  Renovating, Tips

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Kitchen and fog in the window

Peeling vinyl kitchen cupboard doors are ugly and frustrating. The glue holding them together usually decides to give up, just before that important dinner part, or as soon as you decide to put your house on the market.

Since it’s the glue that has separated, initial reactions are to just glue the vinyl back onto the door panel. It’s tempting to even follow DIY articles that explain how to glue the vinyl yourself. But think twice before you attempt to glue it yourself, as you may be doing more damage in the long run.

Here are a few reasons why gluing the vinyl back onto the door panel is a bad idea.

  1. It’s Not Permanent

When vinyl starts to peel, the immediate reaction is to put it back together. Gluing seems like an obvious answer since the vinyl was originally glued to the panel, but gluing with an aftermarket glue is not permanent. Anyone who has glued a peeling vinyl cupboard door will tell you that it’s not a permanent fix.

The bond created during the manufacturing process, once broken, can’t be returned to its original state. When vinyl cupboard doors are manufactured, they are pressed together by a machine. That amount of force is impossible to replicate after the manufacturing process. Using an aftermarket glue won’t get the same quality bond as the vinyl door once had. The glue may hold temporarily, but it will begin to separate again soon.

Keep in mind: if one cabinet door is peeling, it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the vinyl doors start peeling as well.

  1. Unprofessional Finish

Re-gluing the vinyl back onto the MDF panel yourself may leave your cabinets looking unprofessional. If air is trapped during the process, bubbles will appear in the finish after gluing. These air bubbles will be difficult, if not impossible, to remove once the glue has set.

It’s also common to drip glue on your floors or countertop while pressing the vinyl into place. Be prepared for the glue to overflow. Spilled glue is an absolute mess to clean up.

  1. More Costly to Fix Later

Refinishing peeling vinyl wrapped cabinet doors is a more cost effective alternative to getting a new kitchen. Although refinishing is cheaper, it requires the following process to ensure a high quality finish.

The Process to Refinish Vinyl Wrapped Doors

  1. Remove Vinyl Completely
  2. Special Prep Process*
  3. Undercoat and Paint

*Dianella Polishing has developed their own special prep process to treat the underlying MDF panels so they can be professionally painted.

Before a peeling vinyl wrapped door is refinished, the vinyl needs to be peeled and the panel needs to be treated. If vinyl is re-glued to a cabinet door with aftermarket glue, it will be harder to peel during the refinishing process. This will take more labour and cost more for the homeowner. Removing aftermarket glue from a door panel will require additional sanding and prepping. This takes more man hours, and leaves the homeowner with a bigger bill as well.

If aftermarket glue has already been used on peeling vinyl cabinets, refinishing the cabinets will still cost less than installing new cabinets. However, refinishing will be even less if aftermarket glue isn’t used.


If you can’t get the peeling vinyl repaired professionally right away and need a quick fix, try using tape to hold it together. This is a short-term fix but it will save you money if you decide to refinish your cabinets.

If you are sure you’re going to get new cabinets, then glue away. If you might be interested in the cost effective alternative of refinishing your cabinets in the future, put down the glue.

Have questions about peeling vinyl doors? Ask questions below!

10 responses to “3 Reasons Not to Glue Peeling Vinyl Cupboard Doors”

  1. Georgia Carlino says:

    I am in Adelaide and need to strip vinyl of my Mother’s kitchen cupboards to save her some money. Can I use a heat gun to remove the peeling vinyl?
    Once I strip the vinyl what do I clean the surface with before painting ?
    Your advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Kind Regards

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Hi Georgia,

      Thank you for your comments and questions. I have sent you a short email answering them for you, hopefully that is sufficient! Please let us know if you have any issues or further questions.


      The Team @ Dianella Polishing.

  2. adrian says:

    Hi.. my vinyl wrap is peeling of the edges of my mdf kitchen doors and panels… what do you recommend i do? i saw on you tube That a u.s. product called ‘Elmer’s glue all’does the trick .. it seems too good to be true. The site is’ Repair loose cabinet door edges’

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Hi Adrian,

      Thank you for your comment – it’s an extremely common one, particularly considering all the different information available online! If your cabinets are beginning to peel, it may be time to look at getting them painted. You will find this is a cheaper, easier option than having your cabinets completely replaced.

      You will find a lot of information on this Blog about what to do with peeling vinyl cabinets. Though you can remove the peeling vinyl yourself, you will need them to be cleaned up and painted by a professional paint shop if you want a professional finish. If you’re in Perth, Western Australia please feel free to visit our contact form at https://www.dianellapolishing.com.au/contact/ and submit an enquiry and we can come out and have a look.

      If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

      Thanks, the Team @ Dianella Polishing

      • Lyn says:

        We have peeling vinyl coming off our kitchen doors and drawers. We want to get them professionally painted after taking off the vinyl. Is there anyone you could recommend in the south-west who could do this??

        • dianellapolishing says:

          I am terribly sorry Lynette, unfortunately we don’t. If you are in WA’s South-West maybe first hop over to https://www.dianellapolishing.com.au/contact/ and upload a couple of pictures of your kitchen.

          We can then get you in touch with with recommendations. The cheapest would most likely be to pop the doors and drawers etc in your car and drive them up here. We also have cabinet makers that we work with that could recommend a loal company to use for transport.

          Hope that helps, if not give us a buzz on +61 8 9303 2176.

          Thank you, Your Dianella Polishing Team.

  3. Gareth Lewis says:

    A few years ago we had our kitchen upgraded and recently we have noticed some
    bubbles forming on the doors and realise that this is because the glue has deteriorated and is the cause of the vinyl laminate has come away from the door, is it possible for you to re-glue the vinyl to the wood as we are reluctant to replace the door which is in good condition otherwise. If this cannot be done could you give us some idea of the cost of replacing all the kitchen cupboard doors and drawers.

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Hi Gareth,

      sorry to hear that your vinyl doors are bubbling. Unfortunately it is not possible to glue them back. We ‘d love to give you a quote though – why don’t you pop over to our contact page and drop us your details and a couple of photos of your kitchen.

      Click here: https://www.dianellapolishing.com.au/contact/

      Cheers your Dianella Polishing Team.

  4. Mrs Baldwin says:

    Have 5 wardrobe doors and vinyl has come off
    Can i sand door and paint them
    Could you recommend which uncoat and topcoat to use

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