Why do Vinyl Wrapped Kitchen Doors Peel?

Date:  January 5, 2015


Categories:  Painting, Renovating, Tips

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Dianella Polishing re-finishing your peeling vinyl doors with a modern paint that lasts.

We get this question often. So, why do vinyl wrapped kitchen doors (also called thermofoil) peel? The simple answer is that they were made to peel. To get a better understanding of why they peel, you first need to understand how and why they are made.

How are Vinyl Wrapped Doors Made?

First an MDF (medium density fibreboard) door is cut to desired shape. A glue is then applied and the vinyl is pressed against the MDF. This process is done with machines that exert more force than a person is capable of exerting.

Years ago, the glue that was used in the manufacturing of vinyl wrapped doors was strong. It lasted a long time, but it was also harmful. Now, more environmentally friendly glue is used, but it’s not as strong. As a result of this change, modern vinyl wrapped doors begin to peel in 5 to 7 years.

Why are Vinyl Cabinets Popular?

Vinyl wrapped cabinets are popular because they are a cheaper alternative to timber or two-pac painted cabinets. They can have recessing, a feature not available with melamine or laminate doors. Vinyl wrapped cabinets are a good short-term value. Many new homes and apartments are constructed with vinyl wrapped cabinets, because they look nice and cost less than better quality cabinets. The problem is that they aren’t made to last longer than 7 years.

How are Peeling Vinyl Cabinets repaired?

Vinyl kitchen cabinets can’t necessarily be “repaired”. In other words, once the vinyl starts to peel, it can’t be re-glued to the door. This is because of the way in which vinyl wrapped doors are manufactured, it’s impossible to fix them. If one cabinet is peeling, it’s more than likely, the rest are also going to start peeling soon.

There is only one option to repair vinyl kitchen cabinets — to peel off the vinyl and paint the underlying MDF. Not all professional painters and polishers are capable of doing this. At Dianella Polishing, we have developed a unique technique, that allows us to strip the vinyl and paint the underlying MDF in high quality two pac paint. After we’re finished, the doors look like new painted doors. Painting the underlying MDF is going to be a fraction of the cost of replacing your cabinet doors.

If you aren’t interested in painting the underlying MDF, your other option is to replace your cabinet doors. Here is an article that explains this option in detail.

Wrong Advice

Some companies will tell you they can paint over the vinyl. We would never do that. If we paint over the vinyl,  the thinners will penetrate through and will speed up the peeling process. We do not suggest painting over vinyl wrapped doors.

We can’t take the vinyl off until it starts to peels. If we try, it will ruin the door. Wait until vinyl peels, then get it repainted. If your vinyl is starting to peel, contact us and we can give you tips on how to speed along the process so your doors can be repainted.

Any questions? We’re happy to help! Ask us here or on Facebook!


28 responses to “Why do Vinyl Wrapped Kitchen Doors Peel?”

  1. Deb Fiorina says:

    After 30years of putting up with an old kitchen we could finally afford a new one . We asked around and got the name of a manufacturer who talked us into having vinyl wrapped doors etc. I had the company back twice in the first year and 3times in the next year. They blamed me and said I wasn’t using my exhaust fan, the oven door leaked heat even though it’s new. I now have half of the cupboards lifting in different parts of the kitchen. I’m so angry ,and upset, my longed for kitchen is now CRAP! The company won’t return calls etc . I feel like crying . My husband is redundant and I had to give up teaching because of my health. Why could they have been honest and we would have chosen something else. Regards Deb

    • dianellapolishing says:


      Sorry to hear about your experience! If your cabinets are only a couple of years, they could still be covered under a warranty. If the cabinet maker doesn’t honour the warranty, it’s possible the manufacturer will. It’s worth checking in to. Also, the CMA (cabinet makers association of western australia) http://www.cmawa.com.au/ offers free dispute resolution if the cabinet maker is a member.

      We offer free, no-obligation quotes if you’re considering getting your kitchen cabinets painted. If you’re looking to get a new kitchen, we can recommend some excellent cabinet makers that we work closely with as well.

      We wish you the best of luck!
      The Team @ Dianella Polishing

      • darryl says:

        Hi ,

        Are you able to strip and re-wrap ?

        Regards Darryl

        • dianellapolishing says:

          Hi Darryl,

          Thank you for your comment. We are able to strip vinyl from cabinets, however we do not re-wrap them we paint the underlying MDF in a professional grade 2 Pac paint. If you would like more information on our services and you are located in Perth, or the surrounding areas please feel free to get in contact with us through our contact form.


          The Team @ Dianella Polishing

  2. Juli says:

    I have a vinyl ‘unwrapped’ kitchen. As you correctly state, not all professional painters and polishers are capable of painting over the residual glue. Is there anyone in Adelaide that you would recommend to paint the doors etc.

  3. Paul says:

    Our kitchen has slight green bench door and we would like to change them to a white/off white colour,could you recommend a process ?

    14 Doors and 4 draws
    Paul/Mel 9407 7654

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Hi Paul & Mel,

      Thank you for your comment! Depending on the state of your cabinets and what material they are made of there is a few different ways you can look at changing the colour of your doors. Laminate, Timber or Pine can be painted straight over, while Vinyl would need to be peeling and you could remove the vinyl and paint the underlying MDF. Could you take some photos of your kitchen and send through your details to http://www.dianellapolsihing.com.au/contact? From there, Trevor can give you a call and have a chat about the best way to get the colour changed. He may need to come out and have a look depending on the photos!

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


      The Team @ Dianella Polishing

  4. Rob says:

    Thank you. Very helpful comments. Do you have any company or affiliate recommendations for Adelaide?

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Hi Rob,

      Unfortunately we don’t have any company or affiliate recommendations for Adelaide. Sorry we couldn’t of been more help! If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know!

      Have a great day


      The Team @ Dianella Polishing

      • Emma Broughton says:

        I live in Bullsbrook Perth, would you be able to come and give me a quote to remove my vinyl kitchen doors and paint?

        • dianellapolishing says:

          Hi Emma,

          We’d love to come out to quote on your kitchen. Please simply hop over to our website and quickly fill in your details and add 2 photos of your kitchen – one otal and one detailed shot.


          Our boss Trevor will then come out to have a look at your kitchen in order to supply you a proper quote. This is a complimentary service – so no costs involved.

          Let us know your availability – via return email or simply give us a call.

  5. Rebecca says:

    I live in Alice Springs. Is there anyone here that you know of, or what questions do I ask about getting my plastic wrap kitchen stripped and painted
    Thanks Rebecca

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Hi Rebecca,

      Thank you for your comment! Unfortunately we don’t know anyone out in Alice Springs we could recommend. However, check out your local polish shops and they should be able to help you out. Check out our article on tips for choosing a polishing shop https://www.dianellapolishing.com.au/blog/top-5-tips-to-picking-a-polishshop/. Hopefully that gives you some insight on what to ask and be aware of when finding someone to help you with your kitchen!

      If you have any other questions, please let us know!

      Thanks, the Team @ Dianella Polishing

  6. Maggie Treleaven says:

    Can I remove the vinyl myself or is there someone in Melbourne who could do it and paint?

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Hi Maggie,

      Thanks for your comment. You most certainly can remove the vinyl yourself and it’s actually quite easy to do. We have recently written a blog post about how to do this. You can find it here. Unfortunately we don’t have anyone we can recommend in Melbourne who paints peeling vinyl cabinets like we do. But if you try Googling “polish shop Melbourne” or “cabinet refinishing Melbourne” that should hopefully help you find someone that can help you out!

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


      The Team @ Dianella Polishing

  7. Greg says:

    Can you recommend some on that does the fix for vinyl peeling off in kitchen re Sydney, please

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Hi Greg,

      Unfortunately we are in Perth and don’t have any contacts on the east coast. To be completely honest with you, once vinyl is starting to peel there is nothing you can do to fix it. It will need to be removed. If you try fix it yourself it will damage the underlying MDF which will create problems when you do want to remove the vinyl. The best thing to do would be to look for a polish shop in Sydney who is able to do something similar to Dianella Polishing.

      Sorry we couldn’t be more help.


      The Team @ Dianella Polishing

  8. Kate says:

    Can you colour match to the existing laminate? Our oven surround will look very odd in a different colour!

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Hi Kate,

      Thank for you comment regarding your kitchen cabinets. It would be difficult to say whether we would be able to match to the existing laminate without seeing the kitchen itself. We can typically colour match to a range of things, but if your laminate has a wood grain to it, it may be difficult to do.

      If you’re located in Perth, feel free to take a few photos of your kitchen and send it our to our contact form for us to have a look at.

      We look forward to hearing from you.


      The Team @ Dianella Polishing.

  9. Tracey Murfett says:

    On reading your info I am so annoyed – we had our new vinyl wrap kitchen & dining done 5yrs ago & it’s now failing I thought it was due to the dodgy company that did them but now realise it was destined to fail – so most of my panel doors in dining have now lifted & my pantry door vinyl is hanging by the door handle & prob 9 other smaller doors are lifting – how do I go about getting you to give me a quote on your painting process as replacing doors is going to be expensive & all the cabinet people we have spoke to say they can’t be painted (my last kitchen was 2 pax paint & I wanted that this time but them on we used said vinyl wrap looks better – it didn’t & certainly doesn’t now) – we are in Perth so can I bring doors to you?

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Hi Tracey,

      Thank you for your email. Sorry for the late reply, we had an error in our system which did not notify us of your comment. I will get in touch with you via email today.


      The Team @ Dianella Polishing

  10. Tracey Murfett says:

    Just left a comment but notice my email was incorrect – it’s com not con thanks

  11. Guneet says:

    Could I get any contact you have in Sydney?


    • dianellapolishing says:

      We re sorry unfortunately we do not have any contacts in the Eastern States. We occasionally work with shipping companies to help customers that are not WA based let us know if you would like to know more about this option. Kind regards,

      Your Dianella Polishing-Team
      (The Kitchen Facelift Experts)

  12. Hi there. Thanks for this info! Really enjoyed reading this page.

    • dianellapolishing says:

      Glad you enjoyed our blog. Thank you for your feedback. Your Dianella Polishing team for Kitchen renovations 🙂

  13. Teresa says:

    I prefer to have my plastic cabinet doors re-plastic wrapped not painted. Can you do this in Perth? Put me on to a company that will? Also, can you replace laminate counter tops?

    • Nadia says:

      Hi Teresa, we would delighted to show you, how amazing your peeling vinyl wrapped doors will look, once we have spray-painted them. Why dont you pop into our Wangara Workshop?

      We take pride in our work, which is the reason why we unfortunately do not re-wrap peeling vinyl doors. We know they will just peel again and therefore could not guarantee the product. For the same reason, we do not and cannot recommend any re-wrapping. Try our affordable and long lasting painted doors and be amazed.

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