Painting Ideas & Tips
  • February 3, 2020
  • Interior Painting

Can you Paint Foil Cabinets?

Yes, thermo-foil cabinets in your house can be painted. Thermofoil cabinets are used in modern kitchens and known for being affordable, easy maintenance, and versatile. The material of thermofoil does not contain metal but is made from the Vinyl Onto Medium-density fibreboard(MDF). The cabinets are created by vacuum pressuring the thin layer of the material, which results in a smooth and seamless finish that lasts for years.

Despite being beautiful, there are some disadvantages of thermofoil cabinets. Exposure to sunlight, heat from appliances, residue from the food, and regular wear and tear causes peeling and chipping of the cabinets. To overcome these problems, the cabinets need to be painted.

Supplies Needed for Painting Thermofoil Cabinets

There are limited supplies required for painting foil cabinets of your home. Here are some of the items needed to get the best durable and beautiful look on your cabinets.

  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Plastic paint tray
  • Foam Roller
  • Foam Brush
  • Sanding Block

Procedure for Painting Foil Cabinets

Thermofoil material is porus, and it is hard to spread paint on the surface evenly. A coat of paint applied on the surface will easily peel off after drying. So you need to follow some steps to paint kitchen cabinets in your house. Even though the process is time-consuming, the results are worth it if done correctly.

1. Preparing the Surface

Before starting to paint the surface, you need to prepare the surface of the cabinets. Kitchen cabinets are usually covered with cooking oil and other food materials. So you need to remove the hardware of cabinets and use an ammonia-based cleaner to clean the surfaces. After cleaning, let the surface get dried up. Now use sanding paper to rough up the surface, focus on creating texture on the surface and be careful not to remove finishing of the cabinet. You could use an electric sander to complete the work faster. After sanding, remove all the dust using a damp rag. Use painter’s tape to cover the areas that you would not like to paint.

2. Applying the Primer

Apply at least three coatings of a thick and good primer on the surfaces. While applying the primer, check whether there are spots where the primer is not absorbed. If there are any spots like that, you need to sand the area again and apply primer after cleaning the sand. Allow each coating of the primer to dry before the application of the other coat. Allow the final coating to dry for 12-24 hours.

3. Applying Paint

You will probably need two coatings of paint as much of paint will soak into the primer that was applied to the surface of cabinets. The number of coats required will also depend on the quality of paint chosen for the foil cabinets. Use Enamel paint, if you want a glossy finish. But if you are not interested in a glossy finish, then you can go for satin finish latex paint. Using a foam roller will help in giving a smooth finish. Between coats, you could lightly sand the surface with a fine-grit sandpaper.

Allow each coat to dry completely before going for the next sanding and coat.

4. Sealing the Cabinets

After the cabinets have dried up completely, for extra protection, you could add a coat of water-based polyurethane, which comes in matte, satin, and gloss finishes. All the finishes are good for your cabinets and make sure to use good quality brushes for applying the paint and finish. Allow the cabinets to cure for about 10 days.

5. Reattach the Cabinets

After the cabinets have dried completely, replace the hardware and attach the foil cabinets to their original places. Drill new holes if needed in place of old holes.


It is tough to paint the thermofoil kitchen cabinets. It would help if you took the advice of local professional painters to know the correct primer and paint that is suitable for your home. Most of the times, the semi-gloss sheen is used for cabinets, to give a new look to your kitchen. We at Executive Touch Painters are experienced in renovation and painting of all types of kitchen cabinets. Contact us or Call us at 416-410-0164 for a free estimate of your painting project.