How to Update Mobile Home Cabinets

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    1. Hi Ivory,

      You could maybe use a liquid sander and deglosser. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it but have only used it once on a coffee table and it held up for a couple of years before it started peeling on top (my family doesn’t know what a coaster is though so it probably would have lasted a lot longer had they used them).

      best of luck!

  1. This is one of the best articles ( out of many ) that you have ever posted that really provides useful information. Upgrading and repairing can be a challenge for many people living in a mobile home and this article gives detailed steps and actions. As someone that is always asked by my neighbors to “fix” items in their homes – you just provided me with additional knowledge set along with information I can use to “explain” and show them the different options that be used to “fix” a cabinet problem. Each issue of MHL always leaves me with a feeling of amazement and wonder – living in a mobile home is cool.

  2. My cabinet doors don’t want to stay on. I glued some of the screws into place. Do I need to replace this mdf board on front of the cabinets

  3. All of our doors are peeling is there a way to get the layer of woodgrain coating off and get a wood grain look back. Don’t know that a solid painted door would look that good and would need to go with the door trim

    1. Hi Cindy,

      You may be able to glue a new veneer sheet or thin wood over the original surface (I don’t recommend removing the original surface as that protects the MDF and keeps it from chipping and degrading). It’s getting easier to find veneers nowadays so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a design that matches well. Best of luck!

  4. Good morning Crystal….I’m so pleased to have found your site. I know I can remove the thermofoil from my cabinet doors using my hairdryer. My doors are so lightweight that they almost feel like plastic. Is it possible that they are? If so, can they be painted? I’ve not seen anything about doors being made of plastic so hoping they aren’t. I’ve removed thermofoil from MDF doors and they were much heavier. Thank you for any help.

    1. Hi Judy,

      You absolutely can paint them and yes, most are made of a composite material. Use the tips in this article. Basically clean the surface as much as possible and use the best name brand paint and primer you can that will work on your surface (you may want to take a door to your paint store so they can determine the right type of paint and primer). Paint has come a long way in the past few years, the expensive stuff has a great bond.
      Best of luck!

      1. Thanks for your suggestions… you think that I would get better coverage by painting them a color rather than white?

  5. Thank you for this article it has answered so many of my questions. I have a few cabinets with “glass” inserts is it possible to change out with real clear glass? How would I do that. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Rema,

      You absolutely can replace those. I’ve seen a lot of people remove the glass and scrap the corner scroll designs off them and put them back to give the kitchen a fresh simple look. You can use anything as long as it fits in the clamps. Please take photos of your project – I’d love to add it!

  6. We recently moved into a Champion home. I was able to choose many of the features for the home including the kitchen cabinets. I love the cream colored wood grain cabinets but don’t know what material was used on them. I have noticed a couple of grease spots. Can I seal them before they are ruined? If so, what would you suggest I use?

    Thank you so much for your website.

    1. Hi Lynn,

      Usually, the cabinets are covered with a material called Thermafoil but it kinda sounds like you may have ‘real’ wood or at least a real wood veneer. That would soak up grease a lot faster than the laminated cabinets. I would think a polyurethane would work on most all surfaces but you will should take a door to a paint store and see what they suggest.

  7. I live in a manufactured home and want to paint my cabinets. I am still unclear after reading this article what kind of material they are. All I know is they have a very glossy coat and the glossy coat comes off if I clean them with water. It isn’t paper. I’ve been researching this seems like forever and just can’t seem to come up with what types of finish they are. Can you help? Thanks.

    1. Hi Cindy,

      If it’s Thermafoil or laminated the gloss wouldn’t be so easy to remove. Can you feel a seam on the edge or on the backside? That would be indicative of a laminated film. If they aren’t laminated they may be real wood or at least a wood veneer which would make sense that it’s absorbing grease.
      I’d remove a door and see if a cabinet pro could help at your home improvement store.

      Best of luck!

      1. My cabinets in my kitchen the doors are real wood but the wood around them is not real it has like paper peeling off so how do I paint?

      1. Hi Janice,

        You can glue them loose ends back and paint over them or you can remove the paper altogether and paint. Use the tips in the article for paint. Best of luck!

  8. Love this website thank you for creating a resource for modular and mobile home owners. Looking forward to remodeling the inside and updating.

  9. Hi, I own a modular home and want to paint my kitchen cabinets. The challenge is they are beveled and that area is worn. I’m not sure I can sand them, I’d like to paint the doors or should I make new ones? My appliances are black, I was thinking of painting the cabinets a soft country white and adding black hardware and hinges. Ideas and suggestions please.

    1. Hi Christina,

      You may be able to use the Bondo to build up the worn edging and then paint or you could add a 1-2″ frame around the door to cover the worn area? The white with black hardware would look great with black appliances!

  10. I love my mobile home and your site. I was raised in a brick house. I saw my first mobile home in 1969 and fell in love with it. I live in a 14×70 1997 Clayton Mobile Home. Thank you for this site and all your helpful information.