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Yellowed Kitchen Cabinets: Can They Be Fixed?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Mary in New Jersey’s got a kitchen situation. What’s going on over there?

    MARY: Hi, I have a thermafoil – white thermafoil kitchen cabinets. I moved into the house a year ago and I spoke with the original owners just before they sold their house to the previous owners that I bought. They said that the cabinets changed colors. I have some doors that are white and I have some doors that are sort of yellowed. And I didn’t know if there was some way of – if you know of some way of either getting them all yellowed or all white; kind of, you know, get them – because I have drawers. I have four drawers in a row. The middle drawer is yellow. I have three drawers that are white.

    TOM: You know, we’ve heard this many times before and I don’t think we’ve ever been able to identify a specific solution short of refinishing. It seems to be a condition that’s endemic to a thermafoil type of finish.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) With the thermafoil process, yeah.

    TOM: Mm-hmm. Yep.

    MARY: OK, so there’s probably nothing that I can do about it? Just …

    TOM: I don’t think so because I think that the physical condition of the – the physical material has changed colors. There’s nothing that you can add to it that’s going to bring it back. It’s a function of its exposure to daylight and ultraviolet radiation that leaks in from the sun and it does physically change the color of the foil.

    MARY: OK. Because I – it also happened in the bathroom.

    TOM: Yep.

    MARY: The cabinet that’s in the bathroom, which has no daylight at all and one door is yellowed and one door is white.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And I think a lot of it also has to do with moisture and in a kitchen situation you’re dealing with a lot of grease and moisture. It just tends to happen over time. It’s just a reaction.

    MARY: OK, so I just end up having to replace my kitchen at some point.

    TOM: Well, you could possibly replace just the fronts. I mean you could reface the cabinets and you could replace the doors and the drawers. So it doesn’t have to be a total replacement. But of course that’s always an option.

    MARY: Right. OK.

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