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Old 11-24-2013, 08:29 PM   #1
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Cabinets - wood veneer over laminate

We purchased a 2009 Int'l 27 with white laminate upper cabinets this past spring. Naturally my wife wants to redecorate to give it her "touch" to feel at home during a long trip. After recovering all cushions and new counter tops, the next and hopefully final piece is to cover the white cabinets with wood veneer. What advice can you give?

This clearly is beyond my expertise and would hire someone to do the work, but want to be educated on the complexity. Can the veneer be applied directly over the laminate? Do the cabinets need to be removed from trailer, and if so, what is involved in removal and reinstall? Any recommendations for someone to do the work in the Atlanta or North Ga. area?
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:49 PM   #2
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Cabinets - wood veneer over laminate

Greetings BigSteve46!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstream!

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Originally Posted by BigSteve46 View Post
This clearly is beyond my expertise and would hire someone to do the work, but want to be educated on the complexity. Can the veneer be applied directly over the laminate? Do the cabinets need to be removed from trailer, and if so, what is involved in removal and reinstall? Any recommendations for someone to do the work in the Atlanta or North Ga. area?
What you propose is certainly possible, however it may be somewhat labor intensive. So long as the laminate material is firmly attached to its substrate, a new veneer can be installed over the existing laminate (the existing laminate would need to be scuffed to provide a "tooth" for the contact cement utilized to attach the new veneer. The cabinet doors and drawer fronts would likely be the easiest to update with new veneer . . . the cabinet boxes themselves may a bit more difficult depending upon the amount of curvature that the veneer would need to be "bent" around.

There are two possibilities that come to mind as to vendors who might be able to handle the up-date. The factory in Jackson Center, Ohio would definitely be able to handle the upgrade . . . and there are typically cost breaks when such work is scheduled during the slower Winter months. A second possibility that would likely be closer to you would be Fowler RV Interiors in Symsonia, Kentucky . . . Arlene and Henry Fowler do excellent work . . . Henry rebuilt one of the cabinets in my Overlander and built new oak table-tops for both my Minuet and Overlander.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:59 PM   #3
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I don't know how handy you are but how about woodgraining the cabinets. The painters I worked with mixed paint, glaze and water and used wood graining tools to make the wood look then cleared over it to keep the paint in place. Maybe it would work for your situation if you have the time to do it. It looked really neat when done.

Search wood graining or faux painting on youtube and I'm sure there are tutorials out there. Laminates will adhere to other laminates like stated above but I was just throwing another options out that may get the outcome your looking for.
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:07 PM   #4
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I had posted a thread about this process that I had done on my 72 Tradewind in the restoration forum. I didn't like the plastic look but didn't completely remove the look due to the trim and tambour. I'm not a carpenter but by taking it slow I was able to transform the look into real wood. Two things worked. Red Oak veneer and Minwax Provincial 215 stain. This was a very close match to the origami Maple simulation on the trailer.
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:13 PM   #5
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A few more pics. By doing a light sanding on the plastic laminate it's a good surface to glue on the Veneer. We also replaced a few of the Panels with 1/4" Red Oak as we wanted to change the opening in the curve to see the TV from the gaucho. Once we saw the improvement it was an easy decision to do the rest of the trailer. You can see in the pics where the old plastic maple look blends with the new wood.
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