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Old 04-10-2014, 07:20 AM   #1
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1962 24' Tradewind
St. Petersburg , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 40
Refacing of Original Cabinets-Has anyone done this?

Hello Airstream friends,
In June in will be one year since I purchased my 1962 Trade Wind. The progress has been slow going but in that time we have replaced the floor, put in a new junction box (dedicating the old roof top AC wiring to its own breaker), recovered the center bed upholstery and repaired most of the windows (leaving the front one plexi-would like to know everyone's thoughts on that)
But my question today to pose to the masses is this: When I got the trailer the original cabinets were in tact but some suffered a lot of (from the bottom up) delamination of the original wood veneer and some (like the kitchen base cabinet was completely rotten at the base of the frame-necessitating it to be rebuilt). I'd like to not take out the cabinets as I don't want to open up a "can of worms" and I don't have the skill set to put them back. We did remove the kitchen cabinet, exposing the backside of the bedroom wall, we also had to remove the narrow pantry closet exterior wall that was up against the fridge, so those two are gone, but everything else is structurally sound but with pealing veneer from lack of property maintenance and neglect through the years. I found an awesome environmentally friendly real wood veneer laminate (the brand is Treefrog) that is Amazing looking. I'd like to "reface" all of the doors, and frames/boxes. Has anyone done this before? Is there any reason this can't be done without removing cabinets & walls? Doors of course can come off easily.
Thank you for any thoughts.
Mary in St. Petersburg, FL
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:30 AM   #2
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1996 34' Excella
Elberta , Alabama
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My thoughts are, if the veneer is delaminated, you won't solve the problem by putting new veneer over the delaminated doors and drawers. If it were me, I'd "bite the bullet" and either make new cabinets, or have them made....
Just my opinion, but it seems like there is never the time nor the money to do the job, but there's always time and money to do it over....
Larry
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:05 AM   #3
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1962 24' Tradewind
Buffalo , Wyoming
Join Date: May 2012
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I think Larry is right. There has to be a solid, level foundation for the veneer to attach to. If you think you can achieve that with the cabinets in place, you might be OK. However, it'd probably be a lot more work doing it that way than removing the cabinets. With the pantry and kitchen cabinets already removed, you're nearly half done. OK, maybe a third. It would also make plumbing and electrical upgrades much easier.

I have the same trailer as you. I got my cabinets all reinstalled last fall. It really wasn't that bad. The toughest part was getting the closets and walls pushed back into the slots on the walls. Since then I've read some tips on the forums to make that easier. Removing them will give you a lot more options for repairs.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:00 AM   #4
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1973 25' Tradewind
Beautiful , Oregon
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All good advice. You should probably remove them if there is a lot of rot. It will be hard to sand in place to clean up the dirtiest places that is down loan against the floor. It should be clean to have the adhesive stick. You will also be working with the cabinets vertically and whatever glue you use will be messy. If it contact cement you have one chance to get the veneer in the correct place. Then you have to trim up with usually a router again against gravity and you will hit the floor with as you try to trim the lower area. Anyway it would probably be best to pull them. Take a picture at every step you won't believe how helpful it will be. Be prepared how dirty it will look behind the cabinet. Anyway good luck and ask questions of us as you go.

Tony
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:34 PM   #5
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1970 27' Overlander
1970 21' Globetrotter
Hamilton , Montana
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Any imperfection in the old plywood will telegraph through the new veneer. If you buy new 1/4" plywood something to note is there may be a ply of particle board just under the veneer on both sides adding weight and also if bumped at a corner it breaks off easily so try to find plywood without the particle board.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:05 AM   #6
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Portsmouth , Virginia
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If what is left is sound, but with some loose veneer, you could re-glue the loose veneer and then apply over that. How good it will look, I can't really say. It would all depend on your skills and the condition of the cabinetry. Why don't you post some pictures so we can get a better idea of what you are dealing with.

I'm in the process of "refacing" the cabinetry in my kitchen area. I'm replacing the dark aluminum frame formica wood with some cherry veneer plywood for the doors and some thin cherry stock for the frame dividers. I'll also be replacing the tambour doors as well but that is probably a project for later this summer after we get some camping time in. One thing to keep in mind with plywood is how to deal with the edges. Some folks don't mind seeing the exposed inner plys on the edge, and I think some of the earlier trailers did just that. I like a more finished look so I wrap them in some solid stock and overlap the front a bit.

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After: (in progress)
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:04 AM   #7
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1996 34' Excella
Elberta , Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdod25 View Post
Any imperfection in the old plywood will telegraph through the new veneer. If you buy new 1/4" plywood something to note is there may be a ply of particle board just under the veneer on both sides adding weight and also if bumped at a corner it breaks off easily so try to find plywood without the particle board.
Easy fix on that.....buy 1/4 inch Apple Ply, or baltic birch, take it to a cabinet shop and ask them to sand it to 180 or 220 grit, both sides. There is no "filler" in these products.
Also, don't forget to apply veneerto both sides of the panels.

For whatever it's worth.

Larry
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Old age is coming at a really bad time!

1996 34' Excella 1000, interior totally redone, 2003 Dodge/Cummins HO, U.S. Gear exhaust brake, Diablo tuner, 115 gallon aux fuel, Bedslide, Airsafe/Reese Dual Cam, and a bunch of other stuff
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