I have some 25y old cabinets which are covered by what looks like a smooth brown paper made to look like wood.
It seems like painting this texture would be difficult.
Is there a process i could use or maybe a special paint that will adhere to this surface?
I can't be more serious when I say this. Do not paint over paper! I don't care what the professionals do on television. Take the paper off first. If you paint over the paper you risk the paint not adhering properly, or saturating the paper so it starts to bubble and/or peel, and there is always the seam that never goes unnoticed. What is on your cupboards sounds as though it may be a vinyl covering, and not even paper. Makes painting over it that much more tricky. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.