Painting Melamine Cabinets

by THAT Painter Lady

Hi, I have white laminated melamine (i guess, they’re not wood) cabinets. Can I paint these?

My contractor advised me against this 15 years ago. and now here I am with yellow dingy cabinets. any advice?

Thanks, liz

Painting over melamine is one of the toughest jobs to take on. I don’t want to discourage you, but I also don’t want to sugar coat it. It will be time consuming, expensive and it can be a nightmare. That being said, it is possible. Woo Hoo!!! So let’s “get your paint on”!!

To make sure the finish will last and not chip (this is the main problem with melamine paint jobs) you will first need to rough up the melamine with a 150 sandpaper or use a liquid deglosser or do both just to be sure!

Once it’s all scruffed up you need to wipe it CLEAN (you can use some TSP and then wash it again after that with just clean water). Now the really important part – use a *REALLY GOOD* bonding primer like Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams PrepRite or another top-end product (Zinzer makes one, too, I think).

When it’s time to finish you might want to add a paint conditioner (we like “Flotrol”) to your topcoat paint to make the application flow more smoothly (better finish).

I would HIGHLY recommend you go to a PRO-PAINT shop in your area (Dunn Edwards, Frazee, Sherwin Williams, etc.) and discuss this project with them. They’ll steer you to better grade paints which you’ll need for this project and a good finish since you’ll want to be able to scrub the cabinets when they get dirty.

HAZARD note: be careful disposing of your used TSP. If you pour this out on your grass it will kill it. Make sure you dilute the mixture ALOT and then dispose of it in accordance to your cities guidelines.

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