How to Paint Melamine Furniture

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Paint Melamine Furniture
Paint Melamine Furniture (Image: Jonae Fredericks)

Melamine is a strong resin that is commonly used to create furniture, cabinets, counter tops and whiteboards. Made of a combination of urea and formaldehyde, melamine is widely used in the production of Formica. Melamine's heat-resistant nature makes it suitable for counter tops and other kitchen surfaces that are sometimes exposed to high heat. Melamine furniture is molded under high pressure, which makes it highly durable and ideal for industrial and commercial use.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish detergent
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Painter tape
  • Foam rollers
  • Melamine primer
  • Melamine paint
  • Mineral spirits

Clean the surface of the melamine furniture thoroughly with dish soap and water. Dip a sponge into the soap and water solution and give the furniture a good scrubbing. It is important to remove any grime, dirt, or dust accumulation that may interfere with the bonding of the paint. Dry thoroughly.

Sand the surface of the melamine with fine grit sandpaper. The idea is to roughen up the surface slightly, to make the paint adhere better. A light rubbing is all that is necessary; 220-grit sandpaper should be sufficient.

Mask off the areas that you do not want painted, such as hinges and handles, with painter tape. Ideally, you can remove these items with a screwdriver and replace them when the paint has dried. If you do choose to remove them, place them together in a small plastic bag for safe keeping.

Prime the melamine furniture with a coat of melamine primer paint. Use a foam roller to apply the melamine primer and apply smoothly and evenly. One coat should be all that is necessary.

Allow the melamine primer to dry thoroughly and follow up with a coat of paint color. You should apply the melamine paint product of the color of your choice with a sponge.

Allow the first coat of paint to dry thoroughly and apply the second coat. Once dry, you can remove the painters tape or re-attach the hardware that was removed.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are paints and primers on the market that are specifically designed to be used on melamine surfaces. These products can be found in your local hardware store.
  • Melamine paint will take about a week to completely dry to a hard finish. If you are painting cabinets or shelves, you should wait the full drying time before placing objects onto the surface. Because melamine paint is oil based mineral spirits will be necessary for cleaning the rollers.

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