Painting Melamine Cabinet Doors and Drawers

Sep 2


John Greyling

John Greyling

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

It’s never been easier to change the tone and color of your kitchen by following the painting melamine cabinets mini-course offered by

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}

Melamine paint is urethane reinforced oil based paint which can usually be applied to a multitude of surfaces like laminates,Painting Melamine Cabinet Doors and Drawers Articles plastic, fiberglass, glass, and even ceramics. This article will answer your questions on how to paint cabinets that are not wood, as well as what primer and paint to use, and steps to take in order to do it. Some paint experts believe that paint can be directly applied onto a pre-cleaned surface without using a primer, others believe that kitchen cabinets should be cleaned with a detergent, lightly sanded, giving the paint a grip, and washed over with a trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner and then left to dry before painting. One supplier goes as far as to say that by applying a coat of a multi-surface primer first before using the one coat goes a long way to improving the performance of the melamine paint.

Step-by-step guide on how to paint melamine doors and drawers

  • Protect your floors by laying down plastic sheets.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands.
  • Ventilation is paramount. Open windows to facilitate drying.
  • Remove cabinet doors to a place where you can paint them horizontally and leave them to dry.
  • Remove the knobs and pulls and put them in a safe place – unless you’re buying new ones.
  • Clean and remove grease from surfaces and let them dry well.
  • Follow the instructions for mixing TSP with water and wash the surface. Allow a few hours to dry.
  • Remove dust and dirt hidden in corners and thoroughly sand the surface. Apply the primer with a 80 to 100 grit sandpaper.
  • Apply one coat of primer and allow the cabinets to dry. This should be a high quality product which provides good adhesion for the top coat. Drying should take around four hours. This is an important part of the process. Make sure there’s no one in the house where you’re working.
  • Lightly sand the surface of the primer with a 240 or finer grit sand paper.
  • Take a natural bristle brush and apply the melamine paint with smooth up and down strokes for an even sheen finish. (Some suppliers recommend using a foam brush or a high density foam roller).
  • Best results are achieved by painting three thin coats instead of one or two thick coats, allowing for plenty of drying time between coats.
  • When painting over a dark color, apply two coats anyway. Dry for at least sixteen hours before applying the second coat. Allow the drying period of sixteen hours and a bit more before you re-hang the kitchen cabinet doors. 
Note that complete drying is necessary for the best results and that it will be worth it. Bear in mind too that most melamine paints might be touch dry in a couple of hours, but will not be completely set for a few days, so let it dry longer before remounting the doors and wait until they are totally set.