Paint Finish on Melamine

Will paint adhere to melamine? With scuff sanding, yes, say people who have tried it. July 22, 2005

Is it possible to paint melamine? I have to make some painted cabinets, and I was thinking of using melamine particleboard. Another cabinetmaker said that he uses melamine and paints it. Is this possible? Any input would be appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor S:
Do you want to paint it because you want the interiors to be melamine?

From the original questioner:
I want to paint the interior a different color. It will be a bookshelf unit. The adjoining cabinets will have doors on them. I want all the cabinets to match in color. I could use wood or MDF, but I want to use melamine if possible.

From contributor J:
Have you tried adhering any material to a melamine surface? Its not a porous environment for any kind of covering.

From contributor D:
A scuff sanding of a melamine surface creates and excellent and paint able product.

From the original questioner:
I tried a test piece. I sanded the melamine with 220 and it sanded nice, then I applied two coats of acrylic lacquer. It seems to be working fine. I will let it set for a few days and see what happens.

From contributor P:
If you paint the melamine you'll still have an edge to deal with. Many people have had great results painting PB after priming with clawlock.

From the original questioner:
There wont be an edge to deal with if a face frame is used.

From contributor A:
Why use melamine if you want to paint it? I would suggest using MDF. They offer pre-primed stock, and if youre looking to save a step check with your supplier, using melamine for a core to paint seems like a lot more work than is needed.

From contributor P:
I use melamine to from time to time, but the best use I have found for it in my little shop is as work surfaces and platens in the vacuum bag. The reason for this is that it cleans really easy as very little adhesives sticks to it. You probably are going to have a problem with the finish pealing off. It may not happen right away, but it will happen soon.

From contributor T:
It works fine for us with some sanding on the surface to be painted. Our supplier also sells a 1-side melamine/1-side paint able panel that's great. Its great for applying HPL or veneer if desired.

From contributor M:
Given the proper time and money quantity, any of the major board manufacturers (Panolam, Uniboard, Tafisa, etc.) can produce melamine with one color on one face and a different color on the other face.

From contributor S:
To the original questioner: I love to paint over plastic since it is so stable compared to wood with regard to humidity, etc. But it has to be scuffed for the paint to adhere. Have you thought about using solid-color Formica to match your colors and solid color PVC tape to hide your black edges? You could easily have Formica pre-laminated to your board to take care of the interior color.

From the original questioner:
The color is a paint match and there is no laminate to match. I painted a test piece and it seems to adhere well and looks great.