I live in a subdivision were the original builder used some cheap white RTF cabinets in all our kitchens. There is no brand name and no way of figuring out who made them. I switched out my cabinets two years ago and built cherry cabinets. My neighbors love them but afford to replace theirs. So being a "cabinet guy" they have asked if there is anything I can do to make their doors look right. The problem is that they are discoloring. Most of the doors have turned to various shades of yellowish-white. If you live in the south I'm sure you've seen this with cheap quality melamine doors that went into houses here in the mid-90's.
Short of replacement with new doors and some boxes (some exposed ends turned as well) can you apply a new finish over the existing doors and have it bond to the melamine and be somewhat durable? Note: the melamine is still bonded well to the substrate it was wrapped over.
Two thoughts I have are:
1.) Clean, spray white vinyl sealer, topcoat with non-yellowing acrylic lacquer.
2.) Clean, spray Bin-zin white pigmented shellac, topcoat with non-yellowing acrylic lacquer.
I know the Bin-zin will stick to just about anything, however, I was thinking that a good vinyl sealer might adhere to an RTF door and allow for top-coating. Can anyone out there come up with an inexpensive solution to this problem?
From contributor V:
Actually melamine doors are good substrates provide you clean them well and scuff a little. You can successfully paint over them with many modern finish products. I am particularly impressed with XIM's UMA (urethane modified acrylic bonding primer). I have done this on many occasions.
I often do a faux woodgrain look and sometimes add distressing. I have also faux finished melamine parts to blend with wood cabinetry. Sometimes edge areas will be loose and I have used heat (carefully) or added titebond and clamping to re-stick the melamine.