Can You Paint Melamine With Chalk Paint?

So you’re here because you want to paint some melamine with chalk paint, but you are not sure how well it will work. Well, there is only one way we can figure this out for sure, test it! I grabbed a melamine sample square and a tin of Rustoleum chalk paint and did some painted. I then tested how well the paint had stuck to the melamine.

Painting Melamine With Chalk Paint

As is said before I will be using Rustoleum chalk paint to test whether you can paint melamine. Below you can see the melamine sample I will be painting.

The Melamine before being painted
The Melamine before being painted

On one side of the melamine, I will lightly sand using 120 grit sandpaper. This is to test whether sanding the melamine makes a difference to adhesion. On the other side, I will just paint straight onto the melamine.

Melamine after being painted
Melamine after being painted

So here is the melamine after it has been painted with chalk paint. So far so good, the paint has gone on really well. It has covered the melamine well, even with just a single coat of chalk paint.

After the Paint Has Dried

I left the sample for around a week to allow it to fully cure and properly harden. This is what it looked like.

The Chalk Paint After Having Time to Fully Dry
The Chalk Paint After Having Time to Fully Dry

You can see the finish isn’t perfect but that is more on me than the paint. I wasn’t aiming for perfection, rather I was just trying to test whether it would work.

What I would say is that applying the chalk paint with a roller worked well. The roller left a little bit of texture in the paint but this blended in really well to the melamine surface texture.

Scratch Testing Chalk Paint on Melamine

Now comes the real test of chalk paint on melamine, I will attempt to scratch the paint off the melamine to see how well it has adhered.

For this test, I grabbed a large price of rough-cut c16 timber and rubbed it across the melamine surface. This is a really tough test to see how well the paint has adhered to the melamine.

I feel that rough cut c16 timber is a good test medium as it is not too hard but not too soft. If I used something really hard like metal then not much would stand up to it and the test would be pointless.

On the other hand, if I used something too soft it would never scratch anything and again it would be pointless.

After Scratch Test
After Scratch Test

You can see a huge difference here between the sanded and unsanded sides of the melamine. The unsanded side has come off really easily, I think it is fair to say this hasn’t worked at all.

If you are going to paint melamine with chalk paint then you definitely need to sand it first. I would actually recommend going a step further however and sand the melamine and then prime it with something like Zinsser BIN primer.

Shellac Base
Zinsser B-i-n Primer & Sealer 1Ltr
Buy Now On Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. This helps fund the Bloke Cave and allows us to create epic projects!
10/18/2021 12:03 pm GMT
Photo of author

Sam Wood

Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!

Leave a comment