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How to Paint Melamine

Painting Melamine is always a tricky task. The shiny, plastic surface doesn’t allow the paint to stick to it too well. This doesn’t mean it isn’t possible though, just that it will require a little extra prep work to get right.

Can You Paint Melamine?

Yes, it is possible to paint melamine. You will just need to prep it correctly. This includes sanding and using a high-quality primer before finally painting it. I like to use Zinsser B-I-N as my primer of choice.

How To Paint Melamine

So we go with the step by step instructions on how you too can paint melamine.

Step one – Sanding

We start by sanding down the existing melamine surface. One of the reasons melamine is so tricky to paint is that it has a very glossy top layer. Paint doesn’t like to stick to anything glossy as a general rule of thumb.

So by sanding down the melamine we give our primer a better surface to key to.

I recommend just using a medium to high grit paper here, the one I used was 120 grit. We are just trying to scuff the surface up here.

The old laminate sanded down

The old laminate sanded down

If you were to use rough paper you could leave gouges on the surface which would still show through your paint.

Step 2 – Clean

Now that we have sanded the surface we need to remove all of the dust caused by sanding. Use a wet rag and give it a really good clean.

If you are painting a kitchen worktop like I am then it is a really good idea to go hard here. You don’t want any grease or the like hanging about and ruining your paint job.

cleaned up after sanding

cleaned up after sanding

Step 3 – Mask up

Now you need to mask off all of the edges. If you are confident in your painting abilities then you don’t need to do this step. I, however, am a very messy painter, so I definitely need the help of some masking tape.

Step 4 – Prime

Now we need to put down a primer before painting with the actual topcoat we want. I am using Zinsser B-I-N for this. B-I-N is a very high-quality primer that actually sticks very well to glossy surfaces and laminates.

I tested all of the Zinsser primers in this article if you are interested.

One coat of primer

One coat of primer

I actually ended up adding three coats of primer. I am going for a drastic colour change here, from black to a concrete effect. So I wanted to get a nice even white base to start from.

Two coats of primer

Two coats of primer

Step 5 – Top Coat

Now we need to let the primer properly dry before we can add our final top coat of paint.

I went with spray paint for my topcoat. It is a concrete effect paint from Rustoleum. Because I was spray painting I needed to take the masking up a notch to make sure I didn’t inadvertently paint anything.

Taped up ready for spray paint

Taped up ready for spray paint

first coat of spray paint

first coat of spray paint

I added a couple of coats of this concrete effect paint to make sure everything was properly covered.

You can’t really see the effect in the above photo but as you can see in the below image there are actually lots of little speckles in this paint which make it look more like concrete.

Close up of the concrete effect paint

Close up of the concrete effect paint

Step 6 – Sealing (optional)

Now that you have painted your worktop you may need to seal the paint. This will depend on what paint you used and also what final look you are aiming for.

If sealing you have a couple of options, there are food safe lacquers that you can spray onto your worktop. Or you could do what I did and add a little epoxy resin for a really glossy finish.

with epoxy over the top to seal

with epoxy over the top to seal

scribblechick

Thursday 24th of March 2022

The epoxy resin looks gorgeous! I didn't even know that's a thing. Love the glossy look. Thank you for sharing your expertise.