How to paint melamine or laminate surfaces

How to paint melamine or laminate surfaces

Kate, Flooring Expert, Swansea

Guide written by:

Kate, Flooring Expert, Swansea

If you're hoping to paint a melamine or laminate surface, it's important to understand the features of the material and stick to a few specific steps. It's also essential to use the right tools and equipment including special laminate or melamine paint. Read on to find out how to paint a melamine or laminate surface.

Important features

  • Prepare the furniture
  • Apply a primer
  • Sand the primer
  • Apply the paint
  • Leave to dry and clear up your workspace
Shop our furniture paint

Can I paint over old melamine furniture?

Whether you're working with a tight budget or you simply want to avoid chucking out old furniture and buying new pieces, giving your melamine-faced furniture a makeover can be a great idea. Over time, these ever-popular furniture pieces can start to show the effects of age and can end up looking a bit dated. Luckily, upcycling has been on the rise for a few years now and a new range of paints is available to help. With just a bit of hard work, your old furniture can be given a new lease of life!

Ideally, you should repaint the entire surface to give your furniture a fresh look. However, it's up to you whether you want to leave any interior parts as they are – provided they are not on show – or paint them. Finally, be sure to pick the right colour because melamine furniture cannot be repainted a number of times.

Steps

  1. Prepare the furniture

  2. Apply a primer

  3. Sand the primer

  4. Apply the paint

  5. Leave to dry and clear up your workspace

Required skills

Required skills

No special skills are required to paint furniture made of melamine or other laminates. A bit of elbow grease and patience is all you need!

Time required

Required time

It all depends on the type of furniture you have, the number of coats it requires and the drying time of the paint.

Number of people required

Number of people required

1 person

Safety wear

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Please note: this is a non-exhaustive list; be sure to match your personal protective equipment to the job at hand.

Explore the ManoMano catalog
Sponges

1. Prepare the melamine furniture

Cleaning and degreasing the furniture

-

Preparation is key. Old furniture that has already had a life will be covered with micro dust particles and don't even get us started on the amount of grease that can accumulate on kitchen furniture...! It is essential to eliminate all built-up dirt and grease from furniture before repainting. But the process is easy – simply take a sponge and a grease-cutting cleaner, scrub, rinse well and leave to dry. There's no need to strip furniture unless it's made of solid wood.

Ammonia diluted in water works really well as a degreaser, as does acetone. However, these products do release harmful fumes so protect yourself with a mask and wear gloves.

Cover up surrounding areas

Before repainting kitchen wall units, use masking tape to cover up any areas you don't want to paint such as worktops, handles (if they cannot be removed) and the surrounding wall.

2. Apply a primer

-

Applying a primer or undercoat is optional and depends on the type of paint you have chosen for your furniture.

Lots of different types of paint have been specially formulated to repaint furniture and some come with primers as part of the formula. This saves you carrying out this step and saves on drying time.

Undercoats or primers should be applied in exactly the same way as ordinary paint as described below. Undercoats are usually white but will be covered up by the top coat.

Explore the ManoMano catalog
Furniture paint

3. Sand the primer

-

For a perfect finish, you'll need to apply two coats of paint. Both coats should be applied in exactly the same way. It is essential to stick to the drying times set out by the manufacturer and to leave the paint to dry between coats.

Before applying your top coat paint, lightly sand down the undercoat to help the paint to adhere better. Next, dust down the entire surface.

4. Apply the paint

-
  • Use a paint mixer to mix the paint then pour it into a paint tray.

  • Start by painting the edges and corners using an edging paint brush.

  • Then use a small roller to apply the rest in overlapping strokes working vertically and then horizontally to spread the paint as best as possible. Be sure to apply the paint evenly.

  • Finish by going over the area vertically once again.

For the second coat, start from the beginning and repeat all steps. Before applying the second coat, sand down the surface and dust once more.

Explore the ManoMano catalog
Paint rollers

5. Leave to dry and clear up your workspace

-

The length of time you need to leave the paint to dry between coats depends on the type of paint used. On average, you should expect to wait around six hours. Once you're done, remove the masking tape and clean up any spots where you've gone over the tape. You can choose from a range of accessories to finish off your furniture makeover whether you're renovating kitchen, bathroom or living room furniture. Finally, you can even fit out the interior of the unit with accessories like organisers.

 
Shop our furniture paint

Guide written by:

Kate, Flooring Expert, Swansea

Kate, Flooring Expert, Swansea

Flooring is my life. I love what I do, and I've been doing it for as long as I can remember. So, I'm not bragging when I tell you I know all there is to know about every flooring product. From laminate, parquet and linoleum to PVC, carpeting and tiling, my workdays are spent learning about manufacturing processes, composition, performance, laying techniques and maintenance methods. I've certainly seen my share of mistakes made on construction sites because of what was essentially a lack of information or understanding of the product. Flooring elements are constantly evolving and being improved upon - even us pros can find it hard to keep up! Some of us in the industry use language that is overly technical or loaded with jargon you'd have to be an expert to understand. What's more, flooring salespeople are often so focused on closing the sale that they don't take the time to explain the products in any detail. That's why I want to pass on my knowledge in a way that's clear and accessible, and maybe a bit fun too. Because flooring shouldn't be a chore!

  • Millions of products

  • Delivery to your home or click & collect

  • Hundreds of dedicated experts online