How to paint melamine kitchen cabinets

Updated February 21, 2017

Many people have dated and unattractive melamine cabinets. One affordable solution is to paint them. Painting melamine does pose some special challenges, but with the right products you can give your kitchen a fresh new look at a price you can afford.

Remove the doors of your cabinets, as well as all hardware and hinges, using a screwdriver. Store all hardware together to avoid difficulty when you are done painting your melamine cabinets.

Clean all surfaces to be painted with trisodium phosphate following the manufacturer's instructions. This will remove any dirt or grease residue and prepare the surfaces for priming.

Sand the melamine cabinets with 120-grit sandpaper. You are not attempting to remove the melamine surface, but just rough it up a bit to help the primer adhere properly. Wipe with a tack cloth to remove dust.

Use a roller to apply primer. Allow to dry thoroughly. If needed, apply a second coat. The final surface should be quite smooth.

Roll speciality melamine paint onto your cabinets. Depending upon the paint you choose, you will need one to two coats of melamine paint. Reinstall the cabinet doors and hardware.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Clean rags
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Rollers and trays
  • High-adhesion oil-based primer
  • Melamine paint
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About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.