How to Cover Unfinished Edges of Melamine

Updated July 20, 2017

Whether you recently built a melamine bookshelf, or your kitchen cabinet needs repair, you can cover bare or damaged melamine edges using an edge banding tape. Banding tape can be purchased to match your furniture's colour. The underside of the tape is covered with a hot melt adhesive that will attach to melamine edges. Banding tape, in contrast to wood edging strips, can be applied quickly, and will give your shelf or cabinet a professional-looking finish.

Inspect the melamine edge you plan to cover. It should be smooth and free of deep saw grooves and splinters. Sand the edge to correct any blemishes, and wipe the edge with a damp rag. Allow the edge to dry.

Preheat a clothing iron on its highest setting.

Measure the length of the melamine edge. Choose an unblemished segment of edge banding tape, and cut it to a length 1/2 inch longer than the melamine edge.

Center the banding at one end of the melamine edge, and press is firmly against the edge using the iron. Immediately begin to move the iron along the edge of the melamine, centring the tape with your free hand as you go. Do not leave the iron in one place for too long. The tape may melt or burn. Continue adhering the tape to the melamine, until you reach the edge end.

Set the iron aside, and run the flat side of a chisel along the melamine edge, pressing firmly. Perform this action slowly to ensure the tape adheres, and is not damaged by the chisel.

Run your fingers along the tape, after it has cooled for a few minutes. Apply the heated iron to parts of the tape that have not adhered to the melamine edge. Press the tape with the flat side of the chisel.

Trim the excess tape at either end of the melamine edge, using the sharp edge of the chisel. Position the chisel edge perpendicular to the edge of the banding tape. Press the chisel into the side of the tape, at the edge of the melamine. Use short strokes to cut through the tape.

Sand along the sides and ends of the melamine edge gently, to remove excess adhesive and to square the edges.


Apply a hand roller to the banding tape along curved edges.

Things You'll Need

  • Edge banding tape
  • Tape measure
  • Sandpaper and sanding block, 120-grit
  • Rag
  • Clothes iron
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Sharp chisel
  • Hand roller (optional)
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About the Author

Adam Quinn has been writing since 2008. His articles have appeared in the "Journal of Humanistic Psychology." Quinn holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Washington in Seattle, where his focus of study was counseling combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.