How to Paint Melamine Doors

Updated November 21, 2016

Melamine is a plastic-type laminate that is often applied to cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms. Available in various colours, melamine is often chosen for its easy cleaning and durability. However, changing the colour in a kitchen by painting melamine cabinet doors requires some preparation so that the new paint colour of choice will adhere to the laminate material.

Spread newspaper or a tarp on a suitable work surface. Remove the cabinet doors from the cabinets with a screwdriver. Remove hinges and handles from the melamine cabinet doors and place the doors on the prepared work surface.

Put on a pair of gloves to protect your hands while working. Pour denatured alcohol on a rag and wipe down the melamine cabinet door to remove grease and dirt.

Dip a rag into trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner. Wipe the entire melamine surface to be painted with the TSP cleaner. Allow the cabinet door to dry for 30 minutes before proceeding.

Sand the melamine cabinet door with 80-grit sandpaper to roughen the surface in preparation for painting. Wipe sanding dust from the door with a damp rag.

Apply a coat of melamine primer to the prepared melamine cabinet door. Use a foam brush to apply an even coat of primer to the entire surface of the door. Allow 4 hours of drying time for the primer before continuing.

Sand the primer on the melamine cabinet door lightly with 240-grit sandpaper. Wipe sanding dust from the door with a damp rag.

Apply melamine paint, in the colour of choice, to the primed and sanded melamine cabinet door with a foam brush. Apply a thin coat of paint and allow to dry for up to 16 hours depending on the manufacturer's instructions.

Apply two more thin coats of paint, allowing up to 16 hours of drying time between coats. Allow up to three days of drying time after the final coat of paint is applied before reattaching and using the cabinet doors as normal.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Screwdriver
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Rag
  • Trisodium phosphate cleaner
  • Sandpaper (80 and 240 grits)
  • Melamine primer
  • Foam brush
  • Melamine paint
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About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.