Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing
How to paint melamine cabinetryby Karl Fendelander
Face Your Kitchen Columnist
Melamine is particle board with a thermally fused, resin-saturated paper laminate that protects the core from moisture and makes it look nice. While it might not sound like the ideal material for making cabinets, melamine can be surprisingly strong and last for decades without warping or peeling when treated properly. Moisture is the bane of this popular and inexpensive material, which is why using it for kitchen cabinetry requires a little extra care. The laminate/finish does a great job of repelling water, but the exposed particle board soaks up water like a paper towel, which can result in peeling and, ultimately, messy structural failure.
It's not often that you get a genuine two-birds-with-one-stone solution, but painting melamine cabinetry is just that. Not only can you change the look and feel of your kitchen by painting, you can also dramatically increase your cabinetry's lifespan.
Painting melamine cabinetry the right way
When you paint melamine, you're adding another layer of moisture protection to the material. Make sure you repair any peeling laminate before you start painting--even the best paint job won't stop already-detached pieces of laminate from breaking off. Once everything's in tip-top shape, follow these steps:
Follow these directions and you can transform your melamine cabinets. If you're motivated and handy, you could take them from generic to uniquely yours in a weekend.