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Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

May, 2004

Decorative Painting on Melamine

Q. My sister suggested that my mom paint her wooden table top with the extra melamine paint from her cupboards. She painted the table top with a semi gloss latex paint and then went onto paint a decorative finish on it. She then proceeded to put varnish on the table to protect it. It then turned the existing white paint yellow, so needless to say she isn't happy with the look now.

She told me about the melamine, and wanting to paint a decorative finish on it, but my concern was will it stick to this surface? And if it does, what do you seal it with? She again went to this varnish thing which I said not a good idea. I told her to hold off doing such a task until I could get her the proper way to do this. Thank you for your time and looking forward to your reply.

A. If melamine is a high pressure laminate used for counter tops, etc., then abrasion or sanding with 180 or 220 grit sanding paper will form a scratch or anchor pattern on the surface to be coated and decorated.

You have had some success with the latex paint but need a water white clear coating for the final seal coat. There are a few products available that are water base floor sealers with good clear non yellowing properties.

DEFT products make such a coating. They are a west coast vendor and do have a web site.

Best regards,

Tom Burke

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