Painting a melamine wardrobe - Cabinet Coat?

divamumMarch 6, 2008

Hi all -

I need to paint an Ikea birch melamine wardrobe white, and I'm pretty clueless! I've searched in here and on ikeafans and am gathering it's possible and that Cabinet Coat (or similar product) is the way to go, but I'm still having trouble finding a basic "How to paint melamine for dummies" post or thread. By all means point me towards one if it's out there!

Specific questions:

- does one have to sand?

- does one have to prime?

- how many coats?

- does one use a sealer over it?

The wardrobes are attached into two corners, so I only need to paint the doors and one side of each (removing them would be challenging and probably result in their destruction since they're particleboard under the laminate and we had some issues when we installed them which caused some damage on teh hidden sides against the walls!)

Any pointers would be warmly welcomed - if this can actually WORK, it will save me hundreds of dollars and be a wonderful interim fix until we can fully remodel the room in question as we hope to do eventually.

Thanks so much!

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adhesion is the main concern here. Best practice would be to prime with a high adhesion primer/bonder like UMA or 400W and then topcoat with a high quality enamel. Prep by cleaning with TSP or substitute. Light scuff sand and clean with a tack rag wouldn't hurt. Tip- you can find 400W or UMA aerosols at a professional paint store but not any of the big boxes.

The advantage of using a primer/bonder is that it bonds to the melamine and chemically reacts with the topcoat to give you a durable system.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 5:04PM
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Ok, when I said "For Dummies", I meant it. I'm not sure I understood your response (although I do appreciate you taknig the time to post it!)

- is the high adhesion primer BEFORE Cabinet Coat (which I understood from the limited amount I could find out about it is designed to go over laminates), or is this an alternative way of painting them using different compounds?

- I was assuming I would brush paint them - I suppose spraying them in situ would be possible but, given their location, not easy (and it would be tricky to successfully protect everything around them even with good taping and tarps, although mabye I'm just being a pessimist there and that would simply be case of being ultracareful).

Again, my apologies for dufus n00b questions - all assistance gratefully received!

Thanks in advance :)

PS I'm assuming that TSP is turpentinte? Tx.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 5:56PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

1. Wash the surface with Dirtex or Jasco TSP substitute. Cleanliness is required.
2. Sand with #180 sanding sponge until dull. Wipe away dust.
3. Prime with Zinsser Bulls Eye 1 2 3 waterbased primer.
4. Apply two coats of Cabinet Coat.

Let dry 72 hours before using.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 8:42PM
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Thank you so much for the info! That's exactly the kind of step-by-step I need.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 9:04PM
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I am a newbie painter and just finished redoing an IKEA toddler bed with white Cabinet Coat.

Just FYI from my experience...don't go heavy-handed on either the Zin 123 primer or CC if you are painting a vertical surface. I did this and it really sagged...had to sand the whole thing and start over!!

If you can, position the cabinet so the surfaces you are painting are horizontal, and do two less-heavy-handed coats of CC instead of trying to get it covered in one coat.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 7:14PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

When painting, vertical or horizontal surfaces, two thinner coats are always better than one.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 8:40PM
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Hi - Not sure if this is what you want to know, but I successfully painted the birch interior of IKeA Pax closets. Here's how I did it. First I scuff sanded to create a rougher surface to hold the paint. I used 120 grit discs on an orbital sander (deWalt is my brand). I just went lightly over the surface to rough it up. I used sheets of same by hand in the corners and places my sander wouldnt reach. Then I painted *2* coats of primer using BM Freshstart tinted to my final color. I applied these using an inexpensive home HVLP spray painter called Wagner FineCoat. I paid about $75 for a reconditioned one from Gleem paint online. This was fantastic. Quick to paint, no brush marks, easy to learn how from the included instructions. The finecoat is the best painting equipment investment I've made. Then it took only one coat of BM pearl finish interior paint to finish, again sprayed. After that dried, just to be sure that the finish lasted, I rubbed on a coat of Lawrence-McFadden gel poly. Maybe the poly wasn't absolutely necessary but I did it anyway and it hardly took any time. I didn't want the edges of the closet painted (I stained these to match the stain I used on the doors), so I masked them with green Frog Tape, which gave me no paint leak-thrus.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 12:14AM
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Whenever I use CC, I load the brush at about half to 2/3 what I would if it were 'regular' latex paint. If it's put on too heavy, you'll be chasing runs and drips down everywhere since it's self-leveling. Always figure on two coats of CC at minimum on a previously white or primed surface. My cabinets took more, but less layered is better than more at one time. ;)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 6:24AM
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Did you have any problem using latex paint in the HVLP? The Wagner FineCoat is rated for varnishes, oil enamels and other thin coatings, not latex. I'm just wondering because I've considered buying one. Thanks,


    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 1:49PM
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