How To Paint Melamine Cupboards

painting melamine cupboards

One of the main pieces of feedback I received in regards to the Revamp Restyle Reveal project was how I was going to tackle the dreaded built in wardrobe dilemma. If you remember (or if you don't you can read all about it here!) I really disliked these cream veneered built-in wardrobes that we inherited with the house:


The wardrobes just did not work with the room, stood out and I felt they were an eyesore. I'd spent the past couple of years really trying to decide what to do with them. I spoke to some very much in-the-know people (such as Oliver Thomas from the Great Interior Design Challenge) about what to do with them and they all told me to paint them in the same as the wall colour. The idea was that they would 'blend in' a lot more.

Even though I knew deep down this was the best idea, I was really scared of painting them. They get a lot of use, and I didn't want to regret painting them if they started to chip a few weeks down the line.

I spent a decent amount of time on the internet on other blogs and builder forums trying to find out the best way to paint melamine with a successful outcome. I knew it could be done, but I had to get it right first time. All tradespeople seemed convinced that Zinsser B-I-N was the ultimate primer for melamine to make an eggshell paint adhere to the surface with no chipping, so along with some Earthborn paint in eggshell I set about painting my melamine wardrobes in the same colour as the walls.

painting melamine cupboards

To make sure all the prep was 100% perfect, I first washed down the cupboard with sugar soap so there was not any grease or grime to cause any issues. I usually hate this job making sure I have clean enough rags, spray sugar soap and a washing up bowl to wash off the sugar soap, but I discovered sugar soap cleaning wipes recently and they are a game-changer! They make life so much easier as you use a wipe until it is used up and then dispose of it for a new one.

painting melamine cupboards

One the cupboards were dry, I taped off the sections I did not want to be painted with a low tack tape, then applied 3 coats of Zinsser B-I-N with a special furniture door and cupboard set roller. I used this pack of two rollers for the primer and the eggshell paint and I really felt they made a real difference to the application rather than using basic mini paint rollers. If you are painting any furniture, I would highly suggest using these for a smoother paint finish.

Zinsser B-I-N feels quite thin when you apply it, but it starts to thicken and really sticks very very quickly. If you find it too thin at first, pour some in a paint tray and leave it for 5 or 10 minutes for a thicker application. I left 24 hours between each application.

painting melamine cupboards

I then applied two coats of eggshell over the B-I-N and that was the wardrobes done! I think they blend in so much better now they are the same colour as the walls and so far so good - they do not look like they will chip at all! I wish I had painted them sooner!


* Tor Coatings did send me the Zinsser B-I-N as a gift to use for this project, but this is not an a paid ad- simply a review! Please note that this post does contain some affiliate links.