Taking paint off melamine

The question of the day was can I strip paint off of melamine? The answer was kind of.

This is not my favourite piece of furniture. (Not the TV. I love my TV. My problem’s with the TV stand.)

TV stand

I attempted to build it when we lived at our old house. We had gotten a new TV. We needed a TV stand. I had some white melamine left over. So I sliced it up and went to work.

Cutting went fine.

Assembling not so much.

I didn’t have the right tools or fasteners and as my rocky, shaky shelf collapsed for about the fifth time, I called my Dad.

My Dad and I knocked it together in no time, but when I painted it I ran into trouble again.

My roller was disintegrating as I painted, and I ended up with all kinds of bits stuck to my shelf. It didn’t improve with time. The dark brown paint showed dust really easily, and when I tried to wipe it down, the dust just got caught in the flecks and it looked even worse. Believe it or not, this is the bottom shelf after I’d wiped it down.

Dust stuck in bumpy paint

I decided to include the TV stand as part of my bookshelf makeover this month. I’m not planning to strip the paint off of all the bookshelves, but the finish on the TV stand was just too awful. I needed a fresh start.

I went with my usual chemical stripper, and it worked pretty well. The stripper made quick work of the paint, even though it’s a heavy-duty oil-based enamel. The stripper also took off the white coating on the melamine. I’m not too worried because I’m going to be repainting, but the finish was a little bit rough. I went over it with my sander to smooth everything out. It may not look great, but I think it’s going to be okay.

Stripping paint off melamine

This week my Dad and I are tackling the rest of the shelves. We’ll be cutting down, putting back together and adding trim. Painting will come soon after. The TV stand should be looking much better the next time you see it. Maybe I’ll even like it by that point.

Have you ever tried to take paint off of melamine? Have you ever painted melamine in the first place? It’s not that hard to do… as long as your equipment is half decent. Has anyone else run into problems with disintegrating rollers? Do you have a piece of furniture that you don’t love?


6 thoughts on “Taking paint off melamine

  1. Try this link for instructions on prepping and painting melamine. http://www.ehow.com/how_5755533_paint-melamine-surface.htmlnting

    disintegrating rollers: The solvent in the paint is dissolving the fibers in the roller. Make sure the roller material is compatible with the type of paint you are using. With latex paint use a roller with synthetic fibers. Some oil based and especially lacquer based paints require a roller with wool fibers. Lacquer paints are not good for rolling or brushing because of the very quick drying time. The type of paint you used may also dissolve the resin based melamine. Hope this helps. Good Luck!

  2. Sounds like a trying journey! I think your TV stand has the potential to be very nice, and it’s custom sized to your needs. Are you going to paint it white, like the other bookshelves?

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