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Which paint to use for melamine wardrobe

Posted 10th Apr 2014
Hi, I am painting my fitted melamine wardrobes from wood colour to white. I have a suitable primer ESP which I intend to use, but I am totally confused by which paint to buy.

I know I don’t want a matt finish or anything that will look dull, I like modern.
maybe Eggshell, Satin or SatinWood?
I do want one that will easily paint without leaving brush strokes and will dry quick and is durable. I am unsure whether to go for a special cupboard paint or regular and which finish or make/brand to buy. I don’t mind spending more for a better finish and/or requires less coats, but for any advise I would be most grateful. Thanks
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If you went with a matt colour, you can always put a coat of varnish on top to make it shine.
I would recommend eggshell. It will look much better though to apply about 3 very thin coats rather than one thick coat. Takes time but worth it. I sometimes apply paint with a small sponge roller as it goes on very quickly. The paint can then be smoothed out gently with a brush. Rollers can be found in pound shops.
ooh, subscribed. I'm really interested to see how this works out. Maybe take before/after pictures so if someone else is in the same position in the future, this thread would be a great help. The last thing I painted was a fake wood finish bathroom cabinet and used gloss paint straight on. Brush strokes were visible but it didn't bother me as was a temporary solution until I found a new cabinet that I liked. Good luck.
Give it a good sanding first to form a key for the paint to stick to. Use a small sponge roller much easier than a brush.
also consider FABLON. Looks perfect if applied correctly (use a fablon applicator -about £2 on ebay). Fablon would cost about £10 to do the entire wardrobe.
Try B & Q website - they have lots of specialist paints advertised
as it is melamine, use melamine paint!

1) Use melamine paint which is specially formulated for use in covering Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC). MFC paints are available in two main formulations. The first consists of a base coat or primer and then to paint your melamine wardrobes an MFC top coat or finishing coat. The second option is to use an MFC primer which allows for a water-based or solvent-based undercoat to be applied. Afterwards you can paint on the top coat of your choice. MFC primers and MFC top coats are available at all good DIY stores and are relatively inexpensive and easy to apply.

2) Before applying the MFC base coat it is advisable to give the door panel a light sanding with a fine grade sandpaper to give the surface a slight key. Even though the melemine panel is described as ‘matte white’ there is a slight sheen to the surface and a light sanding will remove this.

3) Once you have sanded all sides and edges to be painted we recommend that you wipe the door down with sugar soap and a soft cloth to clean and degrease the panels.

4) Prior to painting the door panels you can either mask the door frames with masking tape or take the doors apart. The doors are relatively simple to dis-assemble and put back together, however, we recommend reading the following article prior to dis-assembling your doors: How our sliding wardrobe doors are put together - coming soon. Please note: Wardrobe Doors Direct will not be held responsible for any damage or subsequent malfunction of the doors should you decide to take the doors apart.

5) Depending on the finish you require and the type of paint you decide to use it is possible to either spray paint the wardrobe doors with the final coat or use a small foam roller, which will produce a smooth, brushstroke-free finish. If you want to achieve a perfectly flat gloss finish it may be worth talking to your local garage/car bodyshop to see if they can spray paint the doors for you and finish them with a lacquer top coat.
- See more at: wardrobedoorsdirect.co.uk/hel…tml
Thank you ALL very much for all the replies.
I read as much as I could beforehand and it now seems eggshell seems to be the best option.

In other forums a paint called 'Farrow and Ball' eggshell estate is recommended but it cost £50+ for only 2.5 Litres which is alot !! (+ further bedrooms if all goes well and also considering the coats needed).
Another paint that is mentioned is Dulux trade Diamond eggshell which is also fairly expensive, but a little cheaper.

I will be priming with ESP so it should take most paints well (even non-cupboard paint) but the homebase and b&q websites seem to have mixed reviews on the bog standard dulux/crown paints and cupboard paints (or none at all) so it’s hard to get any solid recommendation on which to buy.
Any idea's? and is it worth paying so much more for these expensive paints?
Years ago I painted all my kitchen unit doors. I cleaned them with sugarsoap then just painted eggshell onto them. I didn't know that you needed "special" primer then paint... and those doors stayed painted for a full 12 years, being washed down regularly, not a chip on them or anything. Can you try some paint on a part of the wardrobe that won't be visible when it's all done, to try first? I think you could probably do it for a lot less money than is claimed.

p.s. I think Farrow & Ball is hugely overpriced for sub par paint (just my personal experience). I've always found Crown paint to be fine. Eggshell is matt though, I thought you didn't want matt effect?

I actually second the opinion of the person who has suggested that you use Fablon. Some of my family refurbished their kitchen cupboard doors using this and it was amazingly effective looking. I don't know why it isn't more popular than it is.

Id never heard of fablon before and sounds very good - I'd only ever heard of formica which is similar.
The Fablon sounds like a great idea, but there are grooves in the door panel and heavily grooved plinth with spotlights above wardrobe (attached) so I don't think it would be easy to achieve a good finish by myself.

The eggshell sounds good as its not completely matt/flat and seems to be recommended the most, im afraid now that a satin/silk may not look good.
Is it normal Crown emulsion you recommend? as they have so many types, quick dry, trade, oil, acrylic, for wood, walls & ceilings... Its sooo confusing.
and I just want white that will be good quality for the job i need.
Thanks Again
Really want to buy today if anyone can help recommend the type of paint, as they have so many types: quick dry, trade, oil based, water based, acrylic, for wood, walls & ceilings

Sorry Sandy, because you didnt quote me in your reply I didn't know that you had asked me a question. It was just ordinary eggshell I used, I think it was oil based, don't think you could get anything else when I bought it. It was the stuff you use to paint round windows and for skirting boards if you didn't want the high shine of gloss paint. It wasn't trade or anything.


Really want to buy today if anyone can help recommend the type of paint, … Really want to buy today if anyone can help recommend the type of paint, as they have so many types: quick dry, trade, oil based, water based, acrylic, for wood, walls & ceilings

I did use crown eggshell paint took 4 coats (after applying ESP) but it all worked out well and im pleased with the results, thanks to all
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