View Full Version : White Melamine - touch up

06-09-2002, 10:15 PM
I am in the middle of a large storage cabinet job for a customer.

I did a lot of cutting and dado work on the 3/4 " white melamine for this job, and for the most part - it looks pretty good. I do, however, have some chipping of the white surface when I did my dado's (they were freshly sharpened blades), and I'm not going to trash them because of it. They're not that bad, but I want to do a flawless as possible job for these people, as I can get a lot of "word of mouth" work out of them, from people that live in a well to do area. I am making a custom Oak Cabinet/bookcase for them when this is finished as well.

How do I touch up melamine so it doesn't look like a "cheesy" touch up job?

All suggestions are welcome.


Chris Moore
06-10-2002, 07:46 PM
There is actually a melamine paint. It is easier to find in England than here in the U.S. In fact, the only source I could find in North America, when this question came up a few months ago, was in Canada. Check with a local specialty paint store. They might be able to order it for you. You might also try a local production cabinet shop to see if they have a source. I had good luck using automotive touch up paint on some white melamine cabinets I made. It's thick and meant to fill small dings, do it will fill the chipped areas. None of the places I used it were easily visible, so you might want to test a piece if where you'll be using it is observable by the casual viewer.

Chris Moore
Montgomery, AL

"... and remember, there is no more important safety rule than to wear these - safety glasses."

06-11-2002, 08:50 PM
Thanks Chris.

My neighbor is an auto body repair guy. I'll give him a sample of the melamine and see if he can match it. Great idea.

I will check with the paint store too.


06-11-2002, 11:27 PM
Melamine is a devil to work with.
But if you have the time a covering of plastic packing tape over the area to be cut,rolled down, firmly eliminates all but a very smallamount of chip out.
If you are a production shop then forget it I apologise.
If you can afford the time it will save a lot of touching up.
Of course if it is a one off for a very special customer scoring with a utlity knife both sides of the kerf before cutting eliminates the problem entirely.

cheers Limey

06-13-2002, 11:14 PM
A white formica seam filler might work. Formica is actually plastic with Melamine paint.

08-18-2002, 05:00 PM
SAWBONES I have found that if you make a cut that is about a 1/16 of an inch are less first this will help in the chiping out on melamine . This is like scoring the melamine .

08-24-2002, 01:52 AM
I'm not sure if this post is a little too late, but I had to throw my 2 cents in. I've done alot of work with Melamine and no matter how sharp my blades are or how slow I feed the material, Melamine chips. (And don't forget to wear eye protection.duh.)

My advice, use a router and a carbide tipped straight cutting bit and a straight edge to cut your dados. I have had great results using a router to cut my dados. It leaves a flawless edge. If you want your end cuts chipless, try cutting your piece about 1/8" to 1/4" long then trim off the excess with laminate trimming bit and a straight edge.

The set up and execution will add considerable time to your milling operation, but I think the results are worth it.

Hope this helps.


08-24-2002, 06:35 AM
Melamine $ucks! but it also works. That's why I'm using it to build the carcass's of my bathroom cabinets.

Most of what I'm doing has been done with a skillsaw, which may sound like a bit of a hack job, but it's actually working out very well. Dispite the slipperiness of the melamine, using a 2" wide strip of masking tape over the cut line allows enough friction (traction?) to control the saw, and it greatly reduces the chipping. If need be, I dress the edge ever-so-slightly with the belt sander.

And since this is just the carcass (maple face frames and doors) no one will see the melamine, unless of course you go looking through my cabinets next time you use my bathroom. And if you do, it will look crisp and clean inside :)

Have fun, work safe and good luck with the touch ups.\