How to paint melamine, tiles and wallpaper

Long gone are the days when you have to replace kitchen cupboards and their doors, or have to re-tile if you don't like the colour. You can now buy specialist paints and primers which means you can spruce things up with a lick of paint. Here's our guide How to paint melamine, tiles and wallpaper.

How to paint melamine, tiles and wallpaper

© Ronseal

You will need:

  • Foam roller and tray
  • Paint brushes
  • Specialist paint for surface
  • Masking tape
  • Grout reviver

Also check out these guides:
Easy paint projects
Choosing the right paint finish
How to paint interior woodwork and metal

Time to complete job: Most paints only require 1 or 2 coats at the most. A small kitchen floor would take 1-2 hours, plus overnight drying time.
Approximate budget: Paints cost from around £8 per litre.

Old melamine furniture and worktops can also be transformed with the new paints made especially for this surface.

  • Preparing melamine

    Preparing melamine

    Clean the old surface with soapy water and allow to dry. Some makers recommend lightly sanding the surface to provide a good 'key' for the paint. Check the instructions first. Just make sure all surfaces to be painted are grease free, and sanded if necessary, so the new paint will get a good grip on the surface.

  • Painting melamine

    Painting melamine

    Use masking tape to protect the handles or any other furniture, or remove them with a screwdriver. Use a melamine primer paint to coat the surface. A foam roller will give the smoothest finish. Add the new top coat colour, again using a foam roller, and allow to thoroughly dry.

  • Preparing and painting tiles

    Preparing and painting tiles

    Painting over tiles is a good solution if retiling is too expensive or too much trouble.

    You can get paints that can be painted on without a primer or undercoat. Providing you choose a good brand, these should be fine, although the colour range may be limited.

    Wash down thoroughly using sugar soap to remove all dirt and grease. Allow to dry thoroughly, making sure the grout is dry.

    If the grout is in poor condition scrape it out, paint, then regrout - this method gives the most authentic finish. If the grout is in good condition, you can just paint over it though.

    You can use other types of paint, too, but you need to use a glass or tile primer first, Start by applying a primer. Then sand down lightly and apply a second coat if instructed to do so by the manufacturer.

    If not then apply the undercoat over the sanded surface – a small sponge roller is usually the best method of painting, but a brush will do. Finally, apply two thin topcoats, avoiding drips and runs.

  • Preparing wallpaper

    Preparing wallpaper

    Wallpaper should be treated in the same way as other wall surfaces. Prepare the wall by washing off any dirt and grease but use a damp rather than wet sponge so that the paper isn't damaged. Fill any holes with a plaster filler and use a ready-mixed border adhesive to stick back any areas that have peeled away from the wall.

  • Painting wallpaper

    Painting wallpaper

    Paint with your chosen emulsion colour using a roller or wide brush. If the paper is heavily patterned, you will probably need to apply two coats of paint. Test a small area so that you can budget for enough paint for two coats if needed.

    Tip: Heavily embossed papers may be easier to paint with a brush.