Monday, 29 January 2018

Transforming Melamine & Glass Wardrobes

how to paint mdf laminate melamine wardrobes using rustoleum chalk paint and primer to create a traditional vintage style piece of furniture

Until recently I had a secret corner of my home I'd never shown. Despite the fact its literally the first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning, I'm ashamed to say I've put off dealing with it for FOUR YEARS, because I simply didn't know where to start.


how to paint mdf laminate melamine wardrobes using rustoleum chalk paint and primer to create a traditional vintage style piece of furniture

We're lucky enough to have built-in double wardrobes in our room, which is an absolute god send in terms of storage, particularly in a small home - however, well, they're not exactly in keeping with the room are they? I'll be honest I've always hated their plastic-y laminate finish, and coupled with those blue-tinged glass panels.

Replacing them wasn't really an option, as I love the fact they're built in, so a lick of paint it was. As the wardrobe is made of dreaded melamine, I turned to my old faithful favourite chalk paint, which is fantastic for adhering to almost any surface.

The glass was worrying me though, as I couldn't imagine how paint would ever stick to it and not look streaky? So after having a browse in my local DIY store, I came across Johnstone's Any Surface Primer in White, which, as the name suggests enables paint to stick to surfaces such as glass, melamine and ceramic.

how to paint mdf laminate melamine wardrobes using rustoleum chalk paint and primer to create a traditional vintage style piece of furniture


I started off by wiping down the wardrobes to remove any grime and dust - as much as its tempting to skip this step, its really important to make sure the paint goes on nicely. I then removed the old chrome handles, and used Decorator's Caulk to fill in the holes. Once that's dry you'll need to sand over it with some sandpaper to get a smooth finish.

Next I applied the primer to the glass panels, which went on really easily, only needing one coat, and drying super quickly.

how to paint mdf laminate melamine wardrobes using rustoleum chalk paint and primer to create a traditional vintage style piece of furniture

After that I used a gloss roller to apply the Rustoleum chalk paint to the whole wardrobes - I went with Winter Grey. It took two coats and did take a while, probably because its a fairly awkward shaped piece of furniture, however chalk paint dries really quickly too, so I was able to apply the second coat after only a couple of hours.

I then left it to fully dry overnight, after which I put the new handles on - some simple brass knobs I picked up in Homebase. After that I waxed the whole thing using Annie Sloan Clear Furniture Wax which you rub on using an old cloth. I'm not going to lie, this part is hard work, however is essential as chalk paint can chip if its on a piece of furniture that gets a lot of use, which these wardrobes definitely do. Alternatively, you could paint over the chalk paint with an eggshell paint, which would be more hard-wearing.

And voila! I'm so happy with how this has turned out - it looks so much better than I thought it would, and I'm actually annoyed with myself for not tacking them sooner!

how to paint mdf laminate melamine wardrobes using rustoleum chalk paint and primer to create a traditional vintage style piece of furniture

how to paint mdf laminate melamine wardrobes using rustoleum chalk paint and primer to create a traditional vintage style piece of furniture

Got some similar glass-panelled cupboards you don't know what to do with? How about covering the glass with one of the following? Thanks so much to all the lovely people on Instagram that got in touch with advice on how to tackle my wardrobes - I thought I'd share some of the suggestions I received:

Use sticky back plastic or fablon to cover the glass - You can pick these up at any DIY or hardware store, for example Wilko do a huge range of different patterns, which are super cheap and easy to apply. Wayfair even sell window film, specially designed to cover glass.

Cover the glass panels with lace to create a vintage look - How about using a pretty lace to cover the glass? I used this technique to create some lace-covered tea light holders for our wedding - just make sure you use a glue that dries clear, such as tacky glue.

Decoupage the glass - If you want to add some colour and/or a pattern, why not use Mod Podge glue to apply scraps of wallpaper or fabric to the glass?

Hope this is helpful - how have you tackled some of your less attractive pieces of furniture?

Thanks for reading,
Sam Xx


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1 comment

  1. You did a really good job with the wardrobe. What a transformation. Bet you are feeling better now waking up in the morning looking at it :)

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