Oct 14, 2008

pimp that worktop... painting on melamine chipboard

this worktop was lugged to my condo 3 years ago by my very enthusiastic decorator. the upside of it, it's totally free. apparently some rich guy installed and threw it out, all within a week. so i took it in like a good samaritan although it wasn't really my sort of style. melamine chipboard with cherry wood laminated top? no wonder he threw it out! ah well... i'll do something about it i thought... that was 3 years ago...

after the long wait... finally, i got myself to pimp it to my liking.

melamine surface is not exactly the easiest surface to work with. to scuff melamine is as good as futile. unless you intend to totally destroy it... which i didn't. and normal paints will never stick on melamine. i had no choice but to paint it with paint for metal. it gives you nausea but it sticks... just make sure you have ample ventilation!

another problem with metal paint is that it takes ages to dry. me being me... i didn't really wait for each coat to dry thoroughly before painting the next coat on :p...that makes it even harder to dry!

but by doing what i did, i made an interesting discovery. when i finally painted the 3rd coat of paint on (the not-so-dry other 2 coats) little bubbles and crackling effects started to emerge on the surface. at that point i nearly passed out... oh crap... i should have let it dry first shouldn't i? the different 'undried' coats seem to be having a reaction of some sort. since there was nothing i could do, i waited... and prayed. as i waited, slowly but surely the bubbles began to subside and the crackling mellowed down... and to my delight, the finished product looked as if it had been crackled glazed! my worktop now had 'shabby chic' character! Wallaa!

after a couple of days and after re-watching my lord of the rings dvds, all that was going on in my head were elves. the result of this is the motif you see above.

tip : first i designed the motif on normal pieces of paper stapled together in the configuration i wanted, which is an 'L' shape to fit the corner of the worktop. when i am satisfied with the design, i then transferred the design to tracing paper (you can also use transparency sheets, those you use for overhead projectors) so that i can flip the paper the other way and still see the outline of the motif on the other side(this is for the other corner of my worktop), then i proceeded to transfer the design onto the worktop using transfer paper.

i also designed separate motifs for the drawers... which my 3 year old daughter says they looked like a lion lying on its back... so much for lotr inspired motifs...

i will try to make the motifs available for download for those who would like to recreate something like this :)))

happy pimping! :)

see also "design for worktop"


  1. OMG... i love love ur LOTR motifs!!! makes me wanna come over and see man... then perhaps u can teach me.. lol..

    pengsan la.. ur so creative... we all pale in ur shining light!! lol

  2. Very impressive! Your design is wonderful and really personalized that desk. Great job! Kay aka Luvs

  3. hey musings,
    thanks for the cute and wonderful comment :)

    luthien :)

  4. hello kay aka luvs,
    thanks for visiting and thank you for the wonderful comment :) do come and visit me again :)

    luthien :)


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Luthien :)