Laminating Over Melamine

Scuff sand, spray, and stick. June 10, 2006

Is it acceptable to laminate over melamine using solvent based spray adhesive? Does the melamine need to be scuffed or sanded or can you go directly over the melamine?

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surfacing Forum)
From contributor G:
We just scuff , spray and stick.

From the original questioner:
What method do you use to scuff the sheets? Also, what do you do when you have melamine interiors and veneered end panels? Would you use a 2 sided veneered panel for the end and then laminate the interior to match the melamine color?

From contributor G:
We use belt sanders to scuff the panels. When we have both melamine/laminated/veneered, we usually use the two side melamine and then veneer the outside

From the original questioner:
How do you veneer the outside panel? Do you use paperback veneer and spray adhesive or another method?

From contributor G:
Just as you say paper backed, spray.

From contributor C:
We scuff using a belt sander. Then laminate. We only use phenolic backed veneer (never paper back) but have recently moved to wood back cross band product due to availability, with very good results. We went to finished plywood and laminating the interior surface to eliminate the liability of potential delamination and it works well due to simply laminating to a raw plywood face will give you the most reliable bond, without scuffing.

In short, we have used all the methods mentioned. The one that we can't trust is the paper backed because the wood face (especially maple) will expand a great deal in our climate. The paper pack will not hold it from buckling. Ridges then form parallel to the grain direction resembling wrinkling. The common reasoning years ago was that the finish applied was penetrating the backer and solvents were attacking the glue causing a release. I no longer believe this. I think the wood wants to crawl and it has no place to go.