When it comes to the home, I love to try new things. Sometimes, my vision gets executed as planned (or pretty darn close). Other times, mistakes turn out to be blessings in disguise and the end result is better than I ever expected. And then there are those more unfortunate moments where my efforts produce an epic fail. Last weekend's IKEA hack was a micro fail. Humph.

As I had seen on numerous blogs, one way to beautify IKEA furniture is to paint the backs of the units. I probably should have done more research beforehand on how to prep melamine prior to painting, but I was too anxious to get started. So, off to Home Depot I went to get me a quart of some latex paint. I did, to be fair, ask the paint guy if I could use it to paint melamine and he confirmed it was cool.

Painters Tape on builtins

Closeup of painters tape

The rest of the story goes like this:

Painters Tape placed on all the edges. Me: Slow and steady wins the race. Better be safe than sorry!

First coat of paint goes on. Me: Oh cool, this is going to work!

Second coat. Me: neat! This is lookin' go-oood! Ladeedaaaa, I've hacked IKEA and I liked it, tastes just like...oh never mind.

Alright, time to take off the painters tape. Me: No No NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EkWHhKgBuQ&w=560&h=315]

Remember when you were a kid and you put glue on your hands (for fun) and then peeled it off gingerly once dry? Or when you put on a face mask and peeled it off in almost 1 piece? Well, I can tell you that paint will peel off melamine in the exact same way.



Le sigh.

At the end of the day, I was out 20 bucks and lost three hours of my time. Not an epic fail by any means, but a disappointment nonetheless.

Where did I go wrong? According to Little Green Notebook, looks like I should have used a special primer first that would have really helped the paint adhere to the melamine.

I haven't decided yet as to whether I will try again, opt for another solution like grasscloth wallpaper, or just leave them as-is. For now, I've moved on to other customizations (coming up!) and will leave this one for a later date.