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Marlite (?) paneling

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Mar 20, 2014, 02:10 PM
Marlite (?) paneling
We are a young couple who recently purchased a house that had this plastic (I think it's called Marlite) paneling in the bathroom and kitchen. We plan on eventually ripping everything out and doing a complete remodel, however at the moment we would like to just paint what we can until we can afford start the renovations.

What would be the best way to paint over this wall material? My husband has said that he doesn't think it's possible. I'm hoping that someone on here can give us some info on what paint would be best in those areas (kitchen and bath) and if there is any special prep we would need to do including covering seams and such.

Thanks so much!
Mar 20, 2014, 05:03 PM
For the short term, you should be able to use a slick finish primer and then a top coat of regular latex paint. With the smooth surface, it will likely scratch off if something reasonably sharp hits it, but it will hold up for a while.

Mar 20, 2014, 08:21 PM
Same product as FRP methinks. As in fiberglass reinforced panels ?

Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
Mar 20, 2014, 09:09 PM
Marlite is not plastic through and through... it's a layer of melamine on top of eighth-inch Masonite.

around here, we call it "milk house panel." you can scrub it twice a day for a couple years, and it doesn't cost much to replace it.

and then you wear it through, and time for more.

some variants of the stuff were embossed to look a little bit like subway tile (if you were a little drunk and had your glasses off.)

leave it for the milk houses.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Mar 20, 2014, 09:13 PM
I agree that a good Zinsser primer should do well (might check with a pro paint store like Sherwin W or Benjamin M? for a recommendation too) Make sure the surface is clean and dry before using. Caulk any cracks or small gaps with paintable caulking. Then topcoat with the paint color/sheen of your choice.

Not much you can do about the seams. It is still going to look like the paneling...just painted over a different color. But it will be clean, look different and allow you to go on to other projects for a while.