Strengthen Shelves With Nosing
Melamine shelves will sag over time, especially if they’re more than a few feet long. Strengthen shelves by gluing a solid wood nose to one or both edges of the shelf. Here we’ve slotted the nosing and the melamine shelves with a biscuit joiner to allow the use of wood biscuits. The biscuits add strength and help align the edging perfectly. No nails needed; just apply wood glue, insert the biscuits and clamp the edge to the shelf until the glue sets.
The particleboard core is rather brittle and can split if you drive screws too close to the edge. Prevent this by positioning screws at least 2 in. from the edge of panels when possible. Drilling a pilot hole also helps prevent splitting.
Repair Chips with a Special Filler
SeamFil plastic filler paste comes in a tube and is commonly used by pros who work with plastic laminate to repair chips. And since the surface of melamine panels and shelves is also a type of plastic laminate, the repairs blend in well. SeamFil paste is available for about $5 per 1-oz. tube online or where plastic laminate (used for countertops) is sold. It’s available in 20 standard colors that can be mixed to create custom colors.
To use the SeamFil paste, first clean the area with the special SeamFil solvent (available for about $9 per half pint where the paste is sold). Then spread a small amount of the paste on a scrap of wood or plastic laminate. Work the paste around with a polished putty knife until some of the solvent starts to evaporate and the paste starts to thicken. Then press the thickened paste into the area to be repaired and smooth it with the putty knife. It may take a few coats to get a flush surface. Clean off excess paste using a rag dampened with the solvent.