Shellac beads up on surface

I'm trying to coat a piece of manufactured furniture with a clear coat. I've tried spray polyurethane which goes on smooth, but doesn't hold to the surface (peels off with fingernail). I then tried shellac, however, it beads up. The only way to get a smooth surface is to spray enough to create a thick puddle. The same beading happens if I try water based urethane (Varethane). I'm wondering if anyone would have any idea what this piece of furniture is covered with that would cause these three different clear coats to behave the way they do.
Thanks, Harry
P.S. This piece of furniture is made by Ameriwood, covered in wood print veneer (the thin, non water proof kind). It's brand new.
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On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 09:33:47 -0500, "Harry Muscle"

It's covered in melamine.
Scuff sand it with 00 wire wool, then give it a coat of melamine primer (one of few things that will stick to it). ESP make the best melamine primer to use (looks like water). International paints lso do one that looks like thin white paint. Works OK, but it's very hard to use and is horribly prone to runs. Take the panels off and work on them horizontally, spray it, or use ESP.
-- Do whales have krillfiles ?
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He described this stuff in a different post as "paper"
This stuff is NOT melamine.
wrote:

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Exactly. Melamine is what countertops are usually made of, right? Melamine is waterproof, this stuff let's water through if you let it sit for 15-30mins and it ends up swelling the fibbers underneath ruining the furniture. My piece of furniture is covered by the same stuff that most Walmart furniture would be covered with.
Thanks, Harry
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On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 10:47:46 -0500, "Harry Muscle"

nope. you're probably thinking of formica. melamine is the stuff that cheap mall wart white bookcases are made of. it comes in other colors and patterns, but the vast majority of it is white.

it's not melamine or formica.

this sounds like some cheapo fake wood ya gots there. if I had such a thing (just hypothetically, you hear- nuthin' like that in my house, nosiree...) I'd pitch it real quick and hope nobody noticed. I fer sure wouldn't be yappin' about it on the wreck....
    Bridger
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Actually, we do have a technicality here. The final coating on plastic laminate (Formica/Pionite/Wilsonart/Nevamar) is melamine. The difference is there are many layers of kraft paper impregnated in resins under the melamine making plastic laminate pretty much bullet proof as a surface material.
UA100
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Would you agree than the paper laminate I'm dealing with is probably coated with a light coat of melamine?
Harry
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Andy aside, there are lots of choices. I've seen some stuff that had what appeared to be a polyethylene film applied. You could tear it with a fingernail. Tough to tell which you might have.
The real answer is most laminates are used because nothing sticks to them - so trying to do so is bound to be a big job. Your option of roughing the surface and using special paint is enough to send me to the unfinished furniture store downstairs.

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Of course it's melamine. What do you think they waterproof the paper with ? -- Do whales have krillfiles ?
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wrote:

Would melamine coated paper be fully water proof? Cause this stuff isn't. If you let a puddle of water sit for 15-30 minutes, it will cause the fibbers underneath to swell.
Thanks, Harry
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Harry,
I would try the brush on poly as stated above and if that dosn;t work maybe some kind of epoxy. If that doesn't work I would give up and take up a new hobby. Yep, you guessed it, WOODWORKING. :)
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I don't know. I think you are making two assumptions. 1. The stuff he has is waterproof. 2. It must be melamine.
What makes you believe so strongly its melamine. He describes the stuff as NOT being waterproof in another post.
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wrote:

Does the ESP primer dry clear?
Thanks, Harry
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On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 11:23:44 -0500, "Harry Muscle"

Yes. Slightly "oily" sheen to it, if you catch the light right, but otherwise it looks like you bought a tin of water and the stuff plain evaporated away !
It does work though. I've got hard-working kitchen cabinets with an 8 year old paintjob over it and the look fine.
As to the paper / melamine argument. Melamine is a trademark for a thermosetting plastic resin. It's sometimes moulded as a solid plastic ('50s picnic ware) but these day's you're more likely to see it as a surface treatment over the printed paper used for covering cheap chipboard. The quality, surface resistance and waterproofing of this depends on how much resin is applied and how much pressure it's applied under. Formica is similar stuff, but it's formed under pressure from a number of paper laminates.
If this stuff isn't Melamine and it's plain paper, then obviously there's no problem in over-coating it and the shellac can't possibly be beading up.
-- Do whales have krillfiles ?
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For protection I would have never tried SHELLAC. Shellac is not known for its high protective value. Its on the low end for protection when comparing all film finishes.
Didn't you ask this question already?
Instead of a spray on poly, I would try a brush on poly. It will build on much thicker and may not peel off as you described. Give it adequate time to cure.

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wax perhaps? try a dewaxer from your local autobody supply store. then buff with 00 steel wool, and apply a coat. let it dry.

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Probably a vinyl or plastic surface
Strip the veneer or give up
John
On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 09:33:47 -0500, "Harry Muscle"

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