How to Redo a Particleboard Table


Particleboard furniture is a lower grade material used to make affordable products. This doesn't mean that you can't update your particleboard table or refinish it for a different look. The board won't hold up to paint strippers so you need to roughen the surface and paint over the original finish. When done correctly, this new finish can last for years, and you'll have a piece of furniture that is exactly what you want.

Things You'll Need

  • Two-part wood epoxy
  • Wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Adhesion primer
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sponge rollers
  • Water-based paint
  • Polyurethane topcoat
  • Rags
  • Reinforce any weak or broken parts of the table with a two-part wood epoxy. Fill the inside of any cracks or breaks with the epoxy, leaving room around the edges for the epoxy to expand. Allow the adhesive to cure, according to the package instructions; this can be two hours or several days, depending on the type of epoxy. Slow-curing epoxy is preferred because it lasts longer.

  • Patch any holes or cracks in the table with wood filler and a putty knife. Smooth over the crack with the blade of the putty knife and allow it to dry thoroughly before proceeding.

  • Sand the table with 100-grit sandpaper to remove some of the finish and smooth the top of the wood filler. Sanding also gives the table the right surface for the new paint to adhere to. Dust the table with a tack cloth when finished.

  • Apply an adhesion primer to the table with a paintbrush or sponge roller. Sponge rollers work well on flat smooth surfaces while paintbrushes are better in tighter spots. Allow the primer to cure for at least four hours before proceeding.

  • Paint the table with a water-based paint applied with a sponge roller or paintbrush. Smooth the paint in one direction so the paint lies flat. Allow it to cure for eight hours.

  • Wipe a polyurethane topcoat over the table to protect the paint and give the table an easy-to-clean finish. Apply the topcoat with a rag and rub it quickly onto the surface. The topcoat goes on cloudy and dries clear. Allow the topcoat to dry for five minutes then apply a second coat. Repeat for a third coat. Let the polyurethane cure for 12 hours before using the table.

Tips & Warnings

  • Adhesion primers are designed to stick to slick, glossy surfaces. They are sold under different names so look for one that will adhere to smooth surfaces. This will work on nearly any original finish the table had, including synthetic veneer that is often used over particleboard.

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