How to Paint Laminate Cabinets to Look Like Wood

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Painting laminate cabinets is an affordable alternative to real wood.
Painting laminate cabinets is an affordable alternative to real wood. (Image: Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Laminate cabinets are durable, easy to clean and much more affordable than wood. With a little paint, you can make laminate cabinets look like wood at a price that costs much less than actual wood. While painting laminate cabinets is a lengthy process that takes many steps to complete, the investment of time is worth the affordable, attractive end result. Save time by using a wood grain stamp.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips or flat-head screwdriver
  • Plastic wrap
  • Painter's tape
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth or damp cloth
  • White primer
  • Brown paint
  • Black paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Wood grain stamp

Clean out all cabinets. Place the items inside in boxes and remove them from the area where you'll be painting.

Remove all the doors from the cabinets by loosening the screws holding the hinges in place. Depending on the type of cabinets you have, you'll need a Phillips or flat-head screwdriver to loosen the hardware.

Lay plastic over all counters and anything under the cabinets that you don't want to be affected by dripping paint. Use painter's tape to hold the plastic in place.

Sand all laminate doors and cabinet bases so the paint can adhere properly. Wipe down all sanded surfaces with a tack cloth or damp rag.

Coat the cabinets in a white primer and allow to dry completely, which can take up to 48 hours.

Sand the primer you painted very lightly once the cabinets are dry. Wipe down with a cloth again.

Paint over the primer with brown paint and allow to dry. Choose a brown color that resembles the shade of wood you want to re-create.

Apply a second coat of paint if needed.

Dip a wood grain stamp in black paint and press it onto the painted cabinets to create a wood-like pattern.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear gloves when painting.
  • Wood grain stamps are available at home improvement centers.
  • Open windows and doors to provide ventilation, as breathing paint fumes can be dangerous.

References

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