Tips on Painting Laminate Furniture

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Masking or painter's tape

  • Water

  • Dish detergent or similar grease-cutting soap

  • Clean cloth

  • Fine grit sandpaper (P100 or P120)

  • Shop vacuum or hand vacuum

  • Oil-based primer

  • Oil-based paint

  • Brush or roller

You can repaint laminate items to match any decor.

Laminate furniture is an affordable material option when you need to purchase all sorts of home furnishings. An alternative to heavier, more expensive wood furniture, laminate is generally composed of particle board. Its slick surface makes painting it seem like a difficult task, but it really only requires a few extra steps. When the task is done right, you can bring new life to your laminate furniture. Additionally, it's an inexpensive project; you can pick up the necessary materials at your local home improvement store.


Step 1

Use your screwdriver to remove any hardware from your item, such as drawer pulls or handles. Remove shelves or doors for easy painting. If the item has hardware or other decorative items that can't be painted but are difficult to remove, apply masking or painter's tape around them to protect them.

Step 2

Mix together 2 to 3 cups warm water and 1 tsp. dish detergent.

Step 3

Dampen a cloth with the mixture, then wipe down the furniture to remove any dirt or oil.


Step 4

Wipe away any traces of soap with a second cloth that has been dampened only in water. Dry the furniture completely.

Step 5

Sand the surfaces to be painted. Work carefully; the idea is to remove the glossy surface of the piece and rough it up a bit so your paint and primer can stick. If you oversand the item, you'll be down to the particle board underneath.

Step 6

Use a shop vac to vacuum away the dust from sanding. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth to make sure there are no traces of dust remaining, as these will affect the look of your painted item. Allow the item to dry completely.


Step 7

Apply your primer to all surfaces of the item, working in neat, even strokes. In most cases, a paint roller will be easier to use when working on large surfaces. Use a brush to touch up hard-to-reach areas. Allow the item to dry completely, referring to the primer's directions for recommended drying times.

Step 8

Apply your paint to your furniture, using a roller to get a smooth, brush stroke-free finish. Allow the piece to dry completely, which usually takes at least 24 hours. Add a second coat if desired; this may be necessary to cover dark furniture. Allow the piece to dry.

Step 9

Reassemble your furniture and touch up any areas as needed with a paintbrush.


Cover your work area to protect it from dust and paint. You may also wish to wear a disposable mask while sanding and painting.


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