How to Paint Laminate Furniture | An Step By Step Guide


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A new piece of furniture provides an elegant and distinguished touch in the areas where it is used. However, when used for a long time, their paint tends to decay and turn into an unpleasant aspect. Therefore, replacing them with new ones usually adds a high cost to our budget. Thus, the viable option is to paint them to revive their best appearance. Then, with the proper techniques, materials, and a little imagination, you can make your old furniture a spectacular decorative element. To start your DIY and reconstruction project, you must consider different aspects, which will lead you on the right path you have to go through to perform an optimal job. Which we will offer you below; a helpful and straightforward way to decipher how to paint laminate furniture:

Visualize your project.

As a first fundamental step, you must generate the idea and purpose of your task; knowing what you want is paramount. Next, you must consider the amount of furniture to be painted, selecting the color required. Finally, this DIY; must combine and highlight the area where it will be located, providing harmony and beauty. The right combination between location, colors, and pairing with the accessories of the place is the main objective. Thus, before starting, it must be clearly defined.

It would help if you kept in mind that laminate furniture gives the impression of being made of natural wood. They are made of stamped sheets that imitate their finish, using a layer of paint, which can be renewed by preparing with criterion and work.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture: Materials Needed

To start with the update of your laminate furniture, you need a series of tools and materials. Which have a particular function in the process, which requires beautifying them? So next, we name you; the indispensable ones at the moment of beginning your work, of how to paint the laminated furniture:

  • Sandpaper or sandpaper of grain; of different dimensions, from coarse to extra fine (80, 120, and 220).
  • Screwdrivers and trowel.
  • Wood repair paste.
  • Cloths to clean impurities.
  • Adhered oil-based sealer.
  • Acrylic latex paint (varnish) and latex paint or enamel with the selected color. It is recommended to use Valspar furniture paint.
  • Brush and foam roller.
  • Personal safety utensils mask or mouth cover, glasses, gloves, and safety boots.

The environment where the work will be carried out must be considered, which must have adequate ventilation. For example, it is not recommended in closed and humid places. This way, guarantee the correct functioning of materials, providing safety by not inhaling solid odors from paints and sealants.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture

After gathering the necessary materials and tools, we will proceed to execute the plan of action. In this way, restore our laminate furniture; in simple steps:

Disassemble the furniture using the screwdrivers. These laminates are joined as if they were Legos, forming the structure. They have screws, knobs, or handles to strengthen their union. These must be removed to start disassembling the structure and begin comfortable and efficient work. 

Locate holes and cracks in the sheets, which you will fill with the paste to repair wood; uniformly. A correct sealing of holes will offer a solid and resistant sheet, let dry all the surfaces according to the indications of the product.

Using 80 grit sandpaper without much pressure, pass it over the entire surface in circles to remove impurities. The process should be repeated with a variation of sandpaper type, and then the 120 and 220 sandpaper should be used. These are the options to use. It is not recommended to make excessive pressure, and the sanding time is short, an average of 10 minutes per sandpaper. 

Avoid damaging the sheet material

This process applies to all the sheets that make up the structure of the furniture. If you have experience using a sander, manual or electric, you can use it.

  • Using wet cloths, remove sawdust and impurities resulting from sanding. 
  • Laminate primer; prepare the site where the sealing and painting process will take place. It is recommended to place a canvas, newspaper, or unused cloth to cover the area, avoiding crushing the spaces to have the best adhesive primer for laminate.
  • Place the laminates on the prepared site and apply the sealer with a brush over the entire surface. Then, it should be left to dry completely for approximately 6 hours. There are sealers based on oil adhered in spray in the market, which the drying is fast; approximately 3 hours, of course, at an additional cost.
  • After verifying the correct drying, the surface must be sanded with 220 grit sandpaper, applying the same process explained in previous steps. Next, clean the impurities with a damp cloth.

Use brush

We start painting or painting jobs, using the brush, giving short and uniform movements, creating layers of paint. Finally, the selected latex or enamel paint is applied, allowing the necessary time to dry. 

This process should be repeated several times until a uniform coverage and the desired color are achieved. In the market, there are varieties of laminated paint, unique for this type of work. Moreover, chalk paints are also used, options to consider nowadays.

After being satisfied with the uniformity, a smooth finish, and the color established on the laminate, proceeds to apply the varnish, following the same painting process. You can choose between glossy or matte varnish, according to your criteria and tastes. It would help if you allowed the necessary time for correct drying. 

It is recommended to assemble the structure one week after finishing the steps. In this way, you guarantee that no object on its surface will stain or damage your work. In addition, in your social networks, you can publish your work to receive advice and congratulations.

So if you wonder: can I paint laminate flooring? The answer is yes! These steps can be used to refacing laminate cabinets, dresser, and shelves, among others. The common unknowns, how to paint veneer furniture, paint laminate flooring, or update laminate kitchen cabinets, are solved by applying the steps mentioned above. Applying the concepts in different situations, but the process, materials, and tools are identical. In addition, you can get the best bonding primer for laminate!

Learn More: How To Trim A Cabinet

How to Paint Laminate Furniture: Recommendations and Tips

In the list of materials, we include hardware or safety implements that must be used at the moment of carrying out this type of work. In this way, you guarantee your integrity and avoid suffering severe accidents, and every specialist always uses such implements. Therefore, it is essential to put them in place to protect yourself.

The place where the work will be carried out must have good ventilation, if possible, in the open air. It is advisable to carry out this type of work in the summer season or on hot days to accelerate the drying of additives and paints. Humidity or cold weather delays drying doing your work a little longer.

A quality laminating primer will ensure little mess and staining of paint and additives in unwanted places. In addition, taking care and dedication when preparing the area will avoid inconvenience and hours of unnecessary clean-up.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture: FAQs

Can you paint straight onto the laminate?

Laminate can be sanded, primed, and painted just like real wood furniture because the finish is typically shiny. So it’s vital to sand it down until it’s pretty dull before priming. For this, we recommend using 120 grit sandpaper. And, unlike genuine wood, sanding with the grain isn’t essential.

What paint will stick to the laminate?

Because of its longevity and flawless finish, latex paint is excellent for painting laminate surfaces. Use ProClassic Interior Acrylic Latex Enamel for lighter colors, while for darker colors, use All Surface Latex Enamel Base.

What is the best way to paint laminate furniture?

The first thing to remember is that paint will not stick to a laminate surface unless adequately prepared. Some paints will bead up on the laminate’s surface. Other paints will leave a splotchy, uneven surface, and the first layer will peel off as soon as you apply a second layer.

Painting Ikea laminate furniture is a straightforward two-step technique that can be done in an afternoon once you’ve chosen the appropriate primer for your project.

Can you paint laminate furniture without sanding it?

If you use the correct sort of paint, you can paint laminate furniture without sanding or priming. For example, if you’re painting laminate furniture with chalk paint, you may skip the priming.

What is the cheapest way to paint laminate furniture?

Laminate can be sanded, primed, and painted just like real wood furniture! Because sanding is a pain, it’s simple to skip this step. It’s especially critical with laminate, though. Because the finish is typically shiny, it’s vital to sand it down until it’s pretty dull before priming. That is the most cost-effective option!

Can I use chalk paint on the laminate?

The process for painting laminate using Chalk/Mineral Paint (brand name or HMCP) is the same as Method #1, except that no primer is required. Sanding is usually unnecessary with Chalky Paints, but a mild sanding is still a good idea for a long-lasting finish on the laminate!

Can you use Kilz primer on laminate?

You’ve had terrific success with Kilz primer for laminate. You should apply two coats of primer paint to laminate furniture and let them cure completely (overnight if possible!) between applications. You may even sand between coats if you want to get the best adherence.

How can I tell if my furniture is laminate or veneer?

Looking at the grain is one way to tell; veneer furniture can keep some natural patterns, but it has a lot of repetition and lacks substance. On the other hand, a wood veneer has a horizontal grain pattern along the borders, but solid wood does not.

Can you paint a dresser without sanding?

You don’t have it. However, you must first prepare the surface. It’s usually a good idea to wipe it down with a clean soapy towel, and you might want to apply a deglosser. Instead, I went with an oil-based paint that adheres to a varnished surface and is a terrific method to prepare for a final coat of paint.

What kind of paint do you use on laminate furniture?

If you want a long-lasting paint job, polyacrylic is the way to go (affiliate link). Polycyclic is excellent because, like polyurethane, it is exceptionally durable.

Can laminate stairs be painted?

Yes, the lengthier and more complicated answer is yes, if you have the necessary tools, high-quality paint, and the knowledge to assure a long-lasting result. Painting over your laminate floor, on the other hand, is a difficult task.

Bottom line

At this point, we have all the information required to know how to paint laminate furniture. We understood that they are not natural wood objects formed by sheets of similar material with similar finishes. In this way, you must have essential materials and tools to execute the project. Also, you must have safety equipment to avoid accidents and be protected at all times.

In addition, with simple steps shown in the content, you can do a quality job as long as you have an established idea of what exactly you want with your furniture. Not only should you think about how it will look, but it also has to serve as an ornament complement to the place where it will be established—providing an atmosphere of harmony and serenity when combined with the colors and accessories of the site.

The elaboration of the work consists of simple steps, which are carried out slowly—motivated; that it is necessary to invest hours of waiting so that the additives and paints do their work. For such reason, the place and type of climate that welcomes at the moment of working is fundamental, and it can accelerate or delay the work.

There is nothing left to emphasize but to be committed and satisfied to offer you a post guide to help your elaboration on your project with which success is guaranteed.

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