I prefer painting real wood furniture, but every once in a while I am asked to paint laminate. The first time someone brought me a piece of laminate furniture I thought to myself, hmm….. I don’t think this can be painted. I did extensive research and learned that, in fact, laminate furniture can be painted. Since then I have painted several pieces of laminate furniture with great success. It just takes patience and the right paint and primer.
CLEAN IT: The first thing that should be done before you paint your laminate furniture is to wash it really, really well. When furniture is touched the oils from your hands are left behind, sometimes people spill drinks, or drop crumbs…. there are typically many things on the surface of your furniture that will prevent paint from adhering to it. TSP is what I usually use to clean furniture before I paint it. Not only does it remove dirt, grease, grime, and mildew, but it also has a de-glossing agent that will dull the surface. You can also use simple green or another degreaser of some kind.
SAND IT: Once the furniture is super clean the next step is to sand it. The purpose of sanding it is to dull the surface and make it easier for the paint to adhere. You don’t want to scratch the surface by using a sandpaper that is too coarse. 220 grit sandpaper will do the job perfectly. Sand in the same direction making smooth fluid strokes. Don’t go in circles or in opposite directions. Once it is sanded well be sure to remove all loose dust particles. A tack cloth is a great way to achieve a dust and lint free surface that is ready to be painted.
PRIMER: The key to getting a really good base is to use a bonding primer. Bonding primer actually has an adhesive in it which is intended to stick to just about anything including plastic, metal, and masonry. I use Valspar brand bonding primer. You can purchase it at Lowe’s for about $21 per gallon.
The bonding primer can be reapplied after 45 minutes of dry time. Once 45 minutes have passed us 320 grit sandpaper to lightly smooth the surface. I always sand in between every coat whether it is primer or paint. Using a tack cloth wipe the piece to remove any dust. Apply a second coat of primer and, again, wait 45 minutes before applying a top coat.
PAINT: Now you are ready to apply the top coat of your choice. Any water based interior paint that is of high quality will do the trick. ( click here if you’re interested in a bit of information on water based paint vs. oil based paint) I personally like to use Valspar paint from Lowes. I typically go with the Ultra Premium Interior paint in a Satin Finish. It is an acrylic latex paint.
Using a brush?? Here’s a few tips: If you are using a paint brush to apply the paint make sure it is a high quality brush. In a previous post titled “Choosing the Right Brush” I offer some tips on selecting the best brush for the job. The wrong brush could mean an uneven finish, tons of brush strokes, and hairs in the finish. The right brush can nearly eliminate brush strokes and create a beautiful finish.
Painting thin coats is key to avoiding runs. Only dip your paint brush about an inch into your paint, do not cover all of your brushes bristles in paint. Getting too much paint on the brush is sure to result in a sloppy paint job. Make smooth fluid motions with each brush stroke and always go in the same direction.
Let it cure: Be sure to read the label on the paint that you are using and follow the manufacturers suggested dry time between coats. After the piece of furniture is finished allow it to dry anywhere from a few days up to four weeks before using it. Full cure time is also something that should be listed on the manufacturers label. If you can’t find the cure time listed on the label you can find it online by searching for the product description sheet (PDS). If you try to use your furniture too quickly, without allow it proper time to cure, you will be sure to scratch it, dent it, or otherwise damage all the hard work that you put into it. Be patient!
Alchemy fine living is an antiques & home furnishings business located in Santa Ana, Ca. Alchemy can be defined as an inexplicable or mysterious transmuting power or process; transforming something common into something special.
ABOUT MEAlchemy fine living is my antiques & home furnishings business. I'm Deana, the author of this blog. My mom Connie & I followed our dreams & opened our store in 2008. It's a collection of all the things she & I truly love. We combine antiques with new treasures, as well as, a selection of handcrafted items created by the two of us. We also offer custom sewing, re-upholstery, & furniture painting services.
173 E City Place Dr.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
CONTACT MEEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Store Phone: 877.250.3674
Tues. through Sat. 10 to 3
Furniture drop off and pick up by appointment:
Tues. through Fri. 10 to 6 and Sat. 10 to 3