March 18, 2020
Wait, hold up, let’s rewind it back, you’re telling me I can paint my old laminate kitchen cabinets?
Yes, you heard right.
Laminate isn’t just for floors, it is used for furniture as well. Your old worn out kitchen laminate benchtops, kitchen cabinets, bedroom dressing tables and any other laminate fossil you have around the house can be restored in a new light!
But first you’re going to need to know how to paint laminate surfaces.
Now if you’re unsure on how to paint laminate, there’s nothing to worry about. From start to finish, sanding to priming to painting, we’ve got you covered.
This article will explain the steps you need to take at each stage of giving your laminate furniture a second chance.
Here’s what you’re going to need to get beforehand:
(all of the items listed below can be found at Bunnings or your local hardware store)
- 120-grit sandpaper
- 220-grit sandpaper
- Masking tape (optional)
- Cling wrap
- Paint brush
- Roller brush
- Paint tray
- Oil-based bonding primer
- Damp cloth
- Acrylic paint (Glossy or Matte)
Before we begin, it’s best to remove any handles or knobs to prevent getting paint on them. Using your screwdriver, remove as many as you can and put them in a safe place. If you are unable to remove them, simply cover them with masking tape.
Stage 1: Sanding
Lightly sand the laminate
Using 120-grit sandpaper, lightly sand the laminate surface in a circular motion. Don’t worry if the furniture starts to look a little dull and less glossy, this is what you want to happen. Avoid sanding too much or you might tear up the laminate from the surface, or even make a hole.
Wipe away dust with damp cloth
Before you apply the primer, give the laminate surface a good wipe to remove any dust.
Stage 2: Applying primer
If you’re working inside, lay down the tarp. If you’re outside, this is optional.
Apply primer to laminate
Using a paint brush, apply the oil-based bonding primer on parts of the furniture which are close to walls and along edges (kitchen cabinets or benchtops). Once you’ve painted the finer details, use your roller brush to apply primer to larger surface areas.
Allow primer to dry and cure
Primer can take around four hours to completely dry. Gently touch the primed surface with the tip of your finger to see if it’s dried properly.
Lightly sand the primed laminate surface
Once you’ve allowed the primer to dry, lightly sand the primed laminate surface using the 220 fine grit sandpaper to smooth the surface. Take extra care so you don’t accidentally strip away any of the primer you just put on.
Wipe away dust
Use a damp cloth to clean the surface and wipe away any dust.
Stage 3: Painting
TIP: Line your paint tray with cling wrap before pouring in the paint.
Using the same method for applying the primer, paint the outer edges using a paint brush. Once you’ve painted the finer detailed edges, use your roller to paint larger surfaces.
Allow for paint to dry
It can take at least 2 hours for the paint to completely dry. Some paints can take longer, so it’s best to check the label for specific instructions on drying time. Do a quick dry test using your finger tips.
Apply a second coat of paint
Once the first coat is dry, apply a second coat of paint. If you’re after a nice even finish it can sometimes take up to 3 – 4 coats of paint. Remember to allow at least 2 hours between each coat before applying another layer of paint.
And there you have it! You’ve just given your laminate furniture a second life.
If you want to protect all the hard work you’ve just completed there is the option of adding a sealer. Applying a sealer should be the last thing you do and will help protect the paint work.
Now before you go ahead and place items on top of your newly painted artwork it’s best to let it cure for at least a week.