Painting Laminate Furniture

OK, so a lot of Do-It-Yourself-ers have been asking about this one. In a time where money can sometimes be tight, especially if you’re just starting out or redecorating on a very tight budget, Laminate Ready-to-Assemble furniture has become an option that appears more and more. However, the limits in color are dictated by the manufacturers of such furniture and a lot of the time, these pieces just don’t fit into the decor of a space, especially if you’re a creative DIY-er.

So, why not make that ubiquitous white Ikea Billy Bookcase an interesting blue? Red? Chocolate brown? Your options are almost endless here. Basically, any color you find at the paint store can be applied to the furniture you just bought. All it takes is a few steps:

1. Assemble the piece. Or, if it’s an existing piece in your home, make sure it is clean.

2. Sand it! The idea is to to rough up the laminate so paint will stick. A pass of 180-220 grit paper should do it. Wipe clean of all dust when you’re done.

3. Prime it! For God’s sake, do not skip this step!!! Invest in a good quality heavy-duty primer for all surfaces. My favorite is Zinsser 1-2-3. Slap on 2 coats (the first should dry in an hour or so.)

4. Paint it! 2 coats of your chosen color over the primer will give a great facelift.

5. (Optional) You can choose to apply 2 coats of polyurethane over the paint for extra durability. This would be a good idea if the piece going to be used a lot, or if it will be placed in a high-traffic area.

That’s it! A lot easier than you thought, huh? Now, if you happen to be limited in budget, you can certainly compensate with your creativity!


For more ideas, check out my website at

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