How-To: Painting laminate furniture.

This is the follow-up tutorial to last week’s side table makeover post. Make sure you scroll down for the color name reveal. You’ll love it. :)

It used to be that I’d come across a piece of furniture covered in laminate (basically like a high density fiberboard made to look like wood) and I’d sigh and move on. The rule has always been “you cannot paint laminate” and I was never willing to prove/disprove that theory.

Until I came across this campaign-style side table at Goodwill. Suddenly I felt more determined to figure it out.

Emily Snuffer

I hope I did this the right way. It was surprisingly drama-free and similar to how I’ve painted other pieces. It’s been a week and the paint is holding up strong.

First, I removed all the hardware. The brackets were attached with small brass finishing nails – I just used a screwdriver to wiggle them loose. The drawer pull was attached with screws. I removed that too.

I don’t have a picture of this part, but next I used Barkeeper’s Friend to polish the brackets and pulls. It does wonders for restoring tarnished metals. I was happy I didn’t have to spray paint them a faux brass.

Emily Snuffer

The exposed screw holes were plugged with toothpicks so re-installation / finding screw holes was easier at the end.

Next, sanding. Sanding laminate is a tricky art because it has to be done lightly, yet thoroughly. I sanded each surface using a fine grit sandpaper, sanding until the little flecks of fiberboard started to show. The point of sanding here is to give your primer a better change of adhering to the furniture surface.

Emily Snuffer

Prime time! I used Rust-Oleum spray primer in gray. I love this stuff. It dries crazy fast, which is perfect for my impatience. I think I waited just an hour before moving on to the paint.

Emily Snuffer

Oh yes, the green that I received so many lovely comments on is actually John Deere Green. The spray paint is an enamel meant for farm equipment, or in my case, a little side table. I didn’t want to share the color in the previous post to avoid any initial bias ;). Aaron was immediately like, “John Deere Green? Really?” but after seeing it on the table he was sold.

Why John Deere Green? One, I was limited in color choices and this was by far the best one I saw on the shelves. Two, I also wanted an enamel, knowing the laminate would need something extra durable and strong. I also love how hard and glossy enamel dries – it’s my favorite thing to use on furniture.

Emily Snuffer

It took only 2.5 coats and two cans of enamel, needing 1.5 day to complete. I waited only a day to put the hardware back on (probably should have waited longer) and 3 days to add the books and drawer. I’m so in love with this little John Deere side table.

A big thanks to Gwen at Bold Abode for making this her BOLD pick of the week.

Another big thanks to Emily (great name!) over at Emily Macleoud for making this an Upcycled Wednesday feature.

- emily

p/s: On a completely unrelated note, I am looking for a red/poppy blazer and red/poppy dress. Anyone know any affordable options?

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7 thoughts on “How-To: Painting laminate furniture.

  1. Pingback: Sad turned happy side table [Before/After]. |

  2. Bridget

    H & M usually has great options for solid colored blazers and dresses. If not there, you might try Target.com and do a little searching. The table looks great!

    Reply
  3. Justine

    love this table! i recently refinished a campaign dresser and had the hardest time cleaning the brass – i will have to use barkeepers friend, thanks for the tip! i went with boring-ol-white but am loving your bold green!

    Reply
    1. emily @ go haus go Post author

      Barkeepers Friend is amazing. There is a little bit of elbow grease needed but it generally comes off nice and easy. Glad you like! And white is never boring although I know what you mean. Thanks for stopping by! – emily

      Reply
  4. Anchoret

    Hi Emily,

    Love the John Deere Green on your table. What store did you get the paint from? The only Rustoleum cans of it I’ve seen are more in the direction of an “olive green” rather than grassy green as in your pictures. btw…barkeepers friend is really great for polishing stainless steel cookware. ;) It removes what is left behind from liquid dish detergents.

    Reply

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