I get about ten emails a week asking about how to paint cheap, laminate plastic furniture. Yes you can paint laminate! The key to getting a great finish is using the right products! I will tell you exactly how I paint laminate including the products I use. I am not receiving any money or free products for my recommendations.
Yesterday I showed you pictures of the progress on my TV armoire. The piece is a laminate base with wooden doors. I have tried a lot of different primers. My tried and true one when painting laminate is Zinsser BIN Primer. They have it in a spray as well.
BIN brags that there is no need to sand. Did you say, no need to sand? Yepsie daisy! BIN is a shellac formula which means it is alcohol-based. But once the alcohol evaporates from the primer, in about 45 minutes, the shellac finish is fully cured. For those of you who paint you know this is a big deal! Most water-based primers take a full 7 days to cure! Not only can you proceed immediately to putting on the finish paint, but you greatly speed up the time your house is ripped apart due to painting. I like that. And because a bunch of you will ask, you can use any paint over the top of BIN. I always use a water-based latex, simply because of the clean up. However, I always wait one week before I put anything on top of painted furniture. I will put accessories on it for blog photography purposes but then I take them off and get some cure time before I replace them. Did you know that water-based paint takes 21 days to fully cure?
Okay back to the BIN primer. So you get a hard finish and can paint quick, what are the negatives? IT STINKS TO HIGH HEAVENS and it is more of a hassle to remove the paint from your tools. You’ll need to use mineral spirits to get your brushes clean. However, I think the positives far outweigh the negatives, especially when painting laminate.
I use a small foam roller on the flat surfaces. I use one for the primer and a different one for the paint.
Now, you can use the cheap-o brushes for the primer if you want. That will help your clean up process of not having to use mineral spirits to get your brushes clean. But for the paint I use an angled Purdy Paintbrush to get in the corners and crevices. Quality products gives me quality results.
I actually do not use any sort of polyurethane over the top of the paint. It does give it an extra layer of protection. However, I don’t find it necessary. I can honestly say that I have ever had paint chip. But I also do it right the first time because I hate touch up painting.
I am sure there are other ways of doing it but this works for me. Happy Laminate Painting friends!