How to Paint Laminate Furniture

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.  IMG_0306 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!  sandpaper 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!