How do I refinish kitchen cabinets with a laminate covering?

Frames are wood with laminate covering but the doors look like pressed wood with the same covering.

  4 answers
  • AmAtHome AmAtHome on Jul 12, 2018
    If the laminate is in good shape, you might want to consider chalk paint. It doesn't require sanding.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jul 12, 2018
    Hi Marylouise! The trick to laminate or any other smooth surface is to give the paint something to stick to. Clean and sand the surface. Apply a good sealer like Kilz Adhesion and you're ready to start painting after the number of the days recommendation on the label (some recommend a week) .

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    • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jul 12, 2018
      Since it's laminate, it would be a light sanding to remove the surface finish. If you sand too heavily, you'll go through the laminate, and probably encounter particleboard. Basically, scuff up the finish. Use a light hand. The sealer will bond well to that surface and then you will have a smooth surface to paint. Hope that helps. I've scuffed laminate with a sponge sander in the past, but, if you don't apply too much pressure, you could use a palm sander. Hope that helps.

  • AmAtHome AmAtHome on Jul 12, 2018
    I have heard from several people that they had to do very little prep - mainly just cleaning really well. A couple used TSP to clean their pieces first. If you do the cabinets, please post details/pictures!

  • William William on Jul 12, 2018

    Make sure they are clean and dry. Remove the doors and hardware. Mark the doors and cabinets with tape where they go. Lightly sand the doors and cabinets to remove any gloss and roughen the surface for paint with 120- to 220-grit sandpaper. Use a tack cloth or damp rag to remove dust after sanding. Prime with a stain blocking primer like Zinsser 123, KILZ,or BIN and have it tinted to the color of the top coat. This will prevent dark or stained surfaces from showing through the top coat. Acrylic, or water-base, paints are low-fume and clean up easily with water. Alkyd, or oil-base, paints require good ventilation because the paint contains solvents that can irritate your lungs and make you feel sick. Alkyd options require mineral spirits for cleanup, but they provide a hard, durable paint finish. Whichever you use, buy the best-quality paint you can afford for a lasting kitchen cabinet finish. Seal with at least three coats with a water based polyurethane. Use a small foam roller and foam brush for a smooth finish.