How To Paint Over Laminate Furniture – With Chalk Paint

6 Materials
2 Days

We’ve all been there when we find what we think is the perfect piece for a makeover and then to find out… not so much. I found it on FB Market Place for $40, and if you know anything about MCM furniture, that’s a real steal! Yeah, baby! This credenza would be the find of 2021! wah wah… 🙁 Well, it was until I went to pick it up.

That’s when I discovered it had a laminate top. Bummer. I could still think of no reason not to purchase this piece since laminate can be painted over. Today, I’ll show you how to paint over laminate furniture and made it look like a million bucks. Well, maybe I exaggerated a bit.

STEP 1: The Prep

Begin with a scuff sanding over the laminate surface with fine-grit sandpaper or a sanding block. I like the blocks as they are easier on this Grandma's hands. And if you have an  electric sander, by all means, pull that bad boy out. I’m all about quick and easy. After you have sanded the surface, you will need to clean it well. This can be done using a product called White Lightning. It cuts the dirt grime and anything else that could cause your paint finish to fail. Again, don’t miss this step. After cleaning with this product, be sure and rinse the surfaces clean with water and towel dry. Now you’re ready to proceed to the next step.

STEP 2: Creating A Bond For The Paint To Adhere To On Laminate

Creating a bond for the paint to adhere to is easy and my recommended product to use is Slick Stick. The name says it all. Use this product to prepare any slick surface you want to paint. Surfaces like PVC, glass, Formica, laminate, metal, and more are easily painted and stay painted.

*Slick is a problem-solving product and is not needed for every painted surface.

How To Use Slick Stick:

Application Apply one coat of the Slick Stick bonding primer with a quality synthetic paintbrush and allow to dry 2-3 hours to dry at room temperature. Apply a second coat and allow to dry overnight before painting your project.

* I like to test the surface by lightly scratching my fingernail across it the next day. This gives me the reassurance that the bond is solid and ready for paint.

STEP 3: Applying Paint Over Laminate Furniture

Now that your surface has been prepared, choose a good quality paint in your choice color and paint away! Of course, I prefer chalk mineral paint over latex, but it’s your choice. For this project, I chose to use Caviar (black chalk mineral paint) and was worried about painting over white but was pleasantly surprised when it was covered in two coats. Who doesn’t love black?

STEP 4: Apply A Top Coat For Added Durability On Laminate

Lastly, you’ll want to add a topcoat over your newly painted laminate surface for extra durability.

Check out the edgy design I chose for this MCM Credenza, and I’m seriously swooning over those hairpin legs. Hello, I think the 1970s wants its furniture back! And no one will know it’s laminate. It’s our secret.

*Would you like to learn more about painting furniture or how I created this design without a stencil? Join me in The Art Of Painting Furniture Subscription Video Library.

Happy painting… xo, Do 🙂

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Donna | Do Dodson Designs
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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 4 questions
  • Sue Kennedy Sue Kennedy on Feb 07, 2021

    This project looks lovely!! It turned out very well.

    Yes, I have the same question...are the wood doors the original laminate? You didn't address these doors and how you made them look a "lighter colour" than in the original picture.

    Also, we do not have "White Lightning" here in Canada; I even checked for stock. Could you recommend another product that works as well and that I can purchase in Canada?

    Thank you and stay safe!

  • Cardinal Cardinal on Feb 07, 2022

    Would you please address how you made your doors? The half circles in black are beautiful but I can't imagine how to make them so even, level and perfect. Making one perfect would be hard enough but how did you get 2 perfectly matching and aligned? Beautiful work. Thanks!

  • Jenny Jenny on Mar 03, 2022

    Hi, beautiful job! We’ll done you! Can you paint bleh laminate kitchen cupboard doors and aside from washing and washing and washing again, RUSTOLEUM states it doesn’t need a primer????? Your views on this would really help this complete novice!

    many thanks

    Jenny 😊

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