Yes, you can paint laminate!
The plastic surface of laminate furniture can make paint roll up and not adhere correctly. Learn the tricks to getting a beautiful look painting laminate furniture. Here are some tips on what you need to know before you start your next DIY project with laminate.
When painting laminate furniture, there are just a few things to know that are different than painting real wood furniture. With laminate furniture, you are basically dealing with a surface that is basically plastic instead of a surface that is wood.
With plastic, you can’t really sand the surface, plastic doesn’t take well to sanding. The best you can do is use a 320-400 grit sandpaper to scuff up the surface a little. The most important step is cleaning the piece thoroughly.
A Clean Surface is Crucial
With laminate, you will depend more on the paint or primer adhering to a clean surface than you will a surface that is been scuffed with sandpaper. Clean the piece thoroughly with Windex or TSP. This is a crucial step because primer and paint won’t adhere to a dirty or greasy surface.
Use an Oil-based Primer
I wouldn’t recommend using a water based primer on laminate. I would definitely use an oil based primer like Kilz or Cover Stain. Another option, depending on the type of laminate you have would be a plastic primer. If you aren’t sure, you can always do a sample test by painting an inconspicuous spot of the furniture piece with primer, let it set for 7 days and see how well it adheres to the surface, if it is on pretty good, then you are fine and can paint almost any type of paint over the top.
Once you have a primer on the piece that will adhere well to the surface, you can use almost any type of paint over the surface of the primer. Anything from spray paint to latex in a can will work.
Whether or not you decide to clear coat the piece will depend on how much durability you will need for the piece. If you are doing cabinets or a table, then I would definitely recommend a clear coat. If you are doing a dresser or side tables, a clear coat is probably not necessary.