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How to Paint Laminate Nightstands

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Learn how to Paint Laminate – Give dated laminate furniture a new look by DIYing with paint. If you’re looking for a piece of furniture to paint you may think of passing over a piece of laminate furniture, but I’m going to show you how easy it is to paint laminate furniture! I received 2 laminate nightstands from my brother-in-law. They were FREE, in decent shape, but laminate. I’m going to share with you my step-by-step tutorial on How to Paint Laminate and give them a total makeover!

How to Paint Laminate Furniture

Here’s the nightstand that I started with.

Old Laminate Furniture

Painting Laminate Supplies

Affiliate links are provided for your convenience.

Prepping Laminate Furniture

The first thing I like to do is give the piece of furniture a good cleaning. I like to use a wet paper towel, rung out. If there is any sticky substance, Goo Be Gone works very well. If your piece is not in good condition, and needs some repairs then now is the time to take care of it.

Repairing Laminate Furniture

There were a few chips and scrapes, so I used some wood filler to patch up those imperfections. Use the putty knife to apply to wood filler. Then let it dry before sanding it smooth. If you have a big chunk like this corner, or a deep scratch it might take two coats to get it filled completely.

How do you get paint to stick to laminate?

The right primer is the KEY to getting paint to stick to laminate!

Once the wood filler was dried I sanded over those areas with 100 grit sandpaper until it was smooth.  I didn’t sand the rest of the piece because this primer is AMAZING! Wipe down the piece again to remove any of the dust from sanding.

This Bulls Eye primer is great for covering laminate.  It sticks like no other primer I’ve tried… no sanding needed!! The primer creates a durable surface for the paint to stick to.

So I put on 2 coats of primer with a paintbrush, letting it dry well between coats.

How to Paint Laminate

When I applied the white paint, I used a foam brush and a foam roller. I gave the nightstands two coats of paint. I used leftover white paint that I had on hand. The key to painting laminate is that primer. If you have a good priming of the piece of furniture, then you get that adhesion between the furniture and the primer, then the paint can stick good to that. On that second coat of paint I make sure to take my time and that there is no drips and no brush strokes showing. I usually use the brush first to get into the small, harder to reach areas, then use the roller and go over all the areas.

Painted Laminate Nightstand

 What a transformation! The painting with primer and paint really covered over the veneer wood grain look.

painted nightstand

 See… painting laminate is super easy!  So next time you see a cool piece of furniture that’s laminate, you might want to try painting it!

Here is another piece of laminate furniture I’ve painted…

Painted Laminate Dresser

Princess Dresser

 

Easiest Way to Paint Laminate Furniture a great tutorial

38 Comments

  1. Hello Maryann, do you know where I may be able to find the drop bail pulls you have on this nightstand? I have a dresser I just refinished & I need 2 pulls to complete it but I’m having a hard time finding this exact design & size.

  2. Your step by step instructions are so helpful! I have been considering painting my bathroom vanity but was skeptical because of the laminate, I think I’m ready to give it a try. One question: do I need to finish it off with a sealant? thanks!

  3. Pingback: Paint Projects and Tips for your Home - The Silly Pearl
  4. I used the water-based zinser primer to prime my laminate furniture as directed. After 24 hours of dry time, I went to move one of the pieces and my wedding band scratched the primer right off the piece, leaving the laminate like new underneath. I then rubbed the piece with my thumb and the primer came away cleanly/easily. What did I do wrong? I used the same primer on a wooden dressor and it stuck very nicely even with scraping. Any tips?

  5. Mineral paint works great on laminate pieces and there some very interesting techniques you can do. It has clay in it and one quart will do two dressers and a small piece. You can either wax or seal after sanding. Pretty much two light coats covers. I took a class, sorry I can’t remember the name of it.

  6. Any tips on how to protect an old cement basement floor after painting it?! I painted over ours (previously painted a long time ago) to look like a hockey rink & race track but it’s coming up & exposing raw, dusty cement below…willing to do it again for the LAST time & wondering if there’s something like Verathane for cement floors? Any feedback is greatly appreciated 🙂

  7. Maryann-
    I just wanted to come back over here and tell you I found this post to be very helpful.
    I've got a hand full of pieces that are laminate that I'd like freshen up with paint.

    Glad you posted this…am making not of the Zinsser Primer.

    Thanks!
    Pat

  8. that look awesome Maryann! I keep missing this party. I must visit too early in the day for it. I'll check again next week! 😉

  9. Hi Maryann! First,thanks for visiting and leaving your sweet comment, I appreciate it! And I'm also glad you did because I found your blog and this helpful painting info, and a good party to boot!

  10. Visiting from Beyond The Picket Fence. Nice work on the nightstand. It's refreshing to see something that is not distressed for a change.

  11. Maryann,

    I have just now emailed you with my information regarding a recent giveaway. Please let me know if you don't receive it.

    Also, thanks so much for posting this project. There's a laminate shelving system in my daughters room that we've had for years and I've been wanting to paint to match her other stuff, but have been scared to do so. Thanks again. Have a blessed day!

  12. Thanks so much for the tip about the Zinser, I have a pedestal table to repaint. It isn't laminate but a high gloss lacquer and I was wondering what in the world I could use to primer it, sounds like the Zinser will do the trick. Thanks for hosting the linky party also!

  13. I didn't paint a darn thing this week, but I had to come see what everyone else did. LOVE the job you did on those nightstands! What did you use on the hardware?

  14. the nighstands looks so modern and cool! i see tons of projects i am going to check out later!

  15. Thanks Maryann for the Bullseye tip. I'm thinking about painting a laminate cabinet myself and I'm happy to hear you had such good luck with this primer! Beautiful!
    Susan

  16. Hi Maryann!
    My name is Tonya & I am new to your paint party! I found your button on another site! I linked up 2 of my projects (hope thats okay…I am #29 & #30.) You did a fantastic job on that nightstand! It looks great! Thanks for the info on the primer for laminate…great tip!!

  17. sooo cute! love the hardware!
    I haven't got anything to link up. 🙁

    I must get busy with some projects. It's just sooo cold and ugly here.

    ohhh, I may have something tomorrow.

    later!
    gail

  18. The nightstands look great! I love the white with those cute handles in silver. So clean and refreshed :o)

  19. The night stand looks great, beautiful paint job! Did you use any poly or finishing wax for a protection coat?

  20. What a great transformation Maryann! It sure doesn't look like laminate now! Thanks so much for hosting!

  21. Hi Maryann,

    Your nightstand looks so fresh now and the tulips in the milk glass vase enhance it so well! I found a laminate 70s/80s French provincial bedside table on the side of the road recently. Having never painted anything but wood, I wasn't sure what do with it, but I wasn't about to pass by free furniture! LOL Thanks to you, now I know!

    Erin

  22. Maryann,
    Wow! The nightstand looks so great~very professional finish! 🙂 Thanks for hosting the party!
    Kim

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