How to paint laminate furniture in the prettiest olive green furniture paint! Plus the best tips for a professional looking brush free finish!
Get more ideas for DIY Dresser Makeovers here!
We picked this cute vintage dresser up at our local thrift store. But the top was made of a thick shiny laminate!
I could tell that it was laminate because of the high gloss sheen the top had and because it felt completely different than wood does. It felt almost like hard plastic.
How to Paint Laminate Furniture
Because it has a super shiny and slick surface, it had to be painted a little differently than wood furniture.
It’s easy though! Let me show you!
Green Painted Dresser Makeover
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- Old Vintage Dresser
- Krud Kutter and old rag
- 220 grit Sandpaper
- Tack Cloth / Vacuum with hose
- Bonding Primer (more on the best primer below!)
- Paint Brush or Paint Sprayer
- Paint Couture Paint in Vintage Moss (the olive green furniture paint)
- My Favorite Polyurethane
- New Hardware
Before Painting Laminate Furniture
Paint needs something to hold onto, or else it can easily scratch off. So before you bust out the paint and paint brush, it’s best to spend just a little bit of time to prep your furniture for paint. (This goes for chalk paint too!)
But it’s especially important on laminate furniture. Laminate is super slick, making it hard for any old paint to hold on.
These few things can really make or break how well your paint holds up on laminate furniture (and wood furniture!):
- Clean off all dirt, grime and grease with Krud Kutter and an old rag. Let dry.
- Scuff sand with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the shine.
- Remove all the dust with a vacuum hose & brush and a tack cloth.
- Brush on two coats of a bonding primer (most important!!). Let dry.
First clean your furniture with a grease / oil cutting cleaner. I like to use Krud Kutter.
Then scuff sand with 220 grit sandpaper (this sandpaper is the BEST kind!). Rub it all over the dresser, making sure that it removes all of the shine.
Then remove the dust with a vacuum hose attachment and / or a damp lint free rag. For the best dust removal, I like to use these tack cloths! They pick up all the dust and don’t leave any lint behind!
Paint two coats of your choice of bonding primer.
Learn more about the step by step process for painting a laminate dresser.
The exact bonding primer you choose will depend on what your situation is and what you want your furniture to look like.
Click here to pick from the list of the best bonding primers for laminate furniture.
For this green dresser, I chose the clear bonding primer from Country Chic Paint. Mostly because I wanted a clear primer that I could distress.
But also because I wanted to work inside, so I wanted to use a primer that didn’t have a strong odor!
I only put the primer on the laminate top since the rest of the dresser was wood.
I painted one coat on, and then I let it dry for a few hours. Then I painted the second coat on and let it dry overnight.
Olive Green Painted Dresser
Then I set it up in my paint spraying room so I could paint it with my paint sprayer.
You can paint with your paint brush, but I like the brush free finish I get with my paint sprayer.
Learn how to use a paint sprayer on furniture here.
I painted 2-3 coats of Paint Couture Paint’s Vintage Moss, making sure to let the paint dry for a couple of hours between coats.
Paint Couture is an acrylic paint that has excellent adhesion properties and is really really good at leveling. Which means that even if you use a brush to paint it on, you might just get a brush free finish!!
And then it dries to a beautiful matte sheen (but it’s not chalky like chalk paint)
Then I lightly distressed the dresser for a farmhouse style look. (Make sure to remove the dust with a vacuum and a tack cloth again!)
If I would have used one of the other bonding primers on the market, I wouldn’t have been able to distress the laminate.
Then I sprayed 3 coats of the very best water-based polyurethane for the best durability and protection. Making sure to let it dry completely between coats.
Learn ALL of my tips and tricks on How to Spray Polyurethane here!
(I also like to sand with 400 grit sandpaper before the last coat of poly for the most smooth feeling finish.)
Then I finished it off new farmhouse style drawer pulls.
What do you think?!
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