How To Paint Laminate Furniture

Here are instructions for how to paint laminate furniture. Laminate furniture can be durable and economical. However, if you decide you want a change, it can be difficult to paint laminate furniture. This type of furniture is made of particle board with a thin sheet of plastic laminate adhered to it. The laminate is smooth and slick so it takes extra preparation to achieve a long-lasting finish.

To paint laminate furniture, you will need:

  • Mild soap or detergent
  • Water
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Oil based primer
  • Oil based paint
  • Foam brushes or rollers
  1. Clean the laminate furniture. Use a mild soap and water mixture to remove any dirt which may affect the finished look.
  2. Prepare the furniture to be painted. Remove any hardware such as knobs and decorative pieces. Remove shelving and doors to paint them separately. 
  3. Sand the furniture with fine grit sandpaper. Paint does not adhere well to smooth finishes and sanding will give it something to hold on to. Sand enough to give it texture, but not all the way to the particle board. Wipe away any dust.
  4. Apply an oil based primer to the furniture. This also allows the paint to adhere to the surface. Allow the primer to dry completely per its directions. It will usually take twenty-four to forty-eight hours.
  5. Paint the laminate furniture. Use an oil based paint in the color of your choice. Use a foam roller or brush to get the smoothest finish.
  6. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours. Lightly sand again and clean away any dust. Paint with a second coat of paint to achieve the best coverage.
  7. Wait until the newly painted laminate furniture has completely dried. Only after it has dried thoroughly should you replace the hardware and doors.


  • Store the roller and brushes in plastic baggies to keep from drying out between coats.
  • Work in a well ventilated area when painting and sanding.
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