The Dos and Don’ts of Painting Laminate Surfaces

A lot of people operate under the assumption that it's impossible to paint a laminate surface in a way that's long-lasting and durable. However, this really couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, all it takes is a little bit of patience and the right paint supplies to successfully paint over laminate furniture, cabinets, or other surfaces for an entirely new and updated look. Before you undertake such a project, however, there are some things you'll need to know.

DO Take Time for Preparation

Preparation is key when it comes to painting laminate, so don't be surprised if you spend a good portion of time simply getting the laminate surfaces ready to accept a coat of paint. Specifically, you'll want to begin by filling any scratches or gouges in the laminate with wood putty to ensure a nice, even paint application. Furthermore, it's a must to apply at least a couple coats of a quality primer to the laminate before painting; otherwise, there's no chance that your paint will adhere. Shop for a primer that's designed for use on glossy or slick surfaces for the best results.

DO Lightly Sand Between Coats

Once you've primed your laminate surface and allowed it to dry for the recommended time on the label, you can go ahead an apply your paint. Use at least a couple coats of paint to ensure the color comes through properly, then apply a clear sealant over the paint to protect your newly painted surfaces from damage in the long run. In between applying coats of paint and sealant, take the time to lightly sand (with a fine-grit piece of sandpaper), which will help to ensure a smooth and uniform surface.

DON'T Ignore Curing Times

Finally, make sure that you handle your freshly painted laminate carefully in the days and weeks after you paint it. A lot of times, paint and sealant requires longer to full cure than it does to dry. In other words, the surface may feel completely dry to the touch after just a few hours. However, it could take days or even weeks for the finish to fully cure, or harden, to the laminate surface. Check the label of your paint and sealant to find out exactly how long it should take for the finish to be completely cured. Until then, refrain from setting heavy items on top of the laminate or otherwise handling it too roughly. Talk to a paint supply store for more information.