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How to paint laminate furniture with chalk style paint

How To Paint Laminate Furniture with Chalk Style Paint

June 01, 2024
Author Rosanne Korteland
Did you score a great deal on laminate furniture at the thrift store? You might be wondering how to spruce it up with a paint finish that will last for years without scratching or peeling. You've come to the right place!

Laminate furniture looks amazing when updated with a quick, colorful makeover, but it can be a bit tricky to makeover with paint. Since laminate is a fairly non-porous material, paint doesn't have much to grip onto and it can be difficult to get proper adhesion. Follow these tips and tricks to get great adhesion and a flawless finish with Country Chic Paint!

Come watch how I transform this boring, thrifted Lane desk into a mid-century style beauty with this bold yellow paint color called Fresh Mustard by Country Chic Paint!

Before we dive into the how-tos, you might be wondering, how do I know if my furniture is laminate or real wood? To find out, come see our tips for identifying laminate furniture.

If you’re NOT painting laminate furniture then click here to see our full guide on how to paint furniture for beginners. This article includes tips on surface prep for all different types of furniture and decor, as well as how to get smooth paint coats, how to choose a sealant, and more!

Tips for Getting Good Adhesion When Painting Laminate Furniture:

Step 1) Clean Your Furniture

Start by cleaning your project with a vinegar water solution. There’s no exact ratio for this, just fill a bowl with water and add a splash of white vinegar.

Wipe your furniture down completely, then be sure to wipe it down again with plain water to remove any residue.

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Step 2) Scuff Sand

Laminate is not very porous, and therefore paint doesn’t have much to grip onto. Scuff sanding is a quick and easy way to create a more porous surface!

Using medium-grit sandpaper, gently sand all areas that you plan to paint. Don’t worry about sanding down too deep or removing any layers. This step is just to roughen things up a bit.

Be sure to wipe off any sawdust you just created before continuing.

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Step 3) Prime Your Project

As we’ve said, laminate is a non-porous surface that paint has trouble gripping onto, so we recommend using Clear Bonding Primer to make sure you’ll get great adhesion and a long-lasting painted finish.

You can apply Clear Bonding Primer with a synthetic bristle paint brush or a Painting Sponge.

Step 4) Start Painting

Grab a jar of your favorite color of Country Chic Paint and give it a good shake and stir.

Just like the Clear Bonding Primer, Country Chic Paint can be applied with a synthetic bristle paint brush or a Painting Sponge. However, for laminate furniture projects, we highly recommend using a Painting Sponge. This is because sponges apply paint in thinner coats than brushes, which result in the best adhesion possible.

Step 5) Seal Your Furniture (optional)

For low-traffic furniture you can opt to leave the paint as-is. If you go this route, try buffing it with a very fine grit sandpaper or a brown paper bag (equivalent to ~2000 grit sandpaper). You’ll love how buttery smooth this makes the paint feel!

If you’re painting something that will get more wear and tear, try one of our sealants: Wax, Hemp Oil, or Clear Coat.

The final reveal!

Here’s how our thrifted laminate desk makeover turned out. What do you think?

Thrifted laminate desk painted in mustard yellow chalk furniture paint Fresh Mustard by Country Chic Paint

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