How to Paint Laminate Furniture
I just love the feeling you get when you walk into an old dusty thrift store and discover a little treasure just begging you to take it home and give it a face lift so it can enjoy life again. That’s just what happened with this little end table. I was at a local building supply thrift store (very similar to Habitat for Humanity’s Restore) buying up their brass chandelier stock when I found this piece marked $20. I knew I wanted to take it home, but oh, how to fit 11 brass chandeliers and one little table all in my compact car? Luckily it worked out, and now she’s refinished and ready for a new life.
Here’s what she looked like when I brought her home:
So I gathered all of my materials. Spray primer, black spray paint, silver spray paint, hand sander, block sander, clean cloth, foam brush, and water based sealer.
Then I removed the drawers and hardware. Usually hardware is easy to remove as there is a screw on the inside of the drawer, but that was not the case with the pull handle hardware from this piece. It was glues/wedged into the holes with no screw on the back. So I took out a screwdriver and hammer and pounded on the hardware through a hole on the inside of the drawers until the hardware popped out. Hey, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Here’s a picture of what the back of the hardware looked like.
Once the hardware and drawers were removed I wiped down the entire surface with a damp cloth to clean any grime and cob webs that had found their way onto its surface. Then I took my handy palm sander and 150 grit sandpaper and worked my way over the all the surfaces I was going to be painting. This helps the spray paint adhere by removing any sealer that’s on the existing surface and roughing it up just a little.
Once she was sanded down I used a clean soft cloth to remove all the dust particles that come with sanding until she was clean and dry. I taped of the slider hardware where the drawers slide in so that they wouldn’t get all gunked up with paint. Then comes the spray primer. I used gray primer since I planned to turn my piece black and started with light coats, letting each layer dry about 15 minutes between.
Then keep applying the spray primer until the table is completely covered. Once the final coat is dry, I used my sanding block to lightly sand the entire surface so it was smooth.
After that I started with light coats of black spray paint. It is very important to use light, even coats to avoid drips and messes on your furniture, which is probably the most frustrating part of refinishing. While the black paint was drying I used the silver paint to update my gold hardware.
Once the piece was fully painted I used my sanding block a final time to make sure my surface was smooth and free of any paint imperfections. After the entire surface was dry I used my foam brush to apply a thin layer of water based sealant over the entire piece. I find the foam brush leaves a smoother finish than a paint brush, especially in the deep south where it’s always hot and humid outside. Although the sealer goes on milky, and dried clear, it will leave a white residue if you let it pool up on the corners and sides of the piece, so make sure the entire piece has a light and even cover. Once the sealer and hardware are dry you can reinstall the drawers and hardware and start using your piece! It takes less than a day to do the entire project from start to finish.
And here she is again in her new home right between these 2 awesome chairs and holding a turquoise lamp. Now I just need to figure out what’s going on the wall behind them…always a work in progress!