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How To Paint Laminate Surfaces

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Unlike wood, laminate cannot be sanded down to a natural grain because it has no natural grain. Also, it's tricky to prepare the surface so that paint will stick over the long term. Improperly-applied paint will peel off of laminate, creating a bigger mess than what you started out with.

If you can spare $200, give or take, you'll be better off purchasing a countertop resurfacing system such as Rust-Oleum's Countertop Transformations. These systems are markedly different from paint-only processes in that they include a layer of solid decorative chips.

But if you're intent on painting, follow these steps:

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 2 hours

Here's How:

  1. Remove your furniture or cabinets to a garage or a covered patio. Spray paint will be involved, and you do not want to do this in the house. Realize ahead of time that the process of painting laminate is imperfect. Try as hard as you might, some imperfections might occur.
  2. Sand down the laminate surface with fine grit sandpaper. Sandpaper grits #180-100 are appropriate for light sanding of laminate surfaces. Get all the gloss out.
  3. Wipe down the surface with tack cloth. Follow with wiping down with paint thinner and rags.
  4. Apply two thin layers of melamine paint with the high density paint roller, letting each layer completely dry before adding the next. Melamine paint is about the only way to prepare laminate.
  5. End with two or three coats of the satin finish spray paint of your choice.

What You Need

  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • TSP (cleaner) and rags
  • Melamine paint
  • Satin finish spray paint
  • Paint roller with dense roller cover
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