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HOW TO: paint laminate furniture – the easy way!

Painting laminate furniture can seem intimidating to even the most experienced DIYer. We will show you how to paint laminate with our easy-to-follow tutorial!

Pink Bookcase
Painting furniture is obviously one of my favorite things to do! I love the thrill of the hunt for a great piece, agonizing over what color to paint it, whipping out my spray gun, and picking or painting the perfect hardware. That being said, some furniture is a pain in the you know what to paint. Painting laminate furniture is one of those pain points. Thankfully, we’ve created this easy-to-follow tutorial for painting laminate furniture! If it’s a great piece and suits your needs (and your budget!) it’s worth the little extra work to make it awesome. You with me? Today I’m gonna teach you how to paint laminate furniture, the easy way!


laminate bookshelfThis book case (Does this even classify as a book case?) is  a perfect example of just that! I found a piece I reeeeeally needed for storage and I had the perfect spot for it in my craft room and hello, it was $25. Score! One problem… that pesky laminate covering over the real wood. Sometimes, this can be a major deal breaker when picking furniture. This time, I went for it. After a ton of research and trial and error, I’ve found a great way to paint laminate furniture or veneer covered piece of furniture and turn it into an awesome, statement making, project!

How to paint laminate furniture



First, clean your furniture really well! I’m talking every speck of dirt and grime, off! EVERY speck. This product “Gloss off” is perfect for prepping your piece. It gets the dirt, grime and most of that glossy stuff off! You can paint right over it after 10 minutes and it’s supposed to help the paint adhere better. So far, I’m super pleased with it.

Krud Kutter Gloss Off



Next, prime your furniture. I always use Kilz primer for laminate and have had great luck with it. For painting laminate furniture, you want to do at least 2 coats of primer and let them cure completely (overnight if you can!) in between coats. You can even sand in between coats for maximum adhesion. (Fancy words eh?) I used a smooth roller and rolled on 2 coats of primer and let it dry overnight. TIP: if using spray primer, shake your can really, really, REALLY well. If you don’t, your primer can spray out in a gritty texture which is no good! Using Kilz Primer for laminate furniture is your best bet.Use Kilz Primer for laminate

Paint your hardware

Paint hardwareWhile you’re waiting for your primer to dry, go ahead and get your hardware ready! I chose to spray paint this hardware gold because I LOVE gold and pink! I really like the rich gold color of Rustoleum’s metallic gold spray paint. To paint hardware, simply clean it really really well and let it dry. You can scuff it up with sand paper or steel wool before spraying it but that’s not always necessary. You can also spray the hardware with a clear lacquer or polycrylic to protect your paint job. It’s worth the extra few steps to avoid cracking, scratched up hardware after a while.


Paint LaminateFinally, paint your furniture. I used my HVLP Gravity Feed Spray Gun with my air compressor to paint it.  I also love the HomeRight FinishPro Max.

The pink I chose was Behr Tutti Frutti. I LOVE this shade of hot pink! It’s perfect!

How to paint laminate furniture - the easy way

Here is Miss Pink all done and set up in my craft room. I was desperate for some extra storage for my vinyl and my Silhouette Cameo and supplies.

I organized my rolls of vinyl in these $3 Target “dollar spot” bins. My shipping supplies for my vinyl etsy shop are on top of the book case.

Silhouette CAMEO

Pink and Gold Furniture

I love the pink and gold contrast! One of my favorite color combos! Aren’t the original pulls really cute all fixed up? I love the key hole detail.

Bright pink craft room

Here’s what you see when you open my craft room door or look down the hall into the room. It’s the perfect piece for what I needed! What do you think!? Have you ever painted laminate furniture? Have you ever painted anything PINK!?

If you liked this post, check out my full Craft Room Reveal here!

For more paint projects, check out:

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  1. Adorable! Absolutely love it! Thanks for the ‘how to’ on painting laminate! My husband always says, “no you can’t paint that stuff” but now I see that you can!

  2. I LOVE this piece!! And your craft room is looking so adorable! Mine looks like someone dumped a large garbage can full of craft supplies directly into the middle of it. Needs some serious love. I live in a house of all boys so it would be so fun to use that fabulous pink colour in my craft room – no where else I really get to use it… though I have added some bright pink to our summer front entrance lately and painted a little bird house and some wooden flowers (for my wreath) that same color. Awesome job, and thanks so much for all the tips about painting laminate. Two coats of primer…

  3. I have an old laminate bar cart that I’m desperate to make over & now I can. Thanks for helping me solve this angst ridden problem!!

  4. Oh yes! This turned out so well. Love the shade you chose. That is my favourite colour EVER! I’ve never attempted to paint laminate before, but I have a few pieces that could use a “pick-me-up.” Maybe this summer I’ll give it a try! Thanks for the tips!!

  5. LOVE this! What brand spray gun and compressor have you had success with? I’d love to get one but there are too many competing options out there. Love the professional look on your finish…

  6. I have never painted with a spray gun. Do you have to mix paint?
    Love the colour and glad you posted how to paint laminate furniture.

  7. What an amazing looking piece. I have been researching paint sprayers. Which model do you use? I love the look! Thanks for sharing this amazing piece.

    1. Hi Diane!

      I use the HVLP Gravity Feed Spray gun (20 oz.) It is from Harbor Freight Tools and it’s between $15-30 depending on if it is on sale or not. It goes on sale often so watch for the sales! You need an air compressor for it as well. Good luck and thanks for stopping by our blog!

      Mallory @ Classy Clutter

  8. Wow, thank you so much for sharing this! Do you have a link on where to buy the Krud Gloss Remover, is it at most stores? I don’t have very many reliable hardware stores nearby, and the largest chain is Walmart…..Any advice aside from buying online? I’ve got a few things I’d love to do this with!

  9. I’ve painted laminate bookcases before and also use 2 coats of Kilz. My problem was the shelves are cut so tight to begin with when I put them back in it scratched the inside of the bookcase. So the second one I just taped the sides of the shelves You don’t see them anyway. I’ve never used the Gloss Off, though. Great idea!

  10. Okay so first I am in love with your color choice, the pink with the gold handles is perfection. While it was a piece that most would throw away before you have seen its potential and it turned out perfectly

  11. Thanks for this post! Looking for the perfect pink to paint my high chair and bar cart {old changing table} and I think Behr Tutti Frutti is it! It’s like hot bubble gum, exactly what I wanted. Very cute project and what a steal on that piece!

  12. I don’t usually like bright pink but the work you have done on this piece of furniture is amazing!
    It looks like brand new! Good job 😀

  13. Most of the laminate stuff out there is mdf w/”sticker wood grain” over it. Is that what you had? The “vinyl faux wood grain didn’t bubble up or anything? I’ve been wanting to paint some bookshelves, wondering if your technique would work.

    1. We have a beloved family friend who passed and left us his home and furnishings. I have been wanting to paint the dining table and chairs he left us. The table top is laminate. Now I know how to paint the whole shebang and we will still have HIS table and chairs in our home. Thanks so much for your great instructions/help.
      Grandma Barbara

  14. beautiful transformation, I just wondered how you found the wear and tear on the item as time has passed. I am contemplating painting my UPVC front door using a similar method, bearing in mind it will get more weather abuse.

    Your comments are appreciated.

  15. This is crazy…..I have the EXACT same bookshelf! Actually, I have 2 of them! I inherited them when my husband and I got married. He used them in his bedroom, but I hated them! Right now they are side by side in a guest room because I have no idea what to do with them. I can’t wait for the weather to warm up….this will be a project for me. I just need to figure out what color to paint them. Maybe a gray?

  16. I’m thinking after reading your page on this furniture it is time for me to graduate to a paint sprayer. Which one would you recommend? I googled the one you had on your page but a lot of different ones came up.

  17. Stunning transformation–I don’t know that I would have thought to pair the gold with hot pink, but you are absolutely correct — it’s an awesome color combination and looks so good in your craft room. I’m so glad you shared this, step-by-step, as I’m about to embark on laminate paint project myself and have been looking for some tips/direction. Thanks to you, I’m now officially motivated and to get started!

  18. Hi, thank you so much in making me want to finally decorate my home how i visioned it. I just came in from doing my first project. I want to paint my daughters small bookshelf in grape purple, so i primed it first. Is it normal to finish a WHOLE can of primer on a small bookshelf or did i go overboard?

  19. Does this concept apply to laminate kitchen cabinets as well? I just bought a house and your website is my “go-to” for inspirational idea and tips! thanks for all of your great ideas!!

  20. I’ve inherited my late mother-in-law’s three-piece wall unit. It’s a pressed wood/particle board with a rather thin wood-printed paper veneer. The bottoms of each of the pieces are beaten up from being in storage a few years but, if I have to use them (my husband doesn’t want to toss them, but has given me creative license to do what I want to them) then I have to think about how to repair that damage before I even paint! AND, I can’t take these things outside: they are too heavy! So, any painting will happen in the room they have been placed in.. Any suggestions on how to repair the damaged/splitting bottoms? It also has this floral detail embossed in the doors… I’d love to fill it to smooth it out! Any ideas?

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