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:

Shop this project with text


Before you go...



  • Reply
    Diane @ Vintage Zest
    June 5, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Thanks for the tips! I’m pinning it right now. 🙂

    • Reply
      Betty Dugger
      April 25, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      love the directions in detail will be tryng soon

  • Reply
    June 5, 2013 at 4:11 am

    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!

  • Reply
    suzan sweatman
    June 5, 2013 at 4:18 am

    It turned out just gorgeous – what a spectacular color!!! And the gold is perfect against it

  • Reply
    Krista @thehappyhousie
    June 5, 2013 at 9:39 am

    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…

  • Reply
    June 5, 2013 at 9:51 am

    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!!

  • Reply
    June 5, 2013 at 10:02 am

    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!!

  • Reply
    Gabbi @ Retro Ranch Reno
    June 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I adore your choices for this piece!!! I really wish I had a spray gun to paint all of the furniture I buy!! So jealous! 🙂

  • Reply
    Klasik Koltuk Takımları
    June 13, 2013 at 5:01 am

    Great designs. I really admire the look of each picture.

  • Reply
    June 13, 2013 at 10:10 am

    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…

  • Reply
    Anjana @ At The Corner Of Happy & Harried
    June 13, 2013 at 10:15 am

    It looks absolutely stunning! Thanks for the tips. Lovely shade of playful pink!!

  • Reply
    June 15, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    What a gorgeous transformation! I love the pink. Thanks for the painting tips. If you get a chance, please share this on my linky party: http://suburbsmama.blogspot.com/2013/06/sunday-linky-party-12.html

  • Reply
    June 17, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Would this work for those brown toddler dressers just like the ones you get from Walmart?

  • Reply
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    June 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm

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  • Reply
    July 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I love this project! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    July 19, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Linda had a little Lamb
    July 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    What a great idea and I love the pink colour. Cute office too. Thanks for the tips.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Mallory & Savannah
      August 9, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      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

  • Reply
    August 13, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Love the mont colored dresser. What is the color and brand?

  • Reply
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    August 17, 2013 at 3:17 am

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  • Reply
    August 28, 2013 at 10:30 am

    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!

  • Reply
    August 31, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    You did a great job! I’m loving the color scheme!!!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Hi, this looks great! Did you brush or spray on the KILZ primer? If brushed on, do brush marks show on finished piece?

  • Reply
    September 26, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Great, detailed instructions. I look forward to using this technique in my home bar. Cheers!

  • Reply
    October 10, 2013 at 11:33 am

    thanks for this! looking to do this with my ikea table soon!

  • Reply
    December 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    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!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Lisa@ Creative Raisins
    January 17, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    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

  • Reply
    Morgan {Style Oyster}
    January 24, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Karly Spalding Photography
    May 15, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Very nice – will be trying this soon.


  • Reply
    May 25, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Love this! Great idea!

  • Reply
    June 17, 2014 at 4:23 am

    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 😀

  • Reply
    July 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Mallory & Savannah
      July 7, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      Hi Jeri!

      That’s exactly what this bookshelf was. It’s held up great and hasn’t bubbled at all! Thanks!!!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    After priming the piece (laminate). Can I spray paint it with canned paint?

  • Reply
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    September 30, 2014 at 11:28 pm

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  • Reply
    October 4, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    question about the Krud Kutter. Did you feel it “dulled” it out to prime and paint? Does it have a heavy odor? thanks

    • Reply
      Mallory & Savannah
      October 5, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      Hi Marjorie! It definitely dulled it to prep for paint but it does also have quite an odor. Definitely use it outside or in an open area.


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    • Reply
      February 7, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      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

  • Reply
    Gina Perestrelo
    October 19, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Mallory & Savannah
      October 20, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      Hi Gina! This piece is still in great shape! It’s a great method!

  • Reply
    Angie Black
    December 28, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    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?

  • Reply
    March 6, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    March 15, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    I love what you have done with the bookcase but I especially love that teal buffet! It is gorgeous!!!

  • Reply
    March 26, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Great tips. Have a small book shelve with the same color and didn’t know where to start. Thanks

  • Reply
    March 28, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    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!

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  • Reply
    November 19, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing this idea. I have been looking for a piece of furniture for my daughter to redo. This will give us more options.

  • Reply
    Millia Bon
    March 17, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    I love spray paint!! I do wish there were a wider range of colors. I’ve learned to do several very light coats to avoid drips.

    • Reply
      Mallory & Savannah
      March 18, 2016 at 6:59 am

      We love spray paint at well! Ya if lighter coats work for you keep doing it so you can get a clean look! Thanks for stopping by! xoxo

    • Reply
      Courtney Bishop
      April 13, 2018 at 6:23 pm

      That’s such a good idea! I always forget about spray paint..

  • Reply
    Imogen McKenzie
    May 29, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    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?

  • Reply
    home furnishings Brooklyn
    February 16, 2018 at 6:40 am

    Thanks for giving us ideas. I want to do it a long time ago.

  • Reply
    Ellen from Ask Away Blog
    March 6, 2018 at 6:38 am

    OMG I have so much furniture like this and I didn’t realize it was do-able. Thank you SO MUCH FOR THIS <3

  • Reply
    Courtney Bishop
    April 13, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    Love, love, love your style! I feel inspired to finish the dresser I have halfway painted, hah.

  • Reply
    Penny Reynolds
    June 17, 2018 at 7:51 am

    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!!

  • Reply
    October 16, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    How do you “lacquer” laminate furniture?

  • Reply
    April 30, 2019 at 6:10 am

    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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