When it comes to furniture thrifting, there are a few things I always consider before making a purchase.
- Is the piece sturdy/in good condition?
- Is the piece unique/possibly one of a kind?
- Do I want to paint it? If so, CAN I paint?
The first two considerations are deal makers/breakers. If the piece is not sturdy or unique, there isn’t much I can do to give it life. And while I don’t particularly enjoy painting furniture (not really my thing)), sometimes a piece needs to be painted in order to be saved. I used to FREAK out about painting. What if I mess it up? What if I do? This piece below was maybe $30 and I didn’t feel attached to it like my bar cart. I liked the brass detail and the shape of the piece, but the finish could have passed for a filing cabinet. Really, it looks better in this photo than it did in real life. It needed a paint job.
I had obviously already decided I was going to buy this thing for my guest room and just knew that I would “fix it”. Well.. it’s laminate. Laminate isn’t ideal to paint. But I did it anyway, and I’m happy to report that all went well and it’s actually not a faux pau to paint laminate furniture. It CAN be done. you just have to use a good primer. All about the primer.
How To Paint Laminate Furniture:
The piece didn’t have any knicks, so I started with sanding. If the piece has holes that need to be filled, fill those first before sanding.
Laminate is a shiny finish that makes it durable and scratch resistant. Sounds like a good thing. Not when painting.
I used 150 grit sandpaper to give the piece some texture. You don’t want to take the entire finish off – just make it a little scratchy. This gives the primer and paint something to adhere to and will keep it from peeling off.
After the piece was sanded, I wiped it down with a wet cloth. If there’s any dust at all left on the piece, the primer and paint will not stick. After all dust is removed, wipe it down again with a dry cloth.
Now it’s time to prime. I used Sherwin Williams multi-purpose latex primer in aerosol form. I had never used a spray paint primer, and I hope to never go back to the good ole paint primer. When it comes to paint and most DIY projects, my non-existent patience keeps me from completing most of them. This spray paint primer made the process much more doable for me.
If you do prefer a liquid paint primer, this is the traditional form.
I gave the piece two coats of primer (with an hour of dry time in between coats). After priming, give the piece a light sanding and wipe down any dust.
My paint color is Sherwin Williams Relentless Olive. I read online that the best paint to use is their Pro Classic, however, it is not available in dark colors. Because Relentless Olive has dark tones, I wasn’t able to use Pro Classic.
I asked the guy helping me what I should use since Pro Classic wasn’t an option and he suggested Resilience, which is their exterior acrylic latex paint. He said it was a very durable paint and would get the job done.
Another first for me: I used a roller instead of a brush to paint. I always have a hard time with brush marks when I paint, so I wanted to experiment with a roller this time.
I used a small, 4″ roller since my piece was small. I gave the piece two coats of paint and allowed the first coat to dry overnight. I also taped off the brass detail before I did anything else (that should be step #1).
The paint color is pretty darn good.
Full guest room makeover here.