Painting Laminate furniture. Holy mother of Lord. It took me 5 years of passive research, unending procrastination and 1 whole month of active research to finally give this laminate cupboard a makeover! And can I tell you {if i can beat my own drums that is} that it looks fantastic. As a matter of fact, a coat of ivory paint on the bleck-yellow-wannabe-grainy-wood-laminate cupboard sort of changed my entire room for good! Hop on to see the magic of paint!

How To paint laminate furniture

A topic not much talked about, painting laminate furniture is actually quite easy. The process is as simple as painting wood furniture and follows the same rule but here, priming is must. When I first broke the word of painting it over, the instant reaction of people around me were, “hey painting laminate furniture is not a good idea, because the paint won’t stick”.

Well, it is true. But then, who said paint wont stick on primer? The myth that you cannot paint over laminates comes from the fact that laminates have shiny surfaces which makes it difficult for the paint to adhere. But if you primer it first {sorry about using a noun as verb} you are creating a layer above a slippery layer in which the paint will happily adhere.

Well, here is my laminate cupboard, freshly painted with a suhweet shade of ivory and I think they are sticking to each other quite well. A result that makes me want to claim…

Painting Laminate furniture


Painting laminate furniture is Absolutely Legit

Trust me, I’ve had my share of extreme research & of course, extreme amount of unsolicited advice before I painted mine and I am glad I stuck to the idea of painting over the laminate instead of peeling & pulling them out. And I’ll tell you why I stuck to my decision of painting it over.

Many moons ago, I remember, this one time I considered giving a small cabinet a makeover and it came with ugly, yellow-white laminate. One of those unsolicited advice of peeling the laminate before painting the wood got me into a massive disaster chiefly because without professional help and hours of toil it is impossible to take off laminates. They are very strongly held in place with super glue and it takes ages to take every bit off. To top, one needs to think she is a paid slave and work around getting the glue off from the wood. Dendrite- rings a bell?

And thirdly and very importantly, the laminates break in shards and if you hurt yourself on one of those sharp edges- you’re done for. It’s way too risky for an amateur DIY-er like me.

Though, and ideally, I would love to rip the laminate off, sand the beautiful wood down, strip it of its stains and repaint, but these are very old cupboards, made of beautiful teak wood, robust in the bones, and I was scared that stripping the laminates might just harm the old wood. Hence: Light cleaning with cloth + Primer + Water based paint

Why water based paint and not oil? Well, get past this photo and you’ll have all your answers. Including which brush, which shade I used and more.


Haha, it’s funny how I talk so much: everything but the meat. Know why? Because I know you love reading my rants by now. By this time methinks my digressions and rants have become so normal in around here that if I blog just the meat some lovely folks might get offended that I’m shortcutting it all 😉 Jokes apart, I know some of you have been following me for ages and you take out time to write to me; to let me know how you cool wit my feelings {hahaha…im feeling a bit under the hoooood brutha}, and I feel so blessed to see you all hang loose with trumatter for years. Thank you for giving my ideas and rants an ear.

I pledge to keep you waiting no further. Here are:

The Do’s and Don’ts of Painting Laminate Furniture

  1. Clean the laminate furniture with a wet cloth and then a dry cloth. NEVER SAND LAMINATES because they harm the surface.
  2. Open all hardware before painting laminate furniture
  3. Buy a roller brush if your surface area is large or a set of large or small bristle brush for painting. Use 1″ for side moulds and 3″/square trim for flat surfaces. I used a plain brush first and then a roller brush.
  4. Line your area of painting with tarp.
  5. I used Utsav primer by Asian Paints to prime my cupboard. Use a broad brush to paint your entire laminate furniture with primer and let it rest for a day. It says 5-6 hours but a day works best. Paint it directly over the laminate with an even hand.
  6. Once the primer has dried, paint your cupboard with a colour of your choice.
  7. Use water based apcolite because oil paints tend to yellow faster. In addition, it gives a lovely matte finish too.

Here is a glimpse of how it looked before and how it looks now side by side!


Paint Over Laminates

I retained the pulls because its vintage brass and has a fabulous peacock motif. Plus, I am liking a bit of metal this year with simple, plain whites. I did think of replacing them with porcelain lettered pulls but this definitely give it a lot more character. Here’s a closeup:

How to paint laminate furniture handles



So yeah, what do you think? How do you think it all looks?

Tired dog tired, gotta go and feed hungry people {Just need to heat it thats all..tehehe}

I’ll see you around XO

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8 thoughts on “Paint That Laminate- A Cupboard Makeover, How to Paint Over Laminates”

  1. I have a unique situation Rukmini.. I am looking to paint my laminated projector screen(yes i used this instead of canvas cloth) a lil whiter than what the laminate is right now. What exact brand of Asian paints did you use. I want a full matte finish. I wonder if the Satin paint will leave a shine. Any advice?

  2. Hi Rukmini, your post was very useful . I am looking to paint patterns/designs on smaller surfaces of laminated frames. Wondering if on the primed layer I can use chalk paints (used to paint wood surfaces) or acrylic paints (typically used for canvas art)?
    Also can you share which primer you used exactly….is it the Utsav water thinnable wall primer? Thank You.

    1. Hi there, yes you can use chalk paint. Finish it off with a clear lacquer. Also I used royale primer. It’s made for walls but works like magic on wood

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