Before we launched Peach & Pine a few months ago, I (Chandler) had been blogging over at my old site, All Precious & Pleasant Blog. I have learned so much since I started that blog three years ago, and it's almost painful to go back and look at some of my early archives. Seriously...what was I thinking with that photo editing!?
Despite that, I have had a few old posts that have garnered a bit of attention and repins on Pinterest (despite those terrible photos), so I decided to revisit them here on the new blog along with updated photos!
This particular post drives about 50% of all of our blog referral traffic! So if you are one of those people visiting us from Pinterest...THANK YOU! We're glad you're here. It's funny how sometimes the posts you least expect become the posts people love.
From here on out, this is the tutorial I wrote about three years ago on how we learned to paint and stain laminate furniture!
You may remember this post where I gushed over the free dresser I got from a Craigslist curb alert. I knew immediately that I wanted it to be our TV stand, but that I wanted to give it a little facelift. It was in good shape, but it is just laminate, and I thought some paint and a little poly-stain could make it look a little classier. I have never tried painting laminate before, but it can indeed be done! It was very time consuming, but it worked. I will start by explaining how I "stained" the top and then the painting process.
Materials needed: - Glidden Gripper Primer (or other primer designed to adhere to shiny surfaces) - Miniwax Polyshades (I used Antique Walnut) - Paint of choice (I used Polar Bear by Behr in Semi-Gloss) - Light sandpaper - Mini roller/paintbrushes/foam brushes
Part 1: Staining Laminate For the top of the dresser, I really wanted to "stain" it a darker shade and go with a two-toned look. Of course you can't truly stain laminate; there is nothing to stain. But, Katie from Bower Power gave me hope with this post about using Miniwax Polyshades on her laminate fan blades. I thought I would give it a shot. Polyshades is a combination of polyurethane (poly) and stain (shades). I read lots of reviews that said it was difficult to work with, but I thought it was really simple! With a normal stain, you wipe it on and then wipe it off, but polyshades is like paint in that you just apply it and let it dry.
I chose Antique Walnut as the color, and I could have gone a few shades darker. The laminate doesn't absorb any color, so the shade shows up a bit lighter than I think it probably would on wood (see what I did there?). But four coats and four nights later (I could only do one coat a night), it was looking pretty spiffy. I think it makes the laminate look a little more like real wood if you don't look too closely. Here it is after one coat: And the final shade after four coats:
Part 2: Painting Laminate Meet your best friend: Glidden Gripper Primer. I have read that there are several other brands of primer that will do a good job with this, but I had great success with Glidden Gripper. It is important to get a primer that will stick to glossy surfaces and create a gripping surface for the paint to adhere. This one does the trick. I started out by removing all the hardware and taking the doors off. Then I gave the furniture a light sanding with the sandpaper I had on hand (220 grit). Next, I wiped everything off and attacked it with a roller, a brush, and the primer. I found that two coats of primer was necessary in my case. Here it is all primed and ready to go. Let me illustrate for a moment the importance of primer. I was lazy the first go-round, and I didn't get it on the edges inside the cabinets. I soon discovered that the painting was completely pointless without the primer. See that part at the back where the paint isn't sticking AT ALL? Yup. Primer is essential. I had to go back and prime those spots again.
After letting the primer set overnight (it only required 4 hours, but just to be safe), I taped off the edges of the furniture and applied three coats of paint over a couple days with a foam roller and a trim brush. I wasn't prepared for doing three full coats, but it is really necessary.
After a good 24 hours drying, we moved the TV stand upstairs and began to reassemble.
I am so happy with it! This is definitely a week long project. Have patience; don't rush it. Most of my mistakes came because I was rushing to finish.
Have you ever tried refinishing a piece of laminate furniture? Any tips and tricks?
P.S. You may not need a top coat, but I noticed that some of the paint was already prone to chipping, so I decided to apply a coat of Miniwax polyurethane. Then came the big uh oh. The point of panic. Tip: Don't use oil based polyurethane on white or light colored paint. It will turn it yellow. Oh how I wish I had known that before I painted a yellow tint over the beautiful white I had spent days perfecting. After the poly dried, I was able to paint directly over it with another coat of primer and paint, and it was good as new. Oh how I love Glidden Gripper Primer! I plan on letting it cure for a full 30 days, then I will decide whether it needs a top coat or not!
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