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Is it possible to paint furniture that is made of particle board and has a laminate finish that makes it appear as if it is solid wood? Essentially cheap furniture. I have an entertainment center than is made like this but it is light colored where all of our other furniture is dark color. If possible we would like to paint it without it looking completely awful.

Are there any techniques for doing this?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Disassemble

It will be easier to work with if you can take the furniture apart, or at least break it down in to smaller pieces. If you can't take it apart, you'll still want to remove any doors or drawers.

Sand

You'll want to sand the surfaces that will be painted, with 220 grit sand paper. Be careful not to sand too much, you don't want to sand completely through the veneer. You're just looking to remove the protective coating, and scuff up the surface a bit.

Wipe away the dust

Wipe the surfaces down with a Tack cloth to remove all the dust.

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Prime

Prime the surfaces with a primer designed for laminate, or "glossy surfaces". Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer/Sealer is one such primer, though somebody in the paint department at your local hardware store may be able recommend a better/different one.

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Wait

You'll want to wait the full cure time specified in the instructions on the primer, before you start painting.

Paint

Apply 2 coats of paint (waiting the specified time between coats), with a foam brush and/or roller. You can use any type of brush you want, but a regular brush might leave streaks while a regular roller may leave an undesired texture.

Seal

Once the paint has fully dried, you can apply a polyurethane to help protect the finish. Apply 2-3 coats with a foam or soft bristle brush, sanding between coats with 220 or 320 grit sand paper (See What grit sandpaper should I use between coats of poly?).

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Put it back together

Reassemble the furniture, and touch up any spots damaged during assembly.

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Wow very detailed answer, thank you! –  Chris Wagner Dec 7 '11 at 17:16
    
Hey Tester, great answer... love that Bulls Eye, and it smells great too. lol –  shirlock homes Dec 7 '11 at 20:18

I'd suggest talking to a dedicated paint store specialist. I imagine you can but it's going to take some heavy duty primer or possibly an epoxy based paint.

Off the top of my head, one specific product that might fit the bill is a new-ish 'kitchen counter refinisher' that I've seen pop-up lately at the home improvement stores. There appear to be various brands. A quick google search turns up several. It appears that many of them are using an epoxy based system. I have no idea the cost, so it may very well be cost prohibitive compared to the original cost of the furniture.

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Thanks I'll check into the refinisher. It was a hand me down, so there isn't much to lose aside from shortening the time span before we spend the money on something new. –  Chris Wagner Dec 6 '11 at 21:49

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