DIY Projects · Flip #3 · Uncategorized

Painting Laminate

A small laundry room update: Murphy’s Law. Every little thing is going wrong, so there is not a big reveal for that project- yet! BUT, I do have one little tiny corner of the room that is finally finished.

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Several months ago, I found this cabinet for FREE on Craigslist. FREE, people! As soon as I saw it, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. After hauling it home, it stayed for quite a while in my garage. I finally moved it into the laundry room where it continued to sit for many more months. But as soon as the laundry room remodel began, it was no longer a random eye-sore in the laundry room!

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I wanted to create the illusion of built-ins in the laundry room because that it is a great selling feature…plus, this little retro house does NOT have a lot of storage. So my contractor built a wall around the cabinet to make it look built-in! And I loved it…except for that honey orange color. It did NOT match my design plans. But there was one little problem- it was laminate wood. And I’m sure we’ve all tried at one point or another to paint laminate and quickly learned, it scratches right off.

But don’t fear! With just a little bit of work (and I do mean very little), you can paint laminate to look like real wood cabinets!

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I started by removing the doors. I didn’t use a primer before I started painting…I didn’t sand either. Instead, I used my all time favorite [inexpensive!] chalk paint as a base layer. I chose Waverly’s White Chalk Paint. I had both doors and the cabinet dried in less than 30 minutes.

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After the chalk paint dried, I used regular high gloss white latex cabinet paint. It was about $10, and I bought the larger size bottle of chalk paint which was $10. So my cabinet makeover was $20. One of the reasons I chose to not just chalk paint the entire thing was because the latex covers any “crackles” the chalk paint sometimes has. It also creates a high gloss, durable final coat.

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I chose not to the paint the insides, but I painted both doors and the trim. After my one coat of chalk paint, I applied two coats of the latex paint. I loved the finish! It was beautiful and seamless- no brush strokes showing. And the best part? It hasn’t chipped! The chalk paint adheres to laminate really well (remember my “new” end tables?!), and the latex patent creates the illusion that these are real wood cabinets.

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For $20 and about 2 hours worth of time, the ugly orange cabinet has a new life! Since I already have a real wood vanity in this room, I wanted this built-in to match it.

Sometimes newer homes have laminate cabinets in a kitchen or bathroom, and if that’s you and you don’t like the color but thought you were stuck with it, you aren’t! Grab a bottle of Waverly paint (any color!) and cabinet latex (they can even match to the chalk paint!) and your cabinets can have a new life!

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12 thoughts on “Painting Laminate

  1. I just bought a house that all my kitchen cabinets are wood laminate. I thought I was going to have replace them all! Thank you for posting this! Where did you buy the latex for cabinets and is it special paint for that? Also, what types of brushes did you use for both paints?
    Thank you again!

    1. Hi Suzanne! I bought the latex from Lowe’s. I believe it was Olympic brand. I just went in and said I needed a good high gloss white cabinet paint and that’s what they gave me! For the chalk paint, you can use any brush– I used an older one- so it doesn’t even have to be new. For the gloss paint, I always use an angled short brush (also from Lowe’s).

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