How to Paint Laminated Wood Furniture | What Else Michelle

Painting a Department Store Furniture

I often find it hard to find suitable furniture in department stores. From SM, Landmark even Puregold and other small, “low-end” furniture shop, they all look the same. The finish is often laminate–same old maple brown, black and sometimes but rarely white. Like this shoe rack. There were no other choices but black. It would have worked well if I were going for a zen look or if I pursued my initial red-black-white color scheme for the living room. But like I said, I’m working on transforming our ground floor into something light and airy like a beach cottage.

I have to get rid of the large dark pieces especially this shoe rack, the TV stand and my two red sofas because they suck the light out of a room and I need pieces that would reflect light. And being cheap, buying new furniture is out of the question. So the solution, PAINT ’em!

Please read on to see what this shoe rack looked like before I painted it.

It wasn’t that bad-looking but I hate how boring it looked, so typically department store-ish…

I wasn’t sure before if I could paint laminated wood but thanks to google again, it can! All you have to do is clean the furniture thoroughly first if it had been with you for quite a long time. Dirt and grime are the worst enemies of paint. Once it is clean and dry, sand it a bit until white flecks appear. (I used 220-grit sandpaper, P10/sheet.) Be careful not to sand too much though. You don’t want to totally ruin the laminates and see the wood show. You just need to remove the sheen a bit so that the primer would stick to the surface. Once you’re done sanding, clean it again, prime it then let it dry completely. Buff the primed surface lightly again using 220-grit sandpaper.

This is how it looked like after priming it.

Now you can paint the surface using a paint brush (for the edges only. You don’t like brush strokes on the surface) and foam roller. You may need multiple coats to ensure good and even coverage especially if you are painting a dark colored piece with light paint like the shoe rack. For frequently used furniture like tables, you may need to add a few coats of polyurethane to protect the paint. I didn’t use one for this though.

Here’s a shot of my fickle-mindedness.

I like the dark shade of turquoise but it looked out of place. I was thinking of doing a white stencil design in the middle, hoping it could tie the look. FAIL!

And now my “brand-new” shoe rack…

I mixed the turquoise color myself using thalo green and thalo blue. I don’t have the exact proportion but to come up with this shade, it should be about 60% green 40% blue.  (plus tons of white, 90% white  6% green 4% blue) Just start with a teeny bit tinting color. Remember, ‘too light’ is easier to deal with than ‘too dark’.

Me, Bryce and Turtle goofing around. Did I tell you I love my new shoe rack?

Materials Used:

Sandpaper (220 grit) – P10/sheet

Foam Roller – P40-60

Paint brush – 3 for P88 (Saizen)

Boysen Flat Wall Enamel (for priming)

Boysen Quick Dry Enamel – P585/ gallon

Thalo Green and Thalo Blue Tinting Colors

Paint Thinner

Masking Tape

* Don’t mind the copy on the images. It was just me dreaming how it would look like featured in a magazine. Heehee!

24 Comments on Painting a Department Store Furniture

  1. avatar
    August 13, 2012 at 12:35 pm (4 years ago)

    Cute! 🙂

    • avatar
      August 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks. 🙂

  2. avatar
    August 17, 2012 at 6:58 am (4 years ago)

    Fabulous! You really transformed it.

  3. avatar
    September 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm (4 years ago)

    That looks fantastic. You really gave it character!

    • avatar
      September 3, 2012 at 6:44 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks, Emily. 🙂

  4. avatar
    October 16, 2012 at 3:13 am (4 years ago)

    Very cute. Where’d you get the coffee print? Love it!! TIA

    • avatar
      October 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks, Renie. It’s actually a painting on canvas which I did just for the shoot. I just needed something yellow. Haha!

  5. avatar
    December 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm (4 years ago)

    just recently stumbled your blogsite when looking for a furniture design. I love all your DIY and crafts. Love what you did with this shoe rack it rocks! I was inspired especially with your guts to paint. I find it really hard to do any sort of painting job but since recently I’ve been interested in redecorating I’ve just realized that learning to do some painting job can make a lot of difference. Thank you for inspiring, so inspired I’ve pinned most of your pictures in my pinterest!

  6. avatar
    February 14, 2013 at 11:21 am (4 years ago)

    Hi Michelle! What kind of paint did you use on your note ‘Thalo Green and Thalo Blue Tinting Colors’? Are they from Boysen as well?

    • avatar
      February 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm (4 years ago)

      Hi Diane! Yes, they’re both from Boysen but Davies carries tinting colors too. Just make sure they are tinting colors (oil-based for enamel paint) and not acrycolor (water-based for latex paint). Got them mixed up before and the result wasn’t good. 🙂

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    November 27, 2014 at 12:11 am (2 years ago)

    came across your blog post when I was searching for places to buy fabric in manila. also found useful tips for painting over laminated surfaces and mixing turquoise color. thank you! 😀

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    January 19, 2015 at 3:59 pm (2 years ago)

    Cool! I just got a new dresser and my parents didn’t like it. Good to know I can paint it! LOL. Thanks!

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3Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Painting a Department Store Furniture

  1. […] inside your shoe rack to keep the mud and dirt from sticking to the surface. I need to this on my painted shoe rack. I don’t want to mess up the pretty turquoise paint inside. 10. We probably all have a […]

  2. […] Paint Refresh on What Else Michelle /* */ […]

  3. […] generally just paid P900 for it. As usual, I hate the black laminate. It was the same finish as the shoe rack that I painted white and […]

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