How to Paint Laminate Cabinets in 4 Easy Steps
Can’t afford to replace those outdated laminate cabinets? Don’t worry, you still have options for an update — including refreshing them with a coat of paint. Here’s how!
When it comes to giving your old laminate cabinets an upgrade, there are several options to choose from, including refacing and replacement. Unfortunately, almost all of those choices aren’t very easy on the wallet.
Paint is actually the least expensive update option available. While laminate is a tricky surface to paint, it’s possible with the right preparation.
Tools You Need
• Drill or screwdriver
• Sandpaper (fine grit)
• Tack cloth
• Laminate paint
Step 1: Prep the cabinets
Preparation is the key to achieving optimum paint results. To begin, take the laminate cabinet doors off of their frames and remove all hardware, including the hinges. Then, check over the laminate for any damage, like cracks or warped areas, and repair them. Once that’s done, clean and lightly sand the doors. Using a tack cloth, make sure the doors are free of dust.
Step 2: Prime the cabinets
Using a high-quality paintbrush (to reduce stroke marks on cabinet edges and hard-to-reach spots), apply a decent-quality primer. When painting the cabinet doors or any other large surfaces, use a roller to ensure a smooth finish with no brush strokes.
Step 3: Sand the surfaces again
After the primer is fully dry, give the cabinets another light sanding with fine-grit sandpaper. You just want to smooth the surface, so don’t sand too much and take off all the primer you just applied. Remove the resulting dust with a tack cloth.
Step 4: Paint the cabinets
Lastly, it’s time to apply the paint. Choose a paint specifically designed to accommodate laminate surfaces. A satin finish will help hide small imperfections.
Once your cabinets are painted, if you find that your plain flat-front doors still need a boost, consider using moldings to transform them into paneled cabinets. Head to the local hardware store to find a selection of moldings to choose from. Once you decide on a design, have them miter-cut to your required measurements (or do it yourself). Paint the moldings using the directions above and when dry, glue them to the door fronts with wood glue.
It’s important to remember that like all DIY painted finishes, your cabinets will be more vulnerable to damage than those with a factory finish. Eventually, it might be necessary to change out your cabinets altogether, but by painting them you will buy yourself some time and update your look at the same time.