Learn how to paint laminate furniture without sanding in three simple steps and transform your piece into something you’ll cherish forever!
*This post is sponsored by Velvet Finishes paint and contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience at no extra charge to you. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that help make this blog possible.
I often get asked, “what is the best paint for painting furniture?” and “Can you paint laminate?” I’ve personally used everything from interior latex paint, spray paint, milk paint, and chalk paint on all different types of furniture and finally found a one size fits all product that eliminates the need for sanding or priming! How exciting is that? Read on to see what my favorite paint for furniture makeovers is and how easy it is to apply.
How to Paint Laminate Furniture without Sanding
If you are new here, howdy! I’m a recently retired military spouse who moved back to Texas after being gone 19 years. I’ve perfected the art of rental decorating and overcoming challenges in small spaces the last fifteen years but now am tackling homeownership with a new set of challenges!
I love infusing a colorful, global style with DIYs and furnishings in our one-story 60’s ranch-style home.
Ready for the scoop? My favorite paint for furniture with any kind of material is Velvet Finishes. Here are three reasons why:
- Velvet Finishes offers a beautiful collection of designer colors which makes the color selecting process easy! So if you struggle with what color should you use on a piece of furniture, check out their tried and true hues with examples to make the decision quick and painless.
- It is the best paint for furniture if you want to skip sanding! I have tested it out on Ikea furntiure, stained solid wood, wood veneer, laminte wood, presswood, and even vinyl cabinets. And I get the same professional results every time.
- This paint system comes with prep and protect products to acheive a a beautiful flawless finish.
What is laminate furniture anyways?
Laminate furniture is a printed surface that looks like wood and bonded to the furniture base with glue. Wood veneer is a thin layer of hardwood attached to a cheaper material like plywood.
How to paint a dresser without sanding in three steps:
For today’s tutorial, I’m using a family heirloom, a French Provincial style dresser, in our master bedroom which has a laminate top and wood frame. I’ll also answer some common questions about painting all kinds of furniture including family heirlooms and antiques.
The dresser makeover features Velvet Finishes‘ Rococo with their three-step method.
- Prepare the furniture by pulling out the drawers, removing pulls, and any hardware. My dresser’s top drawers’ pulls were screwed and nailed in so I decided to leave those and paint around them. Use painter’s tape to keep paint off non-removable hardware or furniture accents if you don’t trust free-handing. Keep in mind that hardware is an easy clean up with a quick swipe of a damp rag or paper towel. You can often scrape off dried paint as well.
- Wipe down with a damp cloth to clean or just spray Ready, let sit a few minutes, then wipe. Your furniture is ready to be painted! This great product has reduced the need for using primer has it strips away glossy or shiny surfaces like laminte so your paint can adheer to it.
- Shake your paint container or use a stir stick to mix the paint to an even consistancy. Paint your first coat of Colour which is a low VOC and non-toxic, water-based latex paint. Dip the edge of your brush in the paint and wipe off excess on the side of the container before appllying. Similary, dip your paint roller into a paint pan and wipe off excess in the paint pan before using.
- I’ve found using two light coats works the best for a nice, even coverage. This paint dries quickly so you shouldn’t have to wait long if any time before you apply a second coat.
- The first coat can look streaky on laminate, veneer, or vinyl furntiure but the second coat gets great coverage. So don’t panic if you think the paint isn’t adhearing properly! Occasionally, I touch up with a third go around in a few, quick minutes.
- Make sure to use a good paintbrush or roller found at your local hardware store. I prefer using a brush and applying paint using brush strokes in the direction of the wood grain. Make sure to watch for drips around corners.
- If you catch any dust, hairs, or drips, lightly sand when the paint is dry to the touch. (Which is pretty fast!)
- I used a small craft brush to paint around the pulls I couldn’t remove. Remeber, if you do get paint on pulls or hardware just keep a damp paper towel nearby to wipe off the wet paint.
- Apply a second light coat following the same guidelines as above. Two light coats provide a smooth finish.
- Wait for a couple of hours (or overnight) and then apply Velvet Finishes‘ Protect topcoat with a brush or sponge brush for a satin finish. I absolutely love this stuff! It protects against dings and scuffs and if the surface is used often I highly recommend it.
- I start styling my new furniture makeovers about an hour after using Velvet Finishes‘ Protect and does what it says but to be on the safe side you can let your furniture sit for a few days to completely cure.
- Dresser or other piece of furntiure
- Velvet Finishes Paint (Ready, Colour, and Protect)
- Paint brush
- Damp cloth
- Painters tape
- Remove drawers and hardware from the dresser.
- Tape off areas that don't need paint.
- Spray Velvet FInishes' Ready, let sit and wipe off.
- Shake or use a stir stick to mix a container of Velvet Finishes' Colour to a smooth consistency.
- Use a good brush or paint roller to apply the first coat. Paint with the wood grain if applicable. Dip and wipe the edge of the brush into the paint, or roll and wipe using a roller and pan.
- Allow a few minutes to dry to the touch and apply a second coat.
- Use a third coat for touch-ups if you don't have complete coverage.
- Wait a few hours or overnight and then apply a coat of Velvet Finishes' Protect to prevent knicks and scrapes. It also provides a beautiful satin finish.
This how-to card contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience at no extra charge to you. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that help make this blog possible.
Commonly asked questions:
Should I paint an antique or family heirloom?
You might be thinking, “Should I paint wood or antique furniture?” Let me explain why I’m painting a family heirloom.
My grandmother had a complete set of French Provincial bedroom furniture in one of her guest rooms since I was a little girl. It had come from a high-end furniture store and was a lovely reproduction.
My dresser isn’t considered an antique as it isn’t over 100 years old or an original French Provincial. As my sisters and cousin grew older grandma started asking which pieces of furniture we would want to have after she was gone.
I had been in love with the French style curves and dreaming about painting this particular dresser for almost twenty years! When we moved back to my home state last year my sister gave me the dresser she had been storing (after grandma passed away).
It’s bittersweet to have and I will pass it on to my children but it’s so sentimentally satisfying to finally be able to update it with a beautiful color. If you have an antique or vintage piece of furniture you are wondering if you should paint, ask yourself these questions:
- Does it have value? Do you think you might ever sell it? Consider refinishing or having it restored professionally if it is damaged or very worn and you don’t love its current look.
- It may or may not have value but do you want to keep it forever? If it doesn’t spark joy for you now or you don’t see it fitting into your decor style then change it!! Giving it a fresh paint color can do wonders for falling in love with a piece again.
How to paint furniture without sanding?
As I already mentioned, I’ve used Velvet Finishes on a variety of surfaces like wood, veneer, and even a basket without having to sand by using their Prepare spray. This makes furniture makeovers so much quicker and easier!
Should painted furniture be sealed?
Yes, it should! Usually, I wait at least a week after painting for the paint to fully cure before I’ll place anything on the surface or move it. But Velvet Finishes provides a top coat for painted furniture so you can use it much sooner.
I do recommend waiting a few hours or overnight before applying a coat of Protect. It dries quickly and then I’m able to use the furniture right away! (Velvet Finishes suggest waiting a few days after a coat of Protect before using.)
How to repaint a dresser?
Follow the same three steps outlined in this post to paint over a dresser that has already been painted. You can see how well the method works with a painted dresser that needs an update in this article! I gave my daughter’s nursery changing table-dresser a fresh look using Velvet Finishes‘ Cosmopolitan (mint) paint with gold stenciled accents. Mint dressers always look beautiful and timeless.
How to refinish a dresser?
Make sure to check out Velvet Finishes‘ Enhance glaze and metallic finishes to take your furniture to a new level if a fresh coat of paint is not what you’re looking for.
What is the best paint for upcycling furniture?
I’ve upcycled many pieces including furniture made of particle board and many IKEA pieces with Velvet Finishes because of its ease to clean, prep, and protect without the need to sand. You can see how I transformed a dark-stained cabinet to a light grey finish with step-by-step pictures in this story. Velvet Finishes is also the best paint for laminate furniture as I’ve mentioned before. I love that this one product can take care of so many jobs!! And because it makes furniture painting so easy, it is perfect for office or kitchen cabinets.
How to paint a dresser white?
Gone are the days of having to sand and use oil-based primer to achieve a beautiful white or light paint color finish! Scroll back up and follow the same steps to take any piece of furniture to white.
In conclusion my friend, I carefully chose what to place on the dresser since it is partially in front of a window. When I shopping in the Dallas design district a couple of months ago I found this great lucite sculptural piece. I’m excited it finally has a home in our bedroom.
The two botanical prints I’ve been using for years and are balanced by leaning a couple of smaller framed art prints on the other side of the dresser. An ink blot-inspired printable I created last October is one of them.
Our almost finished bedroom is one step closer! The walls, window treatments, and nightstands still need to be addressed.
I hope you enjoyed all the tips for making furniture painting easy. Check out a couple of really cool techniques like how to get white furniture chippy and a really cool metallic treatment both from the Design Asylum blog. I love how Rain on a Tin Roof even used a paint sprayer to get the job done faster!
Join me on Instagram for behind-the-scenes, DIYs, decorating tips, room tours, and home inspiration. I’ll see you over there!
If you have any questions or want to chat just leave me a comment below or my email address is [email protected] Talk soon,
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