Six. That’s how many emails I have left in my Inbox as of today. Yesterday I asked you to join me as I get our inbox to zero. And there are only six emails left to address in order to reach a December 31st goal and start fresh in 2018!
As I worked through and deleted emails, I realized I never gave you some of my best tips. So I updated yesterday’s post with those. Be sure to go back and check them out – especially the Pinterest idea!
Today, I’d like to share with you a painting tip.
Painting Over Laminate
More and more, big box furniture stores are sellling furniture made with laminate. It’s rather disappointing actually. While laminate looks great when new, it cannot handle daily wear and tear like solid wood or even veneer.
Laminate differs from veneer in that veneer is a very thin layer of real hardwood and laminate is a printed surface made to look like real wood, but is usually made of plastic and bonded to a composite base.
I work with solid wood and wood veneer whenever possible, but occassionally furniture made with laminate finds its way to my workshop. And if the overall structure is solid, I do my best to save it from the trash pile.
What I do find with laminate furniture is that any laminate surface that has items constantly placed on it and moved around shows damage. The laminate scratches and wears away unevenly. With solid wood and veneer, you can sand out this damage to smooth the surface. Laminate, however, cannot be sanded. It will not smooth out because it’s plastic so it just chips and peels and does not blend into the composite material beneath it.
So you may be asking if furniture made with laminate can be saved once damaged.
The answer is…
Laminate cannot be repaired. It can either be replaced or sealed to prevent further damage.
Replacing the laminate involves removing the old laminate then cutting a new piece to the exact size and gluing it in place.
Sealing the laminate involves painting over it. To seal the laminate to prevent further damage there are two options. The first is to paint the surface with two coats of primer and then paint with just about any type of paint. I prefer either Zinsser BIN or Zinsser 1-2-3 primer.
I always use BIN primer if I’m painting the surface white or any light color.
The second option to seal the laminate is to paint the surface with an enamel paint. My favorites are Valspar Cabinet Enamel, Benjamin Moore DTM low lustre enamel, and Benjamin Moore Super Spec high gloss enamel. Each of these paints are made to adhere to almost any surface (wood, metal, glass, and more). And trust me, they do. They also harden unlike any other paint I’ve used so they really seal the laminate.
If you’re planning to paint the laminate a dark color, you can skip the primer altogether and paint on one of these enamel paints.
Beware that painting over damaged laminate will not result in a perfectly smooth surface. If you look really closely at the top surface of this dresser you’ll see that. But the paint will absolutely seal the laminate to give an otherwise solid dresser many more years of use.
These these two dressers and a matching nightstand are now for sale in Entri Ways’ online shop.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to products I use myself.