Sunday, June 7, 2009

How to paint laminate.

I should have known better to attack this project. I have learned over the past year or so that laminate is my nemesis. He hate me. (Check my first post to understand.)

I know how to paint stuff. I do. I even knew/know how to paint laminate. It just doesn't like me much, and from now on, I think we're gonna keep our distance. Hater.

It started with the TV cabinet in the playroom/loft:
I kept looking for something new (like, Goodwill-new) for the space. It had to had storage like this one, it had to have the open shelving like this one, it had to be this size. And it had to be black. Hmmmmm...ummmkay. Why don't I just paint this one? I know, you are quicker than me...

So I just painted it. It is laminate, through and through. I went to meet Paint Guy at Lowe's. (We're on a first-name basis. His name is Paint. Guy.) I asked him for the best, most fantastic primer he could ever think of for painting laminate. He said B.I.N. primer by Zinsser was the best one. AND it dries in 45 minutes!!

I skipped out of the store, I was so excited! I could actually get this done in Sarah-time! That would be asfastaspossiblegetitdoneNOWIhatewaitingforpainttodry time.

Well...I don't know what this stuff is but it is waaaay weird. It destroyed my rollers and foam brushes. Super weird. Like, they were melting off the handles weird.

It did dry fast though...so I was OK. Over the next few days, I did three coats of black (even though I used tinted primer), a couple coats of poly, later added some cute red knobs from Hob Lob:

Put the TV and components back on and this started happening:
That's a huge chip with the laminate showing through, covered by black Sharpie, in case you couldn't tell. (Most of the time, black or brown Sharpie is great to cover up scratches, by the way.)

Then, it chipped under the TV. In like, three places. I could have cried. Really. Told you. Laminate is out to get me.

BUT...I spent $10 on primer, a few bucks on new rollers, and only a few hours of my time. Even if it looks good for another six months or so, in the end, I feel like it was worth it. I loooove how it turned out...a new black cabinet would have been at least $250.

That's what I keep telling myself anyway. :)

Before:
After:

Worth it?

P.S. Yes, I sanded it. No, not a really really good sanding. :)
Yes, I let it cure between coats (as long as directed). No, probably not as long as I really should have. (I know better!)
Yes, I was super anxious and tired of the electronic crap all over the room and probably put everything on too fast -- should have waited at least a whole day. NO. I didn't follow my own advice. (Have I mentioned how very little patience I have when it comes to painting lately??)

Hangs head in shame...

62 comments:

  1. Maybe it needed to "cure" a little while before doing more coats?

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're the only one who'll ever know. I promise I won't tell the others where that paint chip fell off & you had to use sharpie:) It looks great, lady!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm annoyed for you about that chip. That sure is weird about laminate. I have never tried to paint anything laminate. But anyway, it looks great to me!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It was totally worth it ! Looks great!!!! I have an armoire here "dieing" to be painted black! Love your makeover! Looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's disappointing.

    Try some TSP next time to degloss it? That is what Magic Brush recommends.

    But like you said...it works for the time being and gives you time to shop the next piece.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It stills looks really sharp. Love the snazzy red knobs. Great work! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Zinnser primer and I are old friends! Used it many times and just recently on our oak kitchen cabinets. Your cabinet looks great in black!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is why God invented table runners! A way-cute red gingham one under the TV, and voila! No chippy chippy. Even a fabric placemat would do the trick.

    Recoat the whole thing in chalkboard paint. Now THAT would be cool in a playroom!

    Good luck, it still looks great from here!

    ReplyDelete
  9. It looks great and that is all that matters!

    ReplyDelete
  10. So funny you are. I've had the same frustrations. I've learned....Oil Paint. Let it cure and that sucker will last you for YEARS. I've got an OLD wardrobe that was beyond refinishing or restaining...painted it with oil, let it cure...dry alone for up to 3 weeks in garage...nary a nick.

    But LOVE your 'new' tv stand!

    Xina

    ReplyDelete
  11. It looks good. What I have found, and I paint a lot, you have got to let it cure in between coats--24 hours is good. And I let the poly sit for at least 24 too. Or when I don't, I regret it. Just call it the aged look--chippy and peeling!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Looks great!
    Would sanding have made a difference? I have read a few laminate tutorials that recommend sanding.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It does look great in black, but bummer about the paint chipping.

    $10 to fix it up was worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yep, I say it was absolutely worth it. I think it looks great! I think others may be right that it just needs some time to cure. Between the weight and heat of the tv that could be part of the problem. I'll bet once it cures it won't give you many problems.

    Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh it looks fabulous. I think the small paint chip is just fine. After all most everyone trys to get theirs to look peeling. Great piece and black is perfect. Hugs, Marty

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey the knobs are cute right? HA HA...laminate does hate you. Wink! I swear I tell you sand the crap out of it with 60 grit...laminate will then like you.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think it looks great! I am so with you on not waiting to let the paint dry. 24 hours between coats...are you serious? Who has that kind of time...really!
    I think you will enjoy it for a LONG time!
    Blessings,
    Traci

    ReplyDelete
  18. Looks awesome! I say enjoy it and touch up when needed. I am totally impatient too when it comes to painting. I want a project done so I can move on to another one!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Primer, huh? And sanding? So that's why when I tried to paint that cheap put-it-together-yourself bookshelf it looked so awful.

    ReplyDelete
  20. you got me laughing!!! I am so the same way when it comes to paint! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh, please! You are the only one who will ever know that your laminate hates you. It looks great!! My motto is, "The kids woulda done it anyway . . . " Maybe you just need to get a wetter Sharpie. My best friend!!

    Congrats on the makeover! Totally worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm with you... I can't stand waiting in between coats. It takes all the fun out of instantaneous painting. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Sarah!
    You know why you have such a huge following? Because you have great ideas...well sure that's part of it. But really it's because you are not afraid to be a "real" person. You are not afraid to try, and you are not afraid to admit if you have a "Craft Fail".
    Thanks for sharing the Good, the Bad, and all the humorless "uglies" of Laminate.
    ~Sherrie

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hmmm, Paint Guy might have directed you to the best "general" primer, but is it the best primer for laminate? I'd have a look on the shelves and see if there's a product specific to laminate and see if it works better. But great makeover anyway! Hey, maybe if you scuff up the edges with sandpaper for a distressed look then the chips will look like they blend in more.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think it looks great! And those red knobs from Hob Lob are fabulous.

    ReplyDelete
  26. It still looks better than before. The key to Bin or Zinser is cure time. They are thick and gloppy. I think they are some sort of epoxy base or shellac in the case of Bin. The other key to laminate painting is sand the s**t out of it, preferably with an electric sander. Sometimes though, it is too hard to wait (I am impatient too) so just save a little paint for touch ups and enjoy the beautiful new look.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Too bad about the chip! It looks way better and I love the red knobs! Yes, paint needs to cure which is frustrating when you want a quick fix!

    Manuela

    ReplyDelete
  28. I would call the paint chips "Distressing" and sit back and enjoy your beautiful new TV cabinet. I have a similar one in our living room that keep taunting me to paint it black.
    It looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  29. How frustrating. Even so, it's still a huge improvement! I'm so like you when it comes to waiting for paint to dry. I'm always just so excited to GET IT DONE and get it in place that I never wait as long as I should, and I always regret it.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Still looks great! :) I bought some Bin Primer to start working on my table.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have a hard time waiting for paint to dry too. Once it is done and all purdy, I just want to use it. I will try to learn from your mistake!

    Even though it is chipped and peeling, I still think it looks fabulous. No one would ever know (well except for all of us that read your blog.) :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Makes me feel better about leaving that $7 bookshelf at the garage sale on Friday...it was laminate, I thought, "Heather, don't do it, not for the playroom, it'll look terrible in no time..." :) NO REGRETS!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I think it looks great even with the chips. I love it. I had no idea HL sold knobs? What area do you find those in? I want some. :) I use Sharpie to hide bleach stains on my shirts,too! ;)
    tina

    ReplyDelete
  34. Don't be so hard on yourself, it may very well have been product failure. I followed all of the Zinnser B.I.N instructions and my cabinets chip at the slightest bump. It takes paint, primer and all off. I switched to a different primer for the lower cabinets and don't have as much chipping problem.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I, too, am a hates-to-wait-for-paint-to-dry girl. Hate. it. Sooooo impatient. But I think your hard work was worth it. That cabinet is fab now. Especially with those adorable knobs! :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Yesiree it's well worth it. I think it looks great even with the tiny flaws. It adds character!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I feel your pain, I am so impatient when it comes to painting! The cabinet looks great though & I'm sure it will hold up for a while and you will be the only one who notices the chips. Good job!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I also have an entertainment center (if you can even call it that) which needs repainting. It is also laminate and now I think I'm more scared than ever to attack it. I have NO patience when it comes to painting. Can you spray paint laminate? Yes??? Please?

    ReplyDelete
  39. It wasn't what you did, it was the laminate! I tried spray painting a laminate bookcase first. Didn't work no matter what I tried. So, I decided to paint it (normally). I did everything possible and it still scuffed and peels. Oh well, it will get me through. I'm really the only one who notices the spots where the paint has peeled off.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh my goodness, you are hysterical!! I am RIGHT there with you on this whole process...totally hate laminate and have given up on it. If you get some good words of wisdom, please post them as I have a bookshelf I just can't let go of but it's hideous. At least yours turned out really cute! Sorry it won't last longer. :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Love the cabinet re-do! And those red knobs are fabulous.

    Blessings,
    Marie
    http://emmacallsmemama.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. I painted a laminate bookcase 2 years ago and still don't have a scratch. I think the trick was the SPRAY PRIMER FOR PLASTIC. It isn't colored, it is textured and clear. I did two coats of that with a light sanding in between then a few coats of black spray paint. I am actually surprised at how it has lasted--I have also had trouble with laminate.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Don't beat yourself up, we have all done the exact same thing!!! I painted laminate bookshelves (went through all your same steps) and they began to chip. I lined the shelves with black paper to hide the chips. It is hard when we are perfectionists, but embrace the "shabby" and the chips! Oh and BTW the red knobs are the best!!!!!
    ♥ Jen

    ReplyDelete
  44. Just yesterday I was at Lowes picking up primer and I noticed a primer especially made for laminate. Unfortunately, I can't tell you the brand because I didn't pay much attention other than, "Oh, laminate primer. Now where's the kind I need?" If you decide you want to try to re-do this piece, let me know and I'll get the brand name for you.

    I also saw a DIY program quite a few years ago where they painted an old dresser with a laminate top and they first primed it with GESSO.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Oh, but it looks good. And you're right: even if it only looks good for a few months, it's worth it. And you know, it wouldn't be the end of the world if you had to put on a new coat every six months; it would still be worth it. Maybe, the next time you go out of town, you could put on a coat of paint before you leave. Then everything could be off the cabinet while you're gone (no one would be there to care!), and it would have time to really cure.

    Meanwhile, aren't Sharpies wonderful?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi! Thanks for getting back with me! And yes, your post on paint answered ALL my questions! I am fixin' to do something similar to what you did with the sqquares of molding in your living room on one of our walls! I'll post pics and link to you when we get it up! Thanks for the inspiration!!

    ReplyDelete
  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Laminate is evil incarnate, and you can't blame yourself for its inherent naughtiness!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Bummer about the paint! Love the knobs though! Where did you get them?

    ReplyDelete
  50. LOL and this here is why I love your blog. You are so much like me. I do not like projects that take me a looong time. I like to have it all done within an hour or 2 and have rushed through many a project to regret it later.

    ReplyDelete
  51. It looks sooo good! Huge improvement )

    ReplyDelete
  52. What type of finish and brand of black paint and primer did you use? Please email me and let me know. I have a table or two that I want to paint and I like the finish on your product.

    ReplyDelete
  53. SET COAT is the answer! A friend (who is also a faux finisher and knows all of the tricks) just finished an entertainment center and a few other pieces with this stuff. You don't even need to prime! Check it out.

    ~Melissia

    ReplyDelete
  54. I think the BIN Zisser primer takes 7 days to fully cure, right? I promise, you have to be patient, but it totally makes all the difference. That's so weird that it melted your brushes, though! That didn't happen to me. Hmmmm....

    I think it looks great, though! The red knobs on the black cabinet are adorable!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I think you did an awesome job. I love it.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I still think you did a GREAT job!

    ReplyDelete
  57. I just painted my laminate countertops this spring. Yes I said countertops...I cleaned really well, then sanded a bit then I used 2 coats of KILZ brand primer. THE. BEST. I swear. Then I used those little bottles of craft paint to sponge on to make it look like granite, then did about 7 coats of clear gloss sealer over it letting each cure for a day and lightly sanding in between all but the last two coats. I have put hot things on it, water left standing on it and cleaning it and for 3 months it is still perfect. I swear- KILZ brand and two coats. I'm painting my laminate cabinets next :) Sorry about your chippage (like the wording? lol) but no one will ever know!!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Wow you are brave to tackle laminate! Not even my diy hubby will do laminate. I may have to "experiment" with something laminate....let me go look.

    www.sergioandpattymartinez.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  59. The trick with laminate is to use spray paint. Seriously it's WONDERFUL!

    ReplyDelete
  60. I tried stain/rubbing an armoire from Pier 1 that was painted an icky creamy yellow.
    I used PolyShades and planned on doing a rubbed on look, stripey-looking, sorta. I figured the poly coat would be included too.
    It turned out great, I let it sit several days.
    First time the TV hit it going in, that stain came RIGHT OFF!
    It looked HORRIBLE, and of course it was all over the front portion where the HEAVY tv had to be set down and scooted back, otherwise there is no way to put it in.
    I ended up pulling the TV all the way up to the front edge of the shelf so it was a little less noticeable, but when you take it out, it's terrible.
    I wanted to sell it, but the idea of having to sand it all and repaint it is just too much!
    Needless to say, it's sitting in my bedroom blocking one of my closets while I wait for a space to suddenly appear!

    ReplyDelete
  61. I didn't read all these comments, but I read on another blog that that primer needs to cure for 7 days.

    A big giant UGH, I know, and you've probably already heard that by now, but...that was probably your problem. Looks good though!

    ReplyDelete

I LOVE, love, love your comments! (I read every single one.)

I occasionally have to turn off anonymous comments because of spam. If so, you can comment if you sign in with a WP/Google +/gmail account.

If you have a specific question, make sure I can answer you back by adding your email to your google/blog account! And be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site. Due to the number of emails I get, I just can't get back to everyone.

THANKS so much for reading!