How to paint over Laminate

To paint over laminate you will have to thoroughly clean the surface with a good degreaser. We like to use Krudd Cutter but Windex works well too.
In addition, make sure there are no oil or grease stains on the laminate or else your paint will not adhere. Or you will have stains bleeding through.
Then you will have to lightly scuff up the surface with medium-fine grit sandpaper. 220 grit works perfectly. Once the surface is scuffed it will provide the primer with grip to bond to.
After the primer is fully dried you can apply a top coat of your choice.

What's the best Primer for laminate?

 At 518 Painters we have 2 primers we like to use when we have to paint over laminate.

Our first option is Zinnser Coverstain which is a oil-based primer. 

This primer works great. Additionally, it also comes in aerosol cans.

The downside to it is the high VOC which makes it very smelly.

Check out the “Suggested Products” section for more info.


oil based cover stain primer
oil based cover stain primer for ceilings

Another option is INSL-X STIX which is a waterborne product but sticks to almost any surface, even glass.

The downside to it is that it has a 16 dry time before you can paint over it.

inslx stix bonding primer

Can You PaintOver Laminate without Sanding?

You can paint over laminate without sanding by cleaning your surfaces with a green Brillo pad.

The green Brillo pads are medium-coarse.

Therefore, it will possibly create enough of a “tooth” for the primer to mechanically bond to.

What paint will stick to laminate?

This can be a hit or a miss. 

But only if you do not prep and prime the laminate surface as mentioned before.

Some oil-based paints like Rustoleum spray cans will work.

However, if you did not clean and scuff the surface then chances are that the paint will not be able to create a bond.

Can I stain laminate furniture?

No, since laminate is a plastic finish that most often has a faux wood pattern printed on it. Therefore, your only option is to paint over laminate furniture or kitchen cabinets.

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