Monday, June 20, 2011

Painting Laminate

I feel like I should be back with something fabulous after being away for so long.
However, it's 8:39 on a Friday morning. I've got about 20 minutes until my brother in law shows up to drop off my nephew and my own kids are awakened by my two dogs barking their heads off at the knock on the door. So instead of fabulous, you get fast and easy :)
Fabulous will come later.

Every DIY/Crafter wonders about painting laminate, right? It's the one thing that no one wants to say "sure! we can do that!"
That's because there are so many different TYPES of laminate. Some are a lot cheaper than others. Some chip off the particle board underneath them.
Some of them, however, are perfectly suitable for painting. It's just a matter of finding a piece that will work. Look for one without chipping or peeling. You shouldn't be able to get your fingernail into the laminate seams. And it should just FEEL thicker. Less glossy.
It's hard to explain, but if you look at enough laminate furniture, you'll be able to tell the decent stuff from the crap.

I found this 3' tall, 2' wide bookshelf at my local DI for $5. For that price, I thought I'd try it. I was my daughters room mom this year, and I really liked her teacher. I wanted to give her something special for Teacher Appreciation Week, and a bookshelf for her classroom seemed like a fun, appropriate gift.

First step was sanding. I used 80 grit to go over it once - fairly lightly - then 100 grit to go over it a second time.

Then I gave it a coat of spray primer.

I painted it a pale aqua - a beautiful color I had mixed at the Home Depot in one of the Glidden paint samples for less than $3. I like using Glidden because their tiny pots come in both flat and eggshell, instead of just flat (like Behr.)

Once it had a couple coats of gorgeous on it, I decided it still needed...something. I considered distressing, but decided to go with a stencil on the sides, instead.

They totally played up the "grandma" feel of the piece - which I loved <3

My daughters teacher loved it, too.
On the last day of school I helped her move some furniture around the room - it all had to be stacked in one area so the rest of the class could be cleaned. The paint had held up perfectly - despite a class of 25 third graders using it daily.
So...painting laminate is definitely possible - as long as it's good laminate, and you do it right :)

NOTE: 8:39 on Friday morning actually turned into 9:15 on Monday morning, because on Friday the kids woke up at about 8:42 and my brother in law showed up at about 8:45 and then, before I knew it, it was Friday night at 9:30 when I was finally done doing kid stuff. Whew! Blogging is tough when you're a mom!

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