For months I have been dying to remodel one of the rooms in my house into an office. I knew I wanted to have a corner desk but after searching around online I realized that buying new would be expensive. I decided to be patient and eventually I would find the perfect one. My patience finally paid off when I was messing around on Facebook one day and someone posted a desk for sale for only $70 bucks!
I bought the desk without seeing it first so it was definitely a surprise when I found out that it was actually laminate. Now I’m sure you’ve heard before that you cannot paint over laminate. Well I was determined to set out and prove them all wrong. This is how I transformed this beat up laminate desk into a beautiful piece of furniture.
First you are going to sand it down. If you skip this step or do not sand it enough the paint will not stick. I used 220 grit sand paper and a palm sander to make it easier on myself. When sanding you want to sand just enough off to get up the waxy finish but try not to go too far where you are down to the compressed wood. You can always do a test piece where it is not noticeable to make sure the paint will stick. After your done sanding wipe it down good with a cloth to get all the dust off.
I picked up a can of Rust-oleum Chalked paint in white. You can buy this at Home Depot, Lowes, or Wal-Mart. I also bought a small roller and paint tray. I would recommend a roller over a brush because it will go on even and you wont have brush stroke lines. I did use a brush around tight corners that I could not reach with the roller. Then I would take the roller back over it and get as close as I could.
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One good thing about chalk paint is that it dries rather quickly. I waited about 30 minutes in between coats. Now it probably recommends a longer drying time but I’m impatient so as soon as it was dry to touch I moved on. In between coats I took fine sand paper and sanded the entire desk down. I cannot stress the importance of this enough! It can be a pain but the results will be ten times better in the end.
I ended up doing 3 coats because the desk was a dark color and I wanted to make sure I had an even coverage. After the third coat of paint I sanded it down one more time to get a smooth finish. I decided I wanted to have a distressed look so I took coarse sand paper and sanded around the edges of the drawers and corners of the desk. When I was finally satisfied it was time to move on to the top coat.
For the top coat I used Min Wax Polycrylic in semi-gloss and a brush. I applied it on generously to be sure I had a nice even coat. I ended up only doing one coat because I was happy with the way it came out. Here is the finished product!
So now you know it is possible to paint laminate. I love the way this piece came out and the best part is that it even looks like real wood. So if you have any old pieces of laminate furniture lying around or you find a cheap deal somewhere, don’t be scared to give this a try!
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