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Painting furniture is one of the most cost effective ways to make over your home, but if you’ve ever struggled with Ikea hack DIY projects, peeling paint, or unwanted bubbles, it could be because you’re painting laminate. Laminate pieces are often attached over MDF to give affordable furniture a more expensive look, but the shiny, scratch resistant surface can be difficult to paint. Here’s how to give you laminate furniture a new look:

1) Clean the furniture.

Before any paint job, eliminating dust or hair from the surface of your furniture is a must. Use a solution of vinegar and water for stained or sticky pieces of furniture and a microfiber cleaning cloth to pick up fine particles.

AmazonBasics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth available from Amazon

2) Lightly sand the surface.

Laminate furniture is designed to be scratch and stain resistant, but that smooth surface becomes challenging when it comes to paint. To ensure your paint will adhere to your furniture, lightly sand the entire surface with 150 grit sandpaper.

Dura-Gold 150 Grit Palm Sanders available from Amazon

3) Use a shellac primer.

Priming makes every paint job look better, but you absolutely can’t skip this step when it comes to laminate. A shellac based primer that’s designed to stick to slick surfaces like tile will help your paint job last.

BIN Shellac Base Primer available from Amazon

4) Paint and seal.

After you’ve done your prep work, it’s time to transform your furniture. Paint your piece in whatever color you love, but don’t attempt to stain laminate since it won’t hold. If you’re using a chalk paint, cover your furniture with a wax sealant after your paint dries.

Valspar Clear Sealing Wax available from Amazon