Painting Laminate Furniture: TV Stand Upgrade

Let me start by saying that I don’t advocate going out of your way to obtain laminate furniture to refinish. Laminate is usually composed of cheap particle board covered in a layer of paper or plastic that has a wood grain pattern.   The surface does not take well to paint, may bubble if not applied correctly, and cannot be stained.  That being said, when you’re still suck with that cheap TV stand that you bought for college, but now doesn’t go with ANYTHING you own, painting can be a inexpensive alternative, and here’s how to do it correctly!


TV Stand: Before & After

What You Will Need

  • Chosen furniture paint (For this project I used my old TV stand)
  • Sanding Block
  • Paint Primer
  • Furniture Paint (Spray can or bucket paint is fine.  I used a latex paint for this project.)
  • Paint Brush or Roller
  • Gloves (So you don’t get paint everywhere!)
  • Drop Cloth
  • Drill (If you plan to change the placement of any knobs)
  • Knobs (If planning to change or add any new hardware)
  • Screwdriver
  • Polyurethane

Side Note: Adding new hardware is one of the easiest ways to dramatically change the look of cabinets and furniture; however, it can get expensive!! One of my favorite places to shop when looking for unique knobs at affordable prices is Hobby Lobby!  They carry the same styles that you would usually find in high-end boutiques, but at a fraction of the price.  Make sure to check their website for coupons, and if it’s your first time, be prepared to find yourself blissfully lost somewhere between that fabric you all of a sudden need, and the new art supplies you simply can’t live without!….the place is pretty addicting! 😉

The Process

Prep the Furniture

Remove hardware and hinges.  Take out any drawers or doors that can be removed, and give the furniture a good cleaning.


Since this is laminate furniture, you only really want to sand sections where the top paper or plastic has either dented, or is peeling off.  The goal is just to create an even surface.  Don’t overdo it!  Wipe the furniture down with a damp cloth to remove any dust.


Using a paint brush (or spray can), cover the entire service with a thin even coat of primer.  If painting drawers or doors, make sure the first side has dried completely before flipping it over to complete the other. Priming is the number one thing that will help protect the laminate furniture from bubbling when paint is added, so it’s really important that you don’t skip this step!


Paint the Furniture

Using your chosen paint, cover the surface following the same process you did you with the primer.  It took two coats of paint to achieve the look I wanted for my TV stand.  Let dry completely.

Seal with Polyurethane

I personally prefer the sock method for this application! It helps to ensure there won’t be any bubbles in the top coat. Give the polyurethane a good stir per product directions, and partially dip a sock into it the same way you would a paint brush.  Lightly wipe the polyurethane on the surface of each piece and let dry.

I found these funky key handles at the Hobby Lobby and loved the way they looked against the white (warning: bad picture. I promise they look far better in person!)

I found these funky key handles at the Hobby Lobby and loved the way they looked against the white (warning: bad picture. I promise they look far better in person!)

Add Hardware

Replace any hardware and hinges that you took off.  If you decided to add different knobs, first determine placement and then drill their new locations.  Screw everything in securely.

Voila! You’re done!  Inexpensive upgrade, big impact!


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