Monday, November 9, 2009

How to paint Particleboard furniture

Update March 11,2017:  My furniture is holding up great!  The paint has stayed on, no peeling or scratching.  I still need hardware!
You probably will recognize some of these pictures my Big Reveal. My aunt gave us her entire bedroom set for free when we got married. It was old and beat up but it has worked. Once I realized it is possible to paint fake wood/laminate particle board furniture I jumped to it. It has taken a long time (I still need to finish my bed and do some minor touch ups) but it was totally worth it.

The befores

The afters-

You need:
sandpaper (120 and 220)
Primer (spray works best)
Paint and brushes
Clear lacquer (option but a good idea)

Here's how I did it.
-Start by taking all of the hardware off-If you are lucky like me half of yours will already be missing or falling off.
-Sand using 120 grit sandpaper (or something close to it.) You don't need to sand off all of the laminate just enough so its not shiny any more.-Prime-Spray primer works best. I used this kind.
-Sand lightly using your 220 sandpaper (just to make it smooth).

-Paint-I used at least 2 coats.

-Let it dry (It may take a few days don't rush it or it will feel sticky and you can ruin the paint)

-Add a coat of clear lacquer (it took away the sticky feeling)

A few extra tips I learned along the way:
-Use a power sander-I did mine all by hand and it would have gone a lot faster if I had just bought a sander.

-If you have chips like mine (one piece was really bad) you can use putty to fill it in. We used a spray on to cover the top of the long dresser-it was quick but make sure you give it plenty of time to dry.

-Also if possible keep the hardware-it is expensive. I couldn't because a lot of ours were missing and I still need to buy some.


  1. oh wow! Super cool it looks great! I have a question though! does it have a sticky feel to it? like tacky?

  2. I just wanted to let you know I left you an award on my blog! =)

  3. Looks Great!

    What kind of clear lacquer did you use?

    Thanks, Lauren

  4. Great job! I love your furniture now. It looks so clean and stylish! God's blessings, Sarah :D

  5. So you sanded after primer but before painting? Hmmm, maybe that's what I should have done with mine. It didn't turn out as good as yours. Also, did you use spray paint for the black or did you use a brush or roller? I have discovered I'm not that good with spray paint :). Was the clear lacquer spray paint as well?

  6. Ahh that might fix some of my problems then! =)

  7. The Lacquer helps with the sticky feeling. I used Bulls eye shellac. I bought it at Lowes and it is in spray paint form. The black paint was in a can and I just used a regular paintbrush. (bristle kind worked better then the foam.)

  8. That looks great! I'm impressed you did all that with spray paint.

  9. You did a fantastic job! Thanks for all of the tips! It's a beautiful transformation!

    I'm so glad you added your project to the Show & Tell too! :)


  10. I've wondered how particle board furniture would look "redone" and it looks...amazing. Great job!

  11. Looks really good! For a temporary hardware fix, you could try threading ribbon into the drill holes and knotting on the inside of the drawer to create a handle. I've seen this idea in a magazine. or two.

  12. I can't believe that you sanded that all by hand! My desk nearly killed me and I used a sander.

    Great rescue:)

  13. They look so great!! Love that you went with black... can't go wrong with black paint! ;)

  14. Love this! It looks like a new bedroom set! Thanks for sharing those tips. I wish I had found this a few months ago when I was making over a particle board entertainment center. It would have been a lot easier!

  15. Holy nelly they don't even look like the same furniture. Amazing. I love black it makes everything look so classy. Thanks for linking up.

  16. Wow what a makeover! Looks way better now! Thanks for sharing!

  17. They look so good! Thanks for all the great tips. I never would have thought to putty the dings and scratches! Our living room furniture is all banged up from my boys and I would love to paint it. Do you think spray paint would work for the color too?!?

  18. wonderful!! doesn't even look like the same piece!!

  19. You know I have been looking at this, and haven't clicked it till now, don't know why, this is awesome. Your furniture turned out so flippin cute. I can't believe it, how long has it been since you did this? Is it still looking great??? Thanks for the wonderful tutorial, I love it.

    Bella :)

    Come link this up girl, I would love to have it.

  20. It’s really great post, nice funiture blog...I am really looking forward to your next post. very good post informative content, Thanks for sharing!

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  21. wow- what a transformation! Thanks for auditioning for American Crafter- good luck:)

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  25. Nice job!! Just a suggestion for anyone else atttempting this... Oil based paint is prolly the best to use here. Not spray paint or latex. It turns out soooooo much better!!

  26. Hello, im abt to attempt this and was wondering what kind of putty to use? Is it wood putty?

  27. Thank you for sharing, it was very helpful.

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