Painting over laminate is something that many people shy away from because it isn’t the easiest material to work with. Although just applying paint to the surface without pre-treatment will not usually yield the best results, this task can be accomplished successfully if you know the required steps and follow them. Laminate that has already been painted with oil paint presents a special set of issues when it comes to ensuring that the new coat of paint will stick to the surface without peeling off. Here is everything that you need to know about how to paint over laminate, and also how to paint over laminate that’s been painted with oil paint.
The facts about laminate and oil paint
Laminate is a difficult but not impossible material to paint over. If the entire surface has been coated with oil paint, then you will have a better surface that is easier to work with than untreated laminate. Still, there are a few important steps to take to prepare the surface to ensure that you achieve a smooth and professional-looking paint job that will hold up over time.
- Step 1: Clean the surface – It’s important to start with a clean and smooth surface. You can use an ammonia solution to wipe down the surface to remove any residues that have built up on the surface over time. This will also help to remove any grime or dust that has collected. Other pollutants that can adhere to a surface include cigarette smoke, oils, and smoke particles from cooking. There could also be body oils on the surface from handling an object. You can use a soft clean cloth or a sponge to clean the laminate surface. Make sure that all of the surfaces of the laminate are clean and dry before proceeding.
- Step 2: smooth out imperfections – If there are bumps from multiple layers of paint or damaged areas, you can use light sandpaper to smooth them out. If you need to, you can also use a filler to repair any dents, pits, or deep scratches and then lightly sand until the surface is smooth. You’ll achieve far better results in your finished project when you complete these steps prior to painting.
Special step to repaint with acrylic paint
If you plan to use an acrylic-based paint over laminate that has been coated with oil paint, you’ll need to use a special primer. Kilz is an excellent brand that will adhere to the oil paint. It will give you an excellent surface that an acrylic based paint will adhere nicely to.
Primers for painting over laminate that has some bare surfaces
Laminate has a unique surface and if you attempt to paint over it without priming first, the paint will not go on evenly and it will not hold up. If it’s coated with an oil-based paint in spots, but there are also bare spots, you’ll need to cover the bare spots first. The first step is to prepare the laminate surface with a shellac primer. This is a coating that you can apply in a thin layer and it will dry quickly. Shellac sticks to nearly anything and especially to laminate. Shellac is non-toxic but once it dries it is considered to be safe for children and adults to handle. When it is applied to a surface it adheres well. Shellac primers are available in clear and in white colors. Shellac creates a surface that will also hold oil-based or latex paint. If you choose to use acrylic paint you must use a vinyl-latex drywall primer.
Take your time to get an even coating
When using an acrylic paint over laminate that has been painted with oil paint, it’s important to apply the paint in a manner that achieves a smooth even coat. If you’re painting over larger surfaces, use plenty of paint on the brush, and use long even strokes moving up and down. Allow the first coat to dry completely. If the coverage is not dark enough, you can apply a second coat of acrylic paint. If you are painting more intricate laminate surfaces that are small, such as ornate designs, you may need to use a smaller brush. Take your time to ensure that you get in all the nooks and crannies and watch for paint runs. Smooth out any excess paint in these areas before proceeding, and smooth out any brush strokes.
Sealing is an important step
Finally, after you’ve finished painting the surface and your acrylic paint job is even and beautiful, it’s time to conduct the final step. You need to treat the last coat of paint with a sealant. You can use any brand that is a water-based polyurethane, clear sealant. When shopping for a sealant read the labels to find one that guarantees that it will not turn yellow over time. This will help to preserve the integrity of your acrylic paint.
What about latex-based paints?
It’s worth noting that latex-based paints do not adhere as well to the surface of a laminate that has been coated with an oil-based paint. You can use this type of paint if you treat it with a drywall primer first, but the results are not likely to be as clean, and it will not generally hold up as well over time.
Laminate that has been coated with oil paint is not difficult to paint over. You can achieve some amazing results by following the recommended steps for preparation first. Check the item that you’re painting first to make sure that all surfaces are coated with oil paint. If there are bare spots, you may need to first, use a coating of shellac. A clean and dry surface that is treated with a coat of the most appropriate primer for the kind of paint you are using will help to get the best possible results. Even though laminate is a difficult surface to paint, it’s not impossible to do an excellent job, with long-lasting, and beautiful results. It takes a little time to prepare the surface, but it will be worth the effort.