How To Paint Laminate Bathroom Cabinets In 8 Simple Steps

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Painting laminate cabinets can help transform your bathroom from one that looks outdated and boring to one that looks refreshed and modern. But how do you go about painting laminate cabinets? We have looked into a few ways to do it, and in this post, we will discuss one of the best ones with you.

Here are the steps to paint your laminate bathroom cabinets:

  1. Gather your painting tools and supplies
  2. Remove the cabinet drawers, doors, and any hardware
  3. Clean the cabinets thoroughly
  4. Repair any damaged areas
  5. Sand the cabinets
  6. Apply wood primer
  7. Re-sand the cabinets
  8. Paint the cabinets

Many homeowners can appreciate a complete bathroom remodel, but sometimes budgeting for such a project can be quite a struggle. In this post, we will go over a simple way to give your bathroom a makeover by painting your laminate cabinets. Continue reading to learn more about a step-by-step guide that you can use to get your cabinets painted quickly.

A blue and white bathroom with lots of storage space, How To Paint Laminate Bathroom Cabinets In 8 Simple Steps

Steps To Paint Laminate Bathroom Cabinets 

Before you paint the cabinets, it’s important to determine what color paint will work best for the bathroom. Will a darker paint be better to help make the bathroom look more modern? Or will a lighter-colored paint work better to open up the space? Narrowing down the paint color can prevent you from feeling any remodeling dissonance once the project is completed.

Blue and white bathroom with lots of storage space

Things you’ll need:

  • Painters tape
  • Paintbrush
  • Degreaser or all-purpose cleaner
  • Wood primer
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood putty
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller

1. Gather your painting tools and supplies

Start your project by gathering all of your painting supplies and place them on the floor away from the cabinet. You’ll also want to place a tarp on the floor and any nearby furniture or appliances to avoid paint spatters.

Check out this tarp on Amazon.

2. Remove the cabinet drawers, doors, and any hardware

Next, grab your screwdriver or drill and remove any hardware from the cabinets. If you plan to remove the cabinets completely from the wall, be sure that you have a workbench or table to set them on. You may want to take a picture of the cabinets beforehand so that you can have a quick reference when it’s time to put it back together.

Check out this screwdriver on Amazon.

3. Clean the cabinets thoroughly

Clean the cabinets using a degreaser or an all-purpose cleaning solution. This is a very important step as you don’t want any dirt or grime painted onto the cabinets once the project is complete. You can also try using dishwashing liquid or trisodium phosphate cleaner to help remove tough grease stains. Be careful not to overly saturate your cleaning cloth with water, as you don’t want to cause the cabinets to buckle due to water absorption. The cleaning cloth should be damp but not dripping with water.

Take a look at these microfiber cleaning cloths on Amazon.

4. Repair any damaged areas

Next, repair any holes, dents, or scratches in the cabinet. You can use wood putty to fill these areas and a putty knife to smooth it over. After smoothing the putty over with your knife, be sure to let it dry for the recommended drying time.

Check out this wood putty on Amazon.

5. Sand the cabinets

Take your sandpaper or a sanding block and scuff up the surface of all of the cabinets. It’s best to start with the outer areas of the cabinets and then work your way to the inside. Keep in mind that you only want to lightly scratch the surface of the wood, to provide better adhesion for the primer and paint once they’re applied. You may want to put on your dust mask during this part of the project as it can get pretty messy.

Read more details about this sanding block set on Amazon.

6. Apply wood primer

Shake or stir the wood primer before opening the can to mix the contents before you use it. Next, use your paintbrush to apply the primer to the outer areas of the cabinets. After you’ve painted the outer sections of the cabinets, paint the inner walls, ceiling, and bottom portions of the cabinet.

If you’ve removed the cabinets, be sure to let the primer dry before turning each cabinet over to paint the other side. And if you’re applying more than one coat of primer, be sure to let the previous coat dry fully before applying any additional coats.

7. Re-sand the cabinets

Laminate cabinets have an especially smooth surface, so it can be beneficial to re-sand them after applying the first coat of primer. Take your sanding block and lightly go over the cabinets and drawers to slightly etch the surface. Be sure to also go over the cabinets with a mildly damp cleaning cloth to remove the dust from the wood before applying the additional coats.

8. Paint the cabinets

Once the last coat of primer has dried, mix your paint with a mixing stick, and then apply it to the outer portions of the cabinets. Make sure cabinets are dust-free before applying the paint. If you have a large cabinet area, it may be easier to use the paint roller instead of the paintbrush. Start with the outer sections of the cabinets and then paint the inner parts using your paintbrush.

For any cabinets that have been removed, paint the outer section first, let it dry and then paint the other side afterward. Next, paint any drawers that were removed from the cabinetry. For extra adhesion, it’s helpful to lightly sand the surface of the cabinet before applying the second paint coat.

Check out this paint roller set on Amazon.

What kind of paint do you use on laminate cabinets?

Master bath with dark wood cabinetry

More often than not, you’ll find that painters will generally recommend latex paint for laminate cabinets. However, you can use oil-based paint on these cabinets as well. Oil-based paints can provide your cabinets with a beautiful, resilient finish, and they have a very long-lasting time. One of their biggest disadvantages, however, is that they can take anywhere from 10 to 15 hours to dry.

This can be a hassle if you’re taking the cabinets apart to paint them. When it comes to latex paint, one of the biggest advantages of latex paint is that it has a very low VOC level, and it dries fairly quickly. Even if you apply two or three coats of latex paint to the cabinet, you’ll still find that the cabinets will be dry in as little as two to four hours.

Learn more about this latex paint on Amazon.

How do you prepare laminate cabinets for painting?

The most important steps involved in preparing laminate cabinets for painting are sanding, cleaning, and priming the cabinets. It’s important to clean the cabinet so that no dust particles or debris are painted onto the surface of the cabinet during the priming and painting processes. Sanding the laminate cabinets helps to create a better surface for the adherence of the paint and primer.

How can I paint my laminate bathroom cabinets without sanding?

The best way to paint your laminate bathroom cabinets without sanding them is first to prime the cabinets using a good wood primer. While you can use oil or latex paint on un-sanded cabinets, it’s best to use either chalk or enamel oil-based paint, as it will stick to the surface better. Laminate cabinets can be challenging to paint and due to their slick surface, which, unlike regular hardwood, can cause paint to buckle or peel easily.

Take a look at this enamel-based paint on Amazon.

Is painting laminate cabinets worth it?

Absolutely. As long as the surface of the laminate isn’t peeling or buckling and is in overall good condition, you can paint them. If you are looking for a way to improve the appearance of your bathroom without spending a lot of money, this is a budget-friendly option. So instead of replacing the cabinets completely, which can cost hundreds of dollars, you can simply paint them yourself for around $100.

What is the difference between laminate and veneer?

The biggest difference between laminate and veneer is that wood veneer consists of a thin layer of hardwood that is placed over less expensive wood, such as plywood. On the other hand, laminate is a printed surface that is made to have the appearance of real hardwood, but the materials consist of bonded plastic with a wood composite base.

Wrapping Things Up

We hope that this post has helped illustrate how to paint laminated bathroom cabinets. Remember, it’s always best to plan for a painting project ahead of time to ensure that you have everything you need once you begin.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

Should Bathroom Countertops Match The Floor?

13 Perfectly Zen Bathroom Ideas

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