Since sharing our DIY built-ins using Ikea Billy bookcases, I got a lot of questions about painting them to match the white trim in the rest of our home. So, I’m back to share all the details on how to paint laminate furniture. This applies to most of Ikea furniture, but more and more affordable furniture is being made of laminate these days. It can be hard to paint sometimes and even harder to get the paint to stick. But with the right supplies and a few steps, you can achieve the color and finish you want! (post contains affiliate links, see disclosure)
- Zinsser B-I-N primer
- mini roller
- semi-smooth roller, works great for all surfaces!
- paint tray, I love this HANDy one!
- small angled brush, my favorite brush ever!
- fine sanding block
- microfiber cloth
- paint and color of choice
- First, apply the primer with the roller in larger areas, and fill in the smaller corners with the brush. Try not to use the brush too much so that brush strokes don’t show. You can also the edge of the roller to fill in the corners. This primer works great but has an awful smell. Be sure to use in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask.
- Let the primer dry completely and sand with a fine sanding block. Clean up and wipe down with microfiber cloth. Apply a second coat of primer. (I did not do this step, but I wish I did. Because the bookcases were white and the primer was white, there were some spots that I missed but didn’t see until it was too late – a second coat would have helped).
- Let the primer dry completely again, and then apply paint of choice. I didn’t use any special cabinet paint or anything like that, because the primer worked so great. I used Ultra White Valspar Interior Paint in Semi-Gloss. I chose semi-gloss so that when I need to dust and clean the shelves, I have a smooth finish.
- Sand until smooth, and apply a second coat if needed.
The primer also worked great for all the wood trim that I added to the built-ins. Most of the time, the wood soaks up a lot of paint and takes several coats. As I mentioned, this primer had a strong odor, but it worked well and I would use it again. In fact, I’ll be using it in my office soon! And maybe the bathroom cabinets?