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Laminate Cupboards Restyled

February 17, 2016

Laminate Cupboards Restyled

I picked up these cupboards at a local auction a few weeks ago for a couple of bucks. By the looks of them you probably think I paid too much.

I mean, they are laminate! You can’t paint laminate! Wrong.

First of all I need to explain the difference between laminate and veneer. Many people use the terms interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Veneer is a thin layer of wood covering a cheaper product. It can be sanded, painted and stained just like any other wood, but older pieces are often chipped or peeling. Those usually require a bit of gluing and wood putty. Laminate is like veneer in that it is a thin covering over a cheaper product, but it is not wood. It is man-made, often plastic. You CAN sand and paint it, but a primer is essential. It cannot be stained.

My cupboards were laminate. The insides were in great shape, but the outsides…not so much…well, at least the longer cupboard with the sliding front doors. I started by cleaning them up and giving them a light sanding, then they each got two good coats of primer. After these coats dried I gave the cupboards another thorough going over. Flaws that aren’t visible before often show more clearly after being primed. Glue and caulk are wonderful for correcting flaws on laminate furniture, but the base on the long cupboard was beyond fixable. Everything I did just seemed to make it crumble more. I finally gave up and removed it and built a new wood base.

They each got a couple coats of a pale butter color and were dry brushed with white.

Then I gave them about a week to cure before I stacked them. My new cupboard unit now looks like they were meant to go together.

I paint and sell a lot of furniture, but these are mine. Storage for pennies! Yay! You can’t beat that!

Enjoy!

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