Laminate table top - Can I paint or stain it?

projectsneverendAugust 17, 2009

I found a dining set on CL - good price, good shape for my space, nice chairs, etc... I was thinking I'd darken the wood with gel stain or paint. (I have not seen the set yet so don't know if it's 'too nice of wood' to mess with -- we'll see, but it doesn't look like it in the pic.)

The seller said: "The table top is laminate but the rest is real wood".

Can I paint or gel stain laminate? Or do some other magic? Or is laminate meant to stay 'as is'?

Ideas? Any successful makeovers here?

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I tried once....but even though I sanded it some....the paint came off really easily.
I wouldn't plan on changing the top.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 11:18AM
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As far as I know, you can't gel stain laminate. You can paint laminate, but for the heavy wear that a tabletop gets, you would need multiple layers of paint and poly. I would leave it as is.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 11:19AM
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Sigh. I've been watching Craigslist forever. I'm getting impatient and trying too hard to make something work I think.

Thanks for the input!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 1:03PM
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"Can I paint or gel stain laminate? "

That all depends on what the material is that is used in the laminate. Painting is usually the best choice no matter what. If the laminate is wood on the top layer, the same paint can probably be used. If the top layer is plastic a different paint should be used for the plastic than would be used for the wood on the rest of the piece.

Staining can't be done at all if the top layer of the laminate is plastic. If the top of the laminate is real wood the stain may take differently than the rest of the piece since it may be a different wood used for the laminate than the rest of the piece.

When you go to look at the piece find out if the top layer of the laminate is plastic or wood and make your decision using that info.

Here is a link that might be useful: What is Laminate?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 1:12PM
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dilly dally - You've given me some hope. Forgive me for asking a dumb question but am I going to be able to tell the difference? I assume you'd be able to 'see' the layers underneath the side of the table somehow?

This is the set I'm looking at:
Nothing fancy but there's something I like about it.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 1:58PM
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I couldn't log on earlier to GW, so I just came back to post this. I just painted my kitchen cabinets, and the ends are laminate. So rather than buying a veneer to put over it I tried something that might work for you. I sprayed the laminated part with a clear primer for plastic. I used the Lowe's brand--Valspar. It is essentially the same stuff as the Krylon that you see advertised to paint plastic stuff.

Once it was sprayed (dried very fast) I was able to paint. it looks great! Paint went on without any problem and hasn't peeled off. Of course, this is not a surface that I am touching every day, and putting dishes, glasses, etc on top of every day either.

Just thought I'd pass that along, it was so exciting when it worked for me.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 2:51PM
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Bee - Interesting info. Something for me to definitely keep in mind. Yes, I would wonder if it would stand up to the wear of a table. Thx.

We're likely going to check out the set tonight. It would be so nice if it was the right 'tone' for my room, but I just don't think it's going to be.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 8:43AM
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Look at this amazing transformation of a laminate countertop from the Home Decorating forum

Here is a link that might be useful: Laminate transformation

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 2:13PM
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