How to Paint a Laminate Kitchen Table

Hi there, awesome Friends! I am so excited about today’s post! If you follow along with me on Facebook, you might remember this little kitchen set I spied at the thrift store over the Summer:


Gorgeous? No it certainly is not, but together we decided I should get it anyway. Although the top is laminate, the chairs are solid and the whole set was only a mere $45! It was originally $89, but all furniture was half off that day so I just had to bring it home.

I love anything cottage-inspired and I imagined this in a quaint little seaside cottage.

Can you picture it?

It’s not easy, I know.

Well I finally pulled it out of my garage and dusted it off.

And now it looks like this:

How to paint a laminate kitchen table from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

Can you believe this is the same set?? I knew it could be so much more if only given the chance.

Paint a laminate kitchen table top!

I brought it into my kitchen to take pictures, and I didn’t want to take it out.

The best way to paint a laminate kitchen table

It was just so darned cute! I had fun setting it with some of my favorite dishes.

These ironstone plates are from Pier one and we use these everyday. The little blue starfish plates came from Homegoods years ago…

The best way to paint a laminate kitchen table

Got a laminate table you want to paint? I’ll show you how! (This method will also work for a solid wood table.) I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I used. Read my full disclosure here.

How to Paint a Laminate Kitchen Table

Sand the Surface

To paint a laminate table top, first you need to sand the surface.

How to paint a laminate kitchen table from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

The purpose of sanding is to dull the surface as much as possible to give the primer something to grab onto. I used my rotary sander and 220 grit sandpaper.

After sanding, clean the surface free of debris. I used my shop vac with a brush attachment and followed up with a soft clean cloth.


The next step is priming.

How to paint a laminate kitchen table from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer I like Rustoleum's white spray primer.

I chose Rustoleum’s spray primer:

Rustoleum Spray Primer

Super easy.

I hit the legs while I was at it. I cleaned them, but didn’t bother to sand first.


Time for paint. I chose latex paint for this project. I usually love chalk paint, but for something that will need to withstand spills and possible fork stabbings, I wanted something super durable.

I used an HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams paint (no affiliation) that I found at Lowes.


This color is “Watery” and I absolutely love it! I usually use Behr paint from the Home Depot, but we had a Lowe’s coupon to use. I was really pleased with how this paint went on and covered.

How to paint a laminate kitchen table from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I used two coats applied with my good ole purdy brush, but the coverage after just one coat was fantastic. Priming first over the dark probably helped with that. You could also use a roller to apply the paint, I’m just used to grabbing a brush.


Finally to keep this table beautiful and make it as durable as possible, I used Minwax Polycrylic to seal the top.

Minwax Polycrylic gives a long lasting durable finish.

To apply it, I used a brush specially designed for polyurethane by Wooster. The brush makes all the difference. If you use a regular brush like a brush you would paint with, you will get a ton of brush marks in your finish. (Trust me on this one.)

I applied one coat and let it dry over night, then lightly hand-sanded with 320 grit sandpaper in the direction of my brush strokes, cleaned the surface, and added another coat. I repeated that process, sanding even more lightly the second time. Your surface should be ready for light use 24 hours after your 3rd coat. I did three coats because  this piece will need to withstand some abuse. If I were painting a bedside table, I might not even seal it at all.

How to paint a laminate kitchen table from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I cheated and spray painted the chairs, giving them a coat of Rustoleum’s spray primer first. I did not sand the chairs, just cleaned them first. (Don’t mind my Halloween display in the background!)

Rustoleum spray paint was perfect for these chairs.

I was not looking forward to hand-painting all those spindles. I used three cans of primer and four cans of spray paint for the chairs, which ran about $40, but so worth it, especially since I got such a steal on this set.

I still sanded the raised areas here and there after for a little bit of a worn feel.

How to paint a laminate kitchen table from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer


How to paint a laminate kitchen table from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer


How to paint a laminate kitchen table from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer


From Dated Dud to Cottage Charmer: How to Paint a Laminate Kitchen Table/Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I hope you love the transformation as much as I do.

But wait, there’s more!


Today is Trash to Treasure Tuesday, so I’ve got four more fabulous thrifty makeovers for you from my fellow cheapskate blogging buddies today!

Click on each picture below to see the after!

French Provinical China Cabinet Makeover by Blesser House


China Cabinet Makeover

Trunk Update by Prodigal Pieces

Adding Industrial Vibe to a Free Trunk

Upcycled sweater by Girl in the Garage

Upcycled Sweater

SIgn upcyle by Artsy Chicks Rule

Easy DIY Sign


If you liked this makeover, you’ll love this one too:


Check out how this very dated hutch got a major update HERE!



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  1. Shut the front door! …eep! I love it, Christy! So much better and stylish too. Great job, girlfriend!

  2. Christina in FL says

    Christy, the table turned out GORGEOUS! I love the color and thank you for the tips! 🙂

  3. Hey Christy!! Love the table. The color is so nice!!! Have you missed me? I had to have sinus surgery last week and have not been feeling well at all!!! I do not recommend it:( Glad to be back among the living!!!xoxo

  4. So pretty¡¡ Keep the pieces…. They look so beautiful in your kitchen¡¡
    Kisses from a very sunny ( and hot) Madrid

    • Thanks, Victoria! I wish I could keep them there, but they take up a little too much space. It’s been very rainy here for a few days…send us some of your sunshine!

  5. Oh I love it Christy! And it’s the perfect color too!! 😉

  6. This is truly amazing! You have such an eye for what something so hideous can look like and your talent to turn it into a head turner is amazing!

  7. Fantastic tutorial, a friend of mine was just asking about painting a lacquered surface

  8. Hi Christy, beautiful job! Would you please tell me the name of the Wooster brush you used for sealing? I checked online but would like to make sure I choose the right one for the polycrylic. Thanks!

    • Thanks, Nanette! It’s a Wooster PRO White Bristle brush. It has this Home Depot sku on it: 624-401. It said it was good for oil-based paint and polyurethane, even though the polyacrylic is water-based, I still used this one. 🙂

  9. Love the table and chairs! Also wanted to let you know that I painted my first piece of furniture last weekend using your homemade chalk paint recipe. It turned out great! Thanks for sharing the recipe and tips!

  10. So gorgeous, Christy! That shade of blue looks kind of like Duck Egg to me. <3

  11. Great transformation! I am always worried about laminate and painting it. This worked out great though! Great tips! Thanks

    • Thanks, Lindsay! I have painted laminate tables with chalk paint with no problems before, but not a kitchen table where it needs to be able to take some abuse. This solution worked great, and reminded me why I love chalk paint…its so much more forgiving! XO

  12. Gorgeous!!! This turned out wonderful!! great color choice!

  13. I don’t blame you for not wanting to remove this sweet coastal dining set from your kitchen – it looks like it belongs in the space Christy! You did an awesome job revitalizing this cheap laminate set.

  14. Your table is sooo beautiful! Great job! 🙂

  15. I love this Christy! It looks so good in your kitchen! Keep it! Lol!!

  16. This set is absolutely charming now. I’ll bet that you wish that you had room to keep it for yourself!

  17. I thought sanding laminate was a no no? I know I found(for free) a free old media cabinet I said why not this will challenge. Well, that was the end before I went thrifing and did more reasearch. All that stuff. I definitely aquirred some bigger things and I feel more driven too. I almost lost my leg, last 11/2015 and still healing, by falling down 12 stairs in my former home So new and better future I hope move on too bether lives. However, the first time I sanded my piece I was going to sell. Anyway top smooth like butter and then came the sides all scratched and ruined. I had no clue. I readon’t an article that started it was the type of material. So I have read things you shouldn’t sand and I swore laminate was one. I LOVE LOVE THIS PIECE, but I haven’t found my technique, bit probably I want to try chalk paint.

    • Hi Gina! Sorry to hear about your fall, but sounds like you are mending well. As for sanding laminate, it is only very lightly to dull the surface, and give the primer something to grab onto. Sanding won’t hurt the laminate at all. 🙂

  18. Aleksandra says

    Hi Christy, such a gorgeous set! I was wondering if the chairs painted this way would be able to stand the abuse, what is your experience? I have a set of chairs that I wanted to paint,husband said don’t bother, since the chairs need sanding, otherwise there will not within the test of time

    • Thanks, Aleksandra! Spray paint is very durable. Be sure to spray prime first, then give them a couple coats of spray paint and you’ll be set! Also be sure to shake each can thoroughly first. You may consider trying a test piece before diving in if you’re still having doubts. 🙂

  19. Hi Christy! I’m so excited because I just found a solid wood set for only $30. I love what you did here and actually painted my bedroom Watery. I plan on turning my leftovers into chalk paint for the table. I have leftover flat white paint that I was going to turn into chalk paint for the chairs. My question for you is have you ever used then Minwax Polyacrylic over white? Is there a noticeable tint? Thank you so much!

    • Wow, Kristen…awesome deal! If you use the polyacrylic I show in the post, it’s non-yellowing. I haven’t used it over chalk paint though…usually use wax. For my set, I cheated and spray-painted the chairs. 🙂

  20. Hi Christy, how did you seal the chairs? I have latex painted my dining room chairs using my HomeRight sprayer then sealed with Polycrylic but it has not won the battle with my cat scratching the seats!

    • I painted the chairs with spray paint, so no sealer was needed. However, I don’t think there is much that will protect against cat scratches on a painted surface unfortunately. In our house, our cat has chosen my hubby’s recliner as her scratching post!

  21. I have been wanting to do something like that for a long time. It’s really inspiring me. Thanks for sharing.


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