Saturday, March 29, 2014

Painting Laminate Bookshelves - Dark to Bright!

I am a reader/book hoarder.  My only issue is I can't go to the Library and check out a book.  I feel like it is a must to add each book I read to my collection.  I love it when someone talks about wanting to read a book and I can be like "Oh, I have that!  You can borrow mine!"  So a few years ago when a friend was getting rid of her old laminate bookshelves and offered them for free to me, I happily went right over and picked those bad boys up.  Agh, the fulfillment of having all of my books displayed.   

When the hubby and I bought our new house and there was this wonderful little room called "The Parlor" I knew it would be a perfect room for my office/study/craft room.  Mark agreed that "The Parlor" would be a perfect fit for all of those uses, as long as I agreed to always call it "The Parlor".  He loved that.  LOL.  The desk I just finished went into this room as well.  Once I put the bookshelves in the room it just looked so dark and dreary that I knew I had to paint them (which broke Marks heart a little). 
Bookshelves Before


This was my first time painting laminate but it was super easy.  I primed it using Zinsser Primer 123, it took time because of all the shelves.  I didn't want to remove them because I was afraid it would scratch up the paint when putting them back in. 

1 coat of Primer
It took 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint (Satin White Latex) to get the bright look that I wanted.  After they dried I also painted 1 coat of Minwax Polycrylic.  I went with Polycrylic instead of Polyurethane because Polyurethane will yellow out white paint within a few weeks. 
Bookshelves After


Please excuse the poor lighting and the fact that the room is still unfinished.  It's a work in progress.  I'm having MAJOR issues finding affordable curtains, but that's a whole separate post!  


Close ups




Let me know what you think!  I would love to see pictures of any bookshelf makeovers you have done!  Happy painting! 

15 comments:

  1. So happy to see this, as I am preparing to do something similar. Same bookcases it appears and I want them white as well.

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    1. Good luck! I love before and after pic's! Send them when your done!!! :)

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  2. Very nice! I renovated a house at the beach years ago and to save money I used Zinsers 123 on the kitchen walls! Then finished them the same as you with a few more coats as it was a kitchen! It was made of some kind of fiber...God only knows! I just knew the realtor I was doing it for wanted it done as nice as possible for as little as possible. Mission was accomplished and the house was rented weekly with repeat clients year after year enjoying the home!

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    1. Thanks! I love Zinsser 123! It is the best primer ever!

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  3. Beautiful. I too have a laminate bookcase that is crying to be painted White. My questions are: 1) Did you use a paint brush or roller to apply the Paint. 2) Did you have to sand before you primed then sand again before you painted?

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    1. Thanks! You should do it! It makes such a huge difference! I actually tried a foam roller but it didn't go well, it wouldn't give great coverage with the primer and there were so many nooks and crannies that I felt like a brush would just be easier. I didn't sand at all, with the cheapness of the laminate I was working on I knew that sanding would do more harm than good. The Zinsser 123 was very important because it is such an amazing primer. I highly recommend going with Zinsser if you are not sanding. I have not had any chips or pealing of the paint. Zinsser preps it for paint very well and then just make sure you seal it (my fav sealer is polycrylic by Minwax).

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  4. Thank you so much Heather. You have provided me with great information where I feel confident that I might be able to do this. One more question, since you used a brush then did you have any problems with leaving brush mark strokes showing?
    So sorry for all the questions but I know me and if I would happen to have brush marks show that would be frustrating... Thanks again for your help. I probably should start on a smaller piece of furniture before tackling a bigger piece. LOL

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    1. You can do it! I don't have any paint brush marks at all! I have 1 brush that I use ALL of the time and never have any issues at all. I am putting the link below. You can get it from Lowes or Home Depot and it works wonderfully! I highly recommend this brush. Please let me know if you have any other questions at all! I'm happy to help! :)

      http://www.homedepot.com/p/Wooster-Shortcut-2-in-Nylon-Polyester-Angle-Sash-Brush-0Q32110020/100357411

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  5. Job well done. My laminated bookcases are on my to do list. Have you thought of paint drop cloths for your curtains? They come in a canvas fabric, can be cut to size, use grommets instead of pleats to hand and can be stenciled or painted to match your decor.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I have thought about using the drop cloths for curtains. My only issue is I really want a very light pale pink which means I would have to paint the entire curtain. I'm not sure about how it would look with the whole curtain painted. Most that I see are just embellished a little with paint. Not covered entirely.

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  6. Heather,
    Wow!! My husband told me I cannot paint on laminate. Well, I now have some projects in mind besides my bookshelves. How about my white kitchen cabinets? I will try one door in the near future and let you know. Thank you!! Rosanna

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    1. :) I would love to see your before and after pictures! Good luck!!!

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  7. Rosanna, have your DH to sit down and you pull off websites where ladies have painted successfully over laminate furniture and let him see how it can turn out. He must have went to the same old school that my DH went to! My DH won't sit down at the computer long enough to look through website with me. He could learn a lot from Pinterest or home decorating blogs if he'd only try or wanted to take the time. No he'd rather sit in that stupid recliner, watch stupid tv shows, sleep and moan and groan about his chronic pain.

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