I wish I could just plunk down all the money in the world to remodel our bathrooms, kitchens, and floors but if I had that much money I probably would have just purchased a new home. So instead I am using Google to help me remodel my bathroom in an an inexpensive way. One of the things I decided to tackle while I was on vacation was painted our old outdated laminate bathroom cabinets. I researched what you need and got to work:
Laminate Cabinet Remodel Before
I actually also have another cabinet outside of the bathroom (my sitting area) however I am saving that to tackle another day.
Supplies Needed to Paint Laminate
- TSP ( Tri-Sodium Phosphate) Cleaner
- Sandpaper or block 150-grit
- Primer (B-I-N Shellac Base)
- Paint Roller
- Painting tape
- Paint Tray
- Oil Based or Latex Paint (of your color choice)
- Brush (with natural bristles)
- Rags or sponge
- Drop Cloth
- Tack Cloth
- Sandpaper or block 220-grit
My total cost for supplies was approx $79 but this cost could vary based on what you already have on hand.
I’m no expert and I don’t even enjoy painting but I wanted to tackle this project myself and hopefully improve the looks of my bathroom.
Clean the cabinets you are going to paint with the TSP degreaser. Make sure to remove any dirty or sticky spots. When finished with this step wipe off again with water or soap and water to remove any left over residue.
Sand the cabinets with the 150-grit sandpaper or block. If you have a sander this is definitely an option. I had to do mine by hand. The point of this step is to help rough up the laminate so the primer will stick. (The primer does state no sanding needed however I disregarding this information). When this is done again wash down with water or a tack cloth to remove all dust caused by sanding.
Tape all areas you want to make sure do not get paint on them such as walls, floors, and counter tops. I also encourage you to use a drop cloth to help keep the floor paint free. It also gives you a place to put your paint tray and cans. At this time you can remove your drawers and doors (I would have preferred to paint them connected but I was unable to get into the small spaces between the cabinet doors and wall)
Apply primer to your cabinets. Due to the size of my cabinets I had to use the brush on the small hard to get areas and I used the roller on the drawers, doors, and larger areas. Be sure to watch for streaks and drips and apply as smooth as possible. I found that the primer dried very quickly and according to the can is dry in 45 minutes. Per the instructions I found online some people suggest following the directions per the can and others say to let the primer cure for 2-3 days (I let it sit for about 2-3 hours and had no problems).
Step Five (Optional)
You can sand to help smooth out your primer just a bit using 220-grit sandpaper. I did not do this step but in hind sight I wish I would have. I was using a different tutorial
Apply your latex or oil-based paint. I chose oil-based due to my research stating most people use oil-based paint in bathrooms and kitchens because it is easier to clean and more durable. I will say that it is thick and I thought a little harder to work with. (Difference between oil and latex paint) I also had a semi-gloss paint and am wondering if a flat would have looked a little more natural. I am considering switching paints for the other cabinet. If you feel a second coat is necessary it is recommended that you lightly sand in between coats.
Once your cabinets are dry you can install new hardware or simply put back together.
Laminate Cabinet Remodel After
A do have a few tips regarding my experience. If you can be patient I recommend you wait a good week (if you use oil-based paint) before reattaching your cabinets. I thought they were dry enough after 3 days but was having problems getting the hardware properly aligned. When I was done I had smudges in my paint from holding the door up and working at the same time. It is not noticeable in the photo. However I do plan on sanding it and repainting that area but I’m going to wait a good month so I know the paint is dry.
I bought some silver pulls for the cabinets but haven’t decided if I should install them or not. The thought was with the pulls your hands would be touching the paint a lot less and it would hopefully last longer. I also am thinking of trying the Giani Granite and creating a faux granite countertop but again I’m undecided. Overall I LOVE the color and I think that it looks so much nicer and up to date!