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How to Refinish Laminate Bathroom Partitions

Lisa East Hunter

Laminate partitions in your home or office bathroom can provide extra privacy by separating certain parts of the bathroom from the rest of the room. Over time, these partitions can become dingy and outdated. If simple cleaning isn't working anymore, it might be time to paint the laminate. Painting laminate is like painting any other surface. You need to prep the surface well and choose the right materials for the job.

Add some color to your bathroom with paint.
  1. Clean the laminate partition with an ammonia-based cleaner. Spray on the cleaner and let it work for three to five minutes. Use a rag to scrub the surface of the partition. Grime left on the surface of the laminate will interfere with the paint and cause it to peel and chip over time.

  2. Sand the laminate with medium-grit sandpaper. Attach a medium-grit sheet of paper to a palm sander. Palm sanders are available at most home improvement stores. Using a hand sander will make the job go more quickly, and the vibration will create a better surface for paint. Work from the top of the partition to the bottom. You are not trying to remove the original surface of the laminate. Sand enough to dull the shine and create some texture. Wipe away sanding dust with a damp rag.

  3. Apply primer to the laminate using a smooth foam roller. Foam rollers apply paint and primer in a thin, smooth coat. Choose a primer that is formulated for slick surfaces. Glidden Gripper and Kilz are both good choices. Use a trim brush to cut in the corners. Follow with a foam roller to smooth out the brush-painted edges. Use the foam roller to apply another coat of primer to the laminate partition. Apply addition coats of primer until you can no longer see the original surface through the primer. Allow each coat to dry before applying another.

  4. Paint the partition using interior latex paint. Choose a semi-gloss or eggshell. Paints with a little bit of gloss will be easier to wipe clean than flat paints, making them a good choice for bathrooms. Paint the partition using the same technique that you used to apply the primer. Multiple thin coats of paint will be more durable than one thick coat. Apply three to four thin coats of paint, allowing each one to dry before applying another.

  5. Roll on a coat of polyurethane. Polyurethane will give the laminate an extra layer of protection against moisture from the bath or shower. You can choose a polyurethane in matte, satin or gloss. Any finish type will provide good protection. Use a clean foam roller to apply the topcoat. Allow the topcoat to dry completely. Let the laminate cure for five to seven days before heavy use.