How to Paint a Laminate Bookcase

A laminate bookcase is often a more economical choice than a genuine wood bookcase, but you may not be able to find one in the right color to match your home decor. Instead of scouring the stores for a laminate bookcase in a shade other than white, black or some faux wood grain, you can paint the bookcase to your desired color. The smooth and slick surface of a laminate bookcase is a bit of a challenge to paint, but the proper materials and preparation will ensure attractive results.

Paint a laminate bookcase to match your decor.
  1. Remove all books and other objects from the laminate bookcase. If you can easily remove the shelves from the bookcase, take them out now to make your task easier.

  2. Sand the laminate bookcase and the shelves firmly with 80 grit sandpaper. The goal is to slightly score and rough up the smooth laminate surface so that your paint will stick to it.

  3. Mix together one cup of water and one cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle.

  4. Spray the vinegar mixture onto the bookcase and the shelves and wipe it off with a rag to clean the laminate bookcase. Allow any remaining moisture to dry.

  5. Paint the bookcase with an oil based primer and a foam brush.The primer will soak into the scored areas on the laminate and make a permanent coating, and it will also completely cover up any grain pattern on the laminate exterior. This will create a pristine surface for the top coat of paint. Allow the primer to dry completely.

  6. Apply a second coat of enamel paint to the bookcase and shelves.

  7. Sand the dry enamel paint with 400-grit sandpaper until it feels smooth to the touch. Do not use a lot of pressure, a light sanding is all the paint will need.

  8. Wipe down the painted bookcase with a tack cloth to remove dust created during sanding.

  9. Spray the bookcase and shelves with a clear acrylic sealer. This will help to protect the paint from chips or scratches.

  10. Replace the shelves of your bookcase when the sealer is dry.

About the Author

Kittie McCoy has been a freelance writer since 2008. She is also a part-time personal trainer and licensed entertainer in Las Vegas. She enjoys sharing her love of physical fitness and experience in the entertainment industry via her writing.