Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fugly to Fab!!

Laminate. Ugh. And for 24 years of my life I was SURE it was destined to stay that way, because nothing, in my mind, could adhere to that sleek surface of fakeness. So when the Hub and I combined households a couple years ago, I became part owner of the fugliest lamiate oak cabinet in the world.

Before we bought our house, it lived in our kitchen and stored... NOTHING!!! Except for spiderwebs inside it, fingerprints and doggie nose prints on the doors, and water damage on the top. Joy. When we moved into our current home, it landed in the guest room and recieved a small step up in life, it was used as a bookshelf. One day as I perused blogland, I stumbled across Kate's tutorial on 'How to paint laminate'.

Cue the harps and angels singing from heaven. That very evening I made the Hub help me move it to the garage, and we went to Home Depot and picked up some Zinsser primer. (You must read the label and make sure it says 'will adhere to glossy surfaces'. This is CRITICAL!)

I started by removed all the hardware and putting it all in one place (I lose things...)
I taped off the glass around the doors on the front and back to prevent any excess paint on them, which happened anyway and I removed with a razor blade.

I also removed the old MDF backing on the cabinet, which had more water damage and was covered in a nasty fake wood paper. Yuck.

There was some water damage on the top of cabinet as well. I sanded it down to remove the rough edges, but I didn't do much to repair it since I am no expert on laminate. I have some extra fabric from the backing and plan on sewing a runner which will live on top and fully disguise the damage, which is hardly noticable now anyway.

Sorry there are no in-between pics. I am still a fledgling bloggie lady : )

I did two coats of the Zinsser Primer, and sanded lightly between each. I bought a new piece of MDF for the back, and had Home Depot cut it for me. The scraps will be used for other fun projects.
I scored some 3 yards of some pretty fabric from Joann's, and used spray adhesive to attach to the the MDF, finishing the edges with hot glue. I hadn't chosen a paint color until I found this fabric, which has such rich aqua and brown tones.

Soooo excited!!!! And nerdy.

My weapon of choice for this project

I painted the cabinet with 2 coats of Martha's Lagoon Mist, and finished it with 2 coats of clear Poly. I then used finishing nails to attach the MDF to the back of the cabinet, remounted all of the hardware and doors, screwed in the knobs and BAM!!!
I LOVE IT!!!! Such an improvement over the fugly fake oak. It look great in our guest room as well, adding a nice pop of color against the mink brown walls. Eventually the room will be trimmed out in white, with lots of other fun accessories, but its so far from done I can't even bear to show the whole room : )

The knobs are from World Market, 2pk was on sale for $4 bucks. Yep.

The shelf isn't bowed, just looks that way from this angle.

So there you have it!! A vast improvement, and another step in my process of learning to update furniture with paint.
I'll be linking up at Thrifty Decor Chicks Before and After party, as well as Tips and Tutorials Tuesday at The Home Stories of A2Z!


  1. That is so cute! I have laminate end tables that I'm trying to get the nerve to paint. I love the color you chose!

  2. Great Transformation!!
    I have been contemplating on painting some laminate.... Thanks for sharing the How-to...
    Love it!!

  3. I.Love.This! Great color choices on paint and fabric. You made this sound so easy that I might have to do this to my laminate TV armoir!! Not sure how to spell that!!

    Found you through Thrifty Decor Chic.


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