How to paint vinyl-coated particle board furniture

Updated February 21, 2017

If you would like to paint vinyl-coated particle board furniture, understand a pair of important factors before you get started. First, because vinyl is non-porous, you must condition the surface to accept paint by abrading it. In addition, because vinyl is slick, you must employ a specific application strategy, or you may end up with runs, sagging and brush strokes in the finish coat.

Place the furniture on top of heavy-duty fabric dust sheets.

Clean the vinyl with washing up liquid, using a coarse brush. Rinse away all soapy residue. Do not oversaturate the furniture, or the water may leak through holes, cracks, or seams down into the particle board. Allow the surface to dry.

Abrade the vinyl by sanding it with a palm sander. Use 300-grit sandpaper.

Wipe over the vinyl with a tackcloth.

Apply a thin coat of latex primer to the vinyl coating, using the 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 inch) latex paintbrush. Do not overapply as this may lead to runs. Allow the primer to dry for two hours.

Wash the paintbrush with plain water.

Pour 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of paint into the 9 litre (2 gallon) painter's pot. Dilute the paint to promote a smooth, professional-looking finish by stirring in 29.6 ml (1 oz) of water. Stir for five minutes with a stir stick.

Apply two thin coats of diluted paint to the vinyl coating, using the paintbrush. Smooth runs as you apply. Allow two hours of dry time between coats.


Paint in a ventilated area like a garage. Open windows if you plan to paint indoors. Do not attempt to cover the vinyl-coated furniture with one thick coat of undiluted paint, or you may end up with sagging and brush strokes in the finish coat.


Do not abrade the vinyl with sandpaper with a grit lower than 300, or you may carve scratches into the vinyl coating that could show through the painted finish coat. Do not use rags in place of a tackcloth, or you may leave dust on the vinyl coating that could interfere with paint adhesion.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy-duty fabric dust sheets
  • Washing up liquid
  • Coarse plastic brush
  • Rags
  • Palm sander
  • 300-grit sandpaper
  • Tackcloth
  • Acrylic latex primer
  • 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 inch) latex paintbrush
  • 9 litre (2 gallon) painter's pot
  • Measuring cup
  • Wooden stir stick
  • Acrylic latex paint
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About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.