How to Paint Laminate Plastic Walls

Updated March 23, 2017

Laminate wood panelling was once a popular wall covering in homes. If you don't like the look but don't have the time and resources to replace it, consider simply painting over it. Laminate is a thin layer of plastic that covers particle board or other material. A laminate surface is very smooth; as such, it's unlikely to allow paint to grip onto it. But with the correct preparation, you can successfully transform laminate wall panels by painting over them.

Clean the panelling with a grease-cutting cleanser, such as TSP, then rinse off all soap residue.

Sand the laminate lightly with 120-grit sandpaper. This will rough up the surface, giving your primer and paint something to grab onto.

Vacuum the dust created from sanding, and wipe down the walls with a damp cloth or a tack cloth.

Apply a super-adhesive primer using a roller or brush. Brush strokes are wont to show up on laminate surfaces; using a roller will reduce the likelihood of visible paint strokes appearing on the wall.

Allow the primer to dry completely before applying your paint colour -- typically this will take around 45 minutes.

Use a brush or roller to apply two coats of latex paint. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second. Refer to the instructions on your paint can to determine how quickly one coat of paint will dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Grease-cutting cleanser such as TSP
  • Water
  • Soap
  • Cloth
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paint roller
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About the Author

Lara Webster has been writing professionally since 2009. Her work has been featured on Relationships in the Raw, The Nursery Book, Spark Trust and several travel-related websites. Webster holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in mass communication and media studies, both from San Diego State University.