Can Finished Particle Board & Fiber Board Be Painted Over?

Updated February 21, 2017

Particle and fibre board are engineered surfaces composed of bits of wood fibres. They are a relatively inexpensive alternative to more durable solid wood surfaces, and are used as cheaper sources of construction material in furniture and siding.


Many particle and fibre board surfaces possess laminate coatings. These coatings are ill-suited for primer and paint adhesion. The laminate coating should be abraded to provide a tooth for the primer to adhere to. A 120-grit sandpaper should be used to scour the laminate until the surface feels rough to the fingers.


Particle and fibre board must be coated with a primer, or no paint will stick. An acrylic latex primer is appropriate for particle and fibre board. Coat smaller, narrow surfaces using a 2- to 4-inch latex paintbrush. A roller is appropriate for larger surfaces.


Some brands of primer dry to a slick finish. To ensure adequate paint adhesion, primed particle and fibre board requires some light sanding. A 220-grit sandpaper should be used to roughen the primer coat. Lower-grit sandpapers may remove the primer. Only light sanding is required. The primer should not be stripped from the surface.


Primed particle and fibre board should be coated with an acrylic latex paint. A gloss or semigloss acrylic paint is appropriate for particle and fibre board furniture, while low-sheen acrylic paint is best suited for panelling.


Particle and fibre board are relatively brittle and can easily break. Great care should be used when moving this kind of furniture. Bare particle and fibre board should not be painted, or the finish will peel soon after application.

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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.