Friday, January 21, 2011

painting wood veneer

I wanted to post a little tutorial of how you can paint wood veneer. There is not much information on-line about painting this type of furniture. Most stuff you buy these days is some sort of wood veneer, particle board mix. A great tip is if you are yard sailing and find real wood or antiques that is the best furniture to flip, you have many more possibilities.
When I decided to re-do the playroom I looked online for two shelves and came up with these. When I called the nice younger lady she said they were wood you could sand. I always ask that question, since a lot of stuff is the above and you can't always tell by a picture. Rob was so sweet he went and got them for me. They were only $25 for both so what did I have to lose. I was a little disappointed when they were the dreadful veneer. Before giving up I started some searching and figured out you could paint it with some prep work. Since they are for toys I am not to worried about displaying them even if this finish doesn't hold up for years.
1. First I rearranged the shelves to the highs I wanted and got rid of a little 1980's flair.. Also the flowers had to go or be hidden a bit. I filled them in with some spackling and sanded them.
2. Sand the whole pieces with a hand sander or a block of sand paper. You want to get that shiny finish off. That is what makes it so hard to make paint adhere.
3. Wipe it all down with a damp paper towel.
4. I read online that this primer Bulls Eye 123 is for many kinds of finishes including wood veneer. The big thing to watch is that is says you have to let it cure for 7 days for maximum sticking of paint. I bought mine at Lowe's.
5.Prime then inside and outside it took me 2-3 coats. I used foam roller and foam brushes so I would not have brush strokes. CAUTION This was a a lot work!!
These cabinets were super sturdy or else I may have just put them back on craiglist, the shelves are screwed in the sides and they have nice shape. So I recommend only doing this if the quality of your piece is decent and you have a vision.
6. Primed and sitting for a week in the basement.
7.. I had some cream paint that was really creamy so added some pure white and painted on 3 coats. Between each coat I let it dry about one day. It takes a long time to paint shelving and cubby style furniture. You have to paint every little area in and around top and bottom of each shelf.
8. I added some rubber mats for underneath the baskets. (the stuff to make rugs stick) I initially bought little furniture feet pads but they kept falling off the baskets. With little kids I didn't want all the finish to scratch off with the baskets being moved all the time.
9. I really like how it turned out and although it was work I am happy with the results.
A lot of the baskets I had already the desk was in Drew's room collecting dust, the chalkboard was made a year ago sitting not being used, and the bulletin board was in the garage not being used. I bought some more baskets from Target and that is where most of the expense was. I am an advocate of shopping the house. It is amazing how moving one piece of furniture to one room to another or taking one accessory and moving it can make a huge improvement.
Thanks for stopping by (:


  1. Nice job Katie!! I love how you got rid of that flower detail. If you see any awesome armoires when you are out and about, I am looking for one for my bedroom!!

  2. They turned out so good! But, I have a feeling I would get half way through and just go out and buy something new. Haha!

  3. I love those Katie!! Mostly because that seems somehow more realistic to me. I tend to buy the cheap stuff used and then be all bummed it looks so eighties and junky. But now I know how to fix that! you rock my little creative friend :)


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