How to paint laminate wardrobes

As part of my master bedroom makeover the laminate wardrobes needed to be tackled. These wardrobes were in situ when we bought the house and though not my style they are useful for storage.

The plan for the bedroom was to paint it in a blush pink. As it’s not a huge room I didn’t want the walls pink and the wardrobes white. This would only draw attention to the wardrobes so I decided they would go pink too.

When I decided to paint the laminate wardrobes I decided to just paint the outside of the doors and to also paint the trim at the top.

Once I had finished them however I felt the room needed more. I continued on to paint the wooden panelling behind the bed, the ceiling, the radiator and the inside of the bedroom door. I think I got a bit carried away.
Lesson learned, make a plan before you start!

What you will need to paint your laminate wardrobes:

  • Primer: I used Zinsser 1-2-3 primer
  • Paint: I used Valspar “Peaceful Soul” in Interior Matt for walls and ceilings (the same paint as I used on the walls).
    ** Note: You should really use a satinwood or gloss on woodwork so that it is more hardwearing but I really wanted a matt finish and I had the paint so I just used it. Be aware though it will mark easier and is not as easy to clean.
  • Paint brushes and roller: I used an old paintbrush I had and rollers from Two Fussy Blokes
  • Hardwear: I got matt black handles on Amazon
white wardrobes master bedroom with white and grey bed clothes and plants and mirror above the bed
white laminate wardrobes in master bedroom with grey and pink bed clothes
close up of bed and mirror above it with white and grey bed clothes
white laminate wardrobes before they were painted
White wardrobe doors

Step 1 – Remove hardware

My husband Alan removed the door handles that were on the wardrobe doors. For four years we lived with some doors not having any handles!

Step 2 – Clean the doors

I just used a cloth and soapy water to clean all the wardrobe doors and dried them with a towel. I left them to dry for 24 hours after cleaning them before I painted them.

Step 2 – Prime the doors

First, I put down a painting cloth on the floor before starting this step as I wanted to protect the floor. I didn’t need to use any masking tape as I was painting the whole wardrobe including the boards at the bottom.

prep area in bedroom before painting wardrobes

Next, I used Zinsser 123 primer and applied two coats using a roller for the main parts of the laminate wardrobe doors and a small brush for the grooves. It can be tricky to see where you have painted when you are painting white on white so I always followed the same pattern. Start at the bottom of the door and painted the grooves first of the whole door and then rolled the paint onto the main parts of the door. I left the doors 24 hours before applying the second coat of primer but you don’t have to wait as long, just follow the instructions on the tin.

roller loaded with white primer before painting laminate wardrobes

Step 4 – Paint the doors

I followed the same process here to paint the laminate wardrobes with the Valspar “Peaceful Soul” paint. I painted the grooves first with the pink paint. Then I used the roller to roll the paint onto the rest of the door.

pink paint on laminate wardrobes in grooves
pink paint on laminate door

Step 5 – Enjoy your freshly painted laminate wardrobe

Yes it does take a while to paint laminate wardrobes. Specifically, two coats of primer and two coats of paint and drying time between each one, but it is worth it. If you don’t have the inclination or money to replace your laminate wardrobes and want to update your room. It will completely change the look of your room. If you want to see how much of a difference it made in Lynn’s bedroom you have have a look here.

close up of wardrobe handles
pink bedroom almost finished, pink ceiling
finished and styled bedroom with pink laminate wardrobes
styled bedroom with pink wardrobes and white behind the bed

If all of the above has gotten you thinking about updating your home but you feel you need a helping hand, contact me to find out how I can help you to style your house sustainably and create a home that you love.

Pinterest pin for painting laminate wardrobes

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  1. very clear and good article easy to understand. Thank you

    1. Celine Gill says:

      Thank you so much Zidane for taking the time to comment. I’m glad you found it useful.

  2. Vicky says:

    Beautiful finish! Thankyou for the simple how to. Inspired and motivated to paint mine now

    1. Celine Gill says:

      Hi Vicky,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I’m delighted you found my post useful. Good luck if you do go ahead and paint them.

  3. stephanie says:

    Great way to refresh laminate wardrobes! I’m going to do this myself, as my wardrobes are looking a bit old and tired! Thanks for taking the time to share the process!

    1. Celine Gill says:

      Hi Stephanie,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. You should definitely go for it, it can make a big difference to a room and if you can changing out the handles also really helps to update the look. Good luck with it.

  4. Tina Jones says:

    Hi Celine..
    What a great article, well done! I’ve been wanting to paint mine now for ages and I’ve just started to decorate my bedroom which has laminated wardrobes but I’m very wary but you have inspired me!!
    I would like to use gloss because of the cleaning side of it but would you recommend roller and brush or spray? I’m worried about brush marks or do you know of a lacquer of any sort which would seal matt paint so I can wipe it down? Hope you can help!! Many thanks Tina

    1. Celine Gill says:

      Hi Tina,
      Lovely to hear from you and thank you so much for taking the time to comment. You could definitely use gloss if you want that high sheen look and they would be definitely easier to maintain with a wipeable sheen on them. I used a roller and that gave a very smooth finish. Your local paint supplier will be able to give you the details of the specific products to use. I don’t know if you are in Ireland but Pat McDonnell are great for advice but any paint store will be helpful.
      Thanks again, lovely to hear from you.

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