Bedroom Makeover- Painting Laminate Wardrobes
Updated: Mar 16, 2021
If you've been following my bedroom makeover you'll know that I have reached full maturity and created a bedroom fitting for an adult child like myself.
Prior to this my bedroom was full of colour (go figure) and endless patterns. I loved my room but didn't find it relaxing. I needed a fresh looking room with a more refined palette.
Initially I got my inspiration from Pinterest , I knew I wanted something calm in earthy tones but I had no idea how to go about it.
Adele Roche provided me with a digital colour consultation and created a beautiful mood board as a starting point. The colours she chose were perfect and exactly what I was hoping for.
I opted for Rivera on the walls and Nukke on the ceiling from Carlow Paint Hub which were the lightest of the colours she suggested. The built in wardrobes were the biggest job and the focal point of the room. Adele suggested painting them the same colour as the walls and the dressing table a copper colour. This really broke up the wardrobes in the best way.
I wanted to get the wardrobes as perfect as possible. I did do a lot of prep for the wardrobes which isn't like me so I'm counting that as a win. But if I'm honest it took a long time and I got a big fed up. This led to a few lumps and dog hairs on the doors but they look good from a distance so I'm happy.
I thought I'd walk you through painting laminate wardrobes as I know some people don't think its possible to paint them. Which is a crying shame because it really transforms the room.
Painting Laminate Built-in Wardrobes
Kalustepesu or sugar soap furniture cleaner
Primer suitable for laminate- Otex Akva
Satin or Gloss wood paint- Helmi 30 in Rivera
Zibra chiselled wedge brush
Two fussy blokes rollers in semi smooth
Mini roller tray
Dark satinwood undercoat ( anything you have lying around)
Taika in Sole KM
Polyvine crystal clear lacquer in gloss finish
Varnish brush or roller
Spray paint primer
Spray paint I used rose gold from Montana spray cans
Taika paint in sole km- I decided to paint them with the same colour I used on my dressing table to make it all tie in together.
Gloss spray varnish
Painting the Wardrobes
Remove handles. Keep all of the hardware and screws together.
Tape off the floor and anywhere it's needed.
Clean wardrobes thoroughly with the cleaner. Ensure all residue is wiped off and wardrobes are completely free from any grime as this will stop your primer from sticking to them
Lightly sand entire wardrobes, it just needs a light scuff with 120 grit sandpaper.
Wipe down any residue from sanding with a tack cloth. Tack cloths are your best friend for projects like this as they remove all residue and give you a flawless finish if you put the time into this step.
Prime the wardrobes with Otex Akva using your rollers and paintbrush to get into any groves or edges.
Allow to dry.
Then you will need to roll on the Helmi 30 (You’re going to want to pick a satin or gloss finish paint for your wardrobes as they experience a lot of traffic) .Use your brush again for the awkward bits.
Re-coat as many times as necessary. I think mine probably needed 4 coats but I can't remember.
You can use a smooth roller for the final coat to get an almost sprayed finish, I didn't bother with this because I was sick of the sight of them at this stage. Also the semi-smooth rollers hold more paint. (Just to note- This paint does not require a varnish overcoat to protect it as it is self sealing.)
Painting the Dressing table
I taped off my dressing table as it is connected to my wardrobe.
Undercoat with a darker colour. I had Taika in a dark copper lying around so I used this but a brown satinwood or even a deep grey would help as Taika is a glittery paint its coverage isn’t great.
Paint with several layers of Taika sole km
Finish hard wearing areas such as the dressing table top with clean lacquer varnish. I did three thin coats. I used a thin varnish brush to apply as these hold less of the product and are less prone to streaks. But if I'm totally honest I didn't bother pouring it into a tub... I poured it straight onto the table and used way too much. Laziness aye. - Moral of the story is; less is more with varnish.
Painting the Handles
Clean thoroughly once again as these can get covered in make up or grime.
Allow to dry ensuring residue removed
Scuff with sandpaper
Wipe with tack cloth to remove residue
Spray with a primer suitable for metal
Allow to dry
Spray with your preferred colour I used a copper finish.
Roll Taika Sole KM on handles (optional step I used to ensure hardware matched dressing table).
Ensure the handles are durable by using a gloss varnish on top.
Allow these to sit for a few days to cure and allow them time to harden.
Screw the handles back into your wardrobes.
It wasn’t until I screwed the handles back into the wardrobes that I realised how amazing the finish looked. It was such a transformation to make something so gaudy and cheap look more sophisticated and tie in with the room. When I first started painting the dressing table it looked WOEFUL. Because I didn’t do a darker undercoat it looked so streaky and pathetic. But once fully completed it’s actually one of my favourite parts of the room! It really breaks up the built in wardrobes.
So there you have it, a tutorial on how to make your dated built in wardrobes look bespoke and luxe. Hope you like it and I hope you learn from some of my DIY fails!
If you would like to see me go all Marie Kondo on the mountains of belongings inside of my wardrobes check out my clearout below for all your organisational needs!