How to Whitewash Laminate Furniture

Have you been wanting to brighten up your dull laminate furniture but weren’t sure how to go about it without damaging the surface? Whitewashing laminate is a fun and inexpensive way to give new life to old laminate cabinets, shelves, and countertops. While laminate is not traditionally considered the most stylish of surface materials, a coat of whitewash can transform it into a shabby chic focal point in your kitchen or bathroom.

How to Whitewash Laminate Furniture

In this post, I’ll walk you through the simple whitewashing process of how to whitewash laminate furniture so you can say goodbye to boring laminate and unlock a whole new design potential for your furniture and fixtures. By following a few easy techniques, you’ll be amazed at how a single coat of whitewash paint can make your laminate look freshly painted and ready for its close-up on Instagram.

Why May You Want to Whitewash Laminate Furniture?

1 . To Refresh the Look

If you have a piece of laminate furniture that has seen better days or simply no longer fits your aesthetic, whitewashing can be an easy and affordable way to give it a fresh look. The whitewash will create a soft, washed-out effect on the surface of the furniture, making it look brighter and more modern.

2 . To Cover Up Imperfections

Laminate furniture is known for being durable and low-maintenance, but over time it can still develop scratches, nicks, or sun damage. Whitewashing can help cover up these imperfections, making the piece look new again.

Affordable Way to Give It a Fresh Look

3 . To Create a Rustic Look

Whitewashing is commonly associated with rustic and farmhouse-style decor. By whitewashing your laminate furniture, you can easily add a touch of rustic charm to any room.

4 . To Match Your Decor

If you have recently redecorated your home and your laminate furniture no longer matches the new style, whitewashing can be a quick and easy fix. With the right whitewash color, you can easily match your furniture to your new decor.

5 . To Save Money

Buying new furniture can be expensive, especially if you want high-quality pieces. Whitewashing your laminate furniture can be a budget-friendly alternative that still gives you the refreshed look you desire. Instead of buying new, simply transform what you already have with a simple whitewash technique.

How to Whitewash Laminate Furniture in 5 Easy Steps

Step 1: Prepare Your Workspace

Before starting the whitewashing process, make sure you have a clean and flat workspace to work on. Lay down a plastic sheet or old newspapers to protect your floor from any spills or drips. You can also use painter’s tape to cover any areas that you do not want whitewashed.

Step 2: Gather Your Materials

Known for Being Durable And Low-maintenance

To achieve the perfect whitewash, you will need a few basic materials. These include:

  • Sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Paintbrush
  • White chalk paint or primer
  • Water for dilution
  • A clean rag or cheesecloth

You can also use a tinted wax or glaze to add more depth and dimension to your whitewashed furniture.

Step 3: Sand the Laminate

Laminate furniture has a smooth and shiny surface, which makes it difficult for paint to adhere to. To create a rougher surface for the paint to stick to, sand your furniture lightly using fine-grit sandpaper. Make sure to wipe away any dust with a tack cloth before proceeding.

Step 4: Mix the Whitewash

In a small container, mix equal parts of white chalk paint or primer with water. The consistency should be thin enough to easily apply on the furniture but not too runny. You can adjust the ratio of paint to water as needed.

Step 5: Apply the Whitewash

Using a paintbrush, apply the whitewash mixture to your furniture in long, even strokes. Work in small sections at a time and use a rag or cheesecloth to wipe away any excess whitewash for a more subtle look. You can also layer the whitewash for a more opaque finish. Let the first coat dry completely before adding additional coats.

Some Tips to Whitewash Laminate Furniture

1 . Do Not Skip the Sanding Step

Laminate Furniture Has A Smooth and Shiny Surface

When it comes to refinishing furniture, sanding is often considered a tedious and time-consuming process. However, when it comes to whitewashing laminate furniture, sanding is a crucial step that should not be skipped. Laminate furniture has a smooth and glossy finish that makes it difficult for paint or stain to adhere properly. By sanding the surface, you create a rough texture and remove the shiny finish, allowing the whitewash to penetrate and adhere better.

2 . Choose the Right Whitewash

There are different types of whitewashes available in the market, including water-based and oil-based. Water-based whitewash is more suitable for laminate furniture as it dries faster and is easier to clean up. Moreover, water-based whitewashes are more transparent and allow the wood grain to show through, giving your furniture a natural look.

3 . Use a Brush or Cloth

When applying whitewash, you have the option of using a brush or a cloth. A brush is better for getting into small crevices and corners, while a cloth provides a smoother and more even finish. However, when working with laminate furniture, it is recommended to use a cloth as the smooth surface can cause brush strokes to appear.

4 . Experiment with Different Techniques

Whitewashing allows for various techniques and finishes, so don’t be afraid to experiment. You can try dry brushing for a more distressed look or using a damp cloth to create a more subtle effect. You can also mix different shades of whitewash or layer it with other colors to create a unique look.

5 . Finish with a Sealant

To protect your newly whitewashed furniture, it is important to finish with a sealant. This will not only keep the whitewash from chipping or fading but also make it easier to clean and maintain. A clear polyurethane or wax sealant works best for laminate furniture, but make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application.

Laminate Furniture Can Be a Budget-friendly

Frequently Asked Questions

What Precautions Should I Take When Whitewashing Laminate Furniture?

Whitewashing laminate furniture may seem like a simple task, but it’s important to follow some precautions to ensure the best results. Firstly, make sure to properly clean and sand the surface of your furniture before starting the whitewashing process. This will help the whitewash adhere better and prevent any uneven coloration. Additionally, it’s recommended to test the whitewash on a small, inconspicuous area of your furniture first to make sure you’re happy with the color and finish. Lastly, be sure to work in a well-ventilated area and wear protective gear such as gloves and a mask.

Can I Use Regular Paint Instead of Whitewash?

Technically, you can use regular paint to achieve a whitewashed look on laminate furniture. However, whitewash is specifically designed for this purpose and will often provide a more natural and even finish. Regular paint may also be harder to work with, as it can dry quickly and may require multiple coats.

How Do I Achieve an Even Whitewash?

The key to achieving an even whitewash is to properly dilute your paint or whitewash mixture. This will allow for a more translucent finish, allowing the wood grain and underlying color of the laminate to show through. It’s also important to work in small sections and use long brush strokes in the direction of the wood grain.

Can I Use Multiple Coats of Whitewash?

Yes, you can use multiple coats of whitewash to achieve a deeper or more opaque finish. However, it’s important to let each coat dry completely before adding another layer. This will prevent the layers from mixing and creating an uneven finish.

How Do I Seal Whitewashed Laminate Furniture?

After allowing your final coat of whitewash to dry completely, you can seal your furniture with a clear polyurethane or wax. This will not only protect the whitewashed finish but also add a slight sheen to the surface.

How Do I Maintain Whitewashed Laminate Furniture?

To maintain your whitewashed laminate furniture, simply clean it regularly with a mild soap and water solution. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they may damage the finish. If your furniture begins to lose its whitewashed look over time, you can easily touch up any areas with a bit of diluted paint or whitewash mixture.


Now you know how to whitewash laminate furniture like a pro. Remember to always sand the surface, choose the right whitewash, and experiment with different techniques for a personalized look. With these tips in mind, you can transform your old laminate furniture into a beautiful, customized piece that will add character to your home. So go ahead and give it a try!  Happy whitewashing!

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