Skip to Content

How to Paint Laminate Cabinets with Chalk Paint

Sharing is Caring

Last month I shared my plans with you for our laundry room makeover. No doubt I’m eager to have this makeover complete, but it’s going to be a process. As I’ve said before, I usually work on my home projects at night after the kids are in bed. (Aaaaand sometimes I fall asleep on my sofa while watching Netflix. So there’s that.)

Anyway, painting our ugly laminate cabinets seemed like the best place to start. I already had my can of Annie Sloan chalk paint left over from a previous project, so I was one quick Home Depot trip away from kicking things off.

Before we get too deep into our cabinet conversation, let’s look at a “before” photo of our laundry room with its mismatched cabinets:

laundry countertops diy before 2

And here’s the inspiration board I initially created to guide the makeover, which has been adjusted slightly — you probably noticed when you started reading this post:


Okay, back to those laminate cabinets. I’m going to tell you a secret: I was totally skeptical about painting these cabinets at first. Sure, I have seen my fair share of Pinterest tutorials on painting cabinets and the results all looked so lovely. But I had to wonder if my paint job would look like all these Pinterest posts, and I was also curious if the cabinets would be able to weather a little bit of wear and tear. Granted, we don’t use our laundry room cabinets all that much, but I also am not a fan of seeing chipped paint. And last but not least, I have been a perfectionist for the entire 34 years I have been on this earth, and if the cabinet paint job looked anything short of amazing, I knew I’d be annoyed.

No pressure. Obviously.

But then I gave myself a pep talk and got to work.

Here’s what I used to paint the cabinets:

  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in English Yellow
  • Behr Multi-Surface Primer and Sealer
  • A Wooster Pro bristled brush
  • FrogTape Multi-Surface Tape

And here are the simple steps I followed to paint them:

  • Tape the areas around your cabinets so that your floors, walls and countertops are protected.
  • Remove all hardware from the cabinets; set aside. (Note that you don’t have to remove the doors unless you really want to — I did not do this before painting and was happy with the results.)
  • Cover the cabinets in one thin coat of primer; let dry.
  • Cover the cabinets in two coats of chalk paint, allowing ample time between coats so that the paint dries completely.
  • Reattach your hardware.
  • Stand back and admire your new gorgeous cabinets, and high five yourself for successfully tackling a home project all by yourself.

Here are some photos of the process:


Here’s what the cabinets looked like after coat #1. Streaky McStreakerson. Yours will too, but don’t panic. After a second coat you’ll be in great shape.


And I present to you….the end result!

Yes, I totally cheated and updated this photo months later after the project was completed. Rest assured, this entire transformation did not happen overnight. Not even close.

laundry room makeover cabinets chalk paint

So what did I learn during this process that would be helpful for someone else looking to paint laminate cabinets?

Here are my tips if you’re contemplating using chalk paint to paint laminate cabinets:

  • Chalk paint is a great choice for painting laminate cabinets because it “hides” brush strokes. If you’re using chalk paint for a project, you pretty much can’t mess it up. This makes me so happy because regardless of whether you’re a pro painter or a total beginner, this won’t impact the outcome of your project.
  • Use a brush, not a roller. You might be tempted to use a roller in order to cover more ground in less time, but don’t do it. Use a bristled brush for best results. In the case of laminate cabinets and chalk paint, you’ll get better, more even coverage from using a brush.
  • Take the time to use primer. As one of the most impatient people ever it pains me a bit to say this, but you should prime your cabinets before painting. By priming the cabinets, you’re giving the paint the opportunity to adhere to the cabinet surfaces better. I know that one of the selling points for using chalk paint is that “no sanding or priming” thing. Skip the sanding, sure, but do take the time to use primer.
  • In rooms that aren’t used heavily, you probably don’t need a top protective top coat of paint. In the case of our laundry room, our cabinets don’t get much use. They store Christmas decorations, file boxes with old tax forms, and things like that. Therefore, I decided to skip the top coat. However, if you’re painting a bathroom vanity of a set of cabinets that is used heavily, you’ll want to use some kind of top coat.

On that note, stay tuned for more updates on our laundry room makeover!

Update: The laundry room makeover is now DONE! Check out the full transformation over here and be sure to check out my review of peel and stick tile in addition to my common questions about peel and stick tile.

Love these super easy instructions on how to paint boring old laminate cabinets with chalk paint!

Sharing is Caring