Can Laminate Desks Be Painted? (What You Need To Know)

Many people want to paint their desk, but it’s a tricky process. Laminate is already made with protective coatings against water and stains, so it’s tough to get it paint-ready. But, there are some simple steps you can take to make your desk ready for painting.

But before that let’s answer quite a few common and important questions before painting your laminated desks.

What is Laminate?

Laminate is a type of hard, protective material that can be made to imitate wood in appearance. Laminate is a less expensive, but inferior alternative to other materials such as wood.

There are either types of laminate: thermofused and high-pressure laminates.

Thermofused laminate is made up of two thin sheets that are fused together under heat and pressure to create one sheet. The result is a durable, sleek looking material that can be sanded and resurfaced.

High-pressure laminate is often used in table tops because it is a 1/2 inch thick and can be cut to size. This type of laminate is more durable than thermofused laminate.

Is laminated wood good for desks?

Laminated wood is an excellent material for desks because it’s stain and scratch resistant. It also provides a sleek, modern look to the office or home work station. These kind of desks are a popular choice for office furniture because they have antibacterial properties and come in an attractive, modern design.

The benefits that these types of desks offer generally don’t outweigh the costs associated with them when compared to other options such as metal or glass tables. However, laminated wood isn’t as durable as solid wooden desks intended for high use like schools and offices. If you’re looking for durability in your desk purchase decision, then go with hardwood that will stand up over time without warping or rotting away from moisture exposure.

Can laminate desks be painted

Laminate desks can be painted. However, if they are to be used for painting, they need to be thoroughly cleaned before the paint is applied.

The process of priming and painting laminate desks is the same as that of solid wood furniture. Laminated surfaces tend to be more durable than other types, but their low cost can often mean they’re not treated with the care they deserve.

Priming is important with laminate finish to dull its look. If you are looking for a new desk, it’s best to choose one that has been primed before painting.

As the paint is very thin, it doesn’t take many coats to cover. However, this also means that if you don’t sand down the desk before priming it will be too slick for your brush to work with and can cause problems in painting.

Can you spray paint a laminate desk?

Laminate desks can be spray painted. However, you should keep in mind that it’s not recommended to paint a laminate desk if the desk has been stored for years and is dusty or has been used for a long period of time.

You should also be aware that if you paint your laminate desk, the finish will not last as long and it may chip off over time. Be sure to look for a specially designed primer for laminated furniture. Typically, primers are sprayed directly on the surface.

If disassembling your furniture makes sense, you will be able to better coat the surface if paint with primer because then paint will cover entirely instead of settling into holes and cracks.

Can you paint laminate desk without sanding it?

Paint is a very easy way to make your furniture look new and fresh, but before you paint it, you will need to sand it. Depending on the type of paint that you are using, it may be possible to avoid sanding your laminate desk by using primer.

When it comes to painting laminate desks, you will need to sand the surface in order for paint or stain not just adhere well. If you have any scratch or spot of nail polish on your desk, then there’s no way that you can simply paint over them without having a second layer applied.

The main downside with this is that when the first coat dries out and gets scratched again, it will weaken the bond between coats so they won’t last as long if left untreated.

With the right equipment and processes, you can paint your laminate desk without damaging the surface. You should take caution when painting, as this is for aesthetic purposes only and not meant to be decals or other permanent changes.

What kind of Primer should I use on Laminate?

A laminate desk can be painted, but you must prime it first. The best primer for this is the Zinsser BIN Primer. This product goes on in smooth and thin coats. It dries fast and can be used with most top-coats, including water-based latex paint. Hence, you have a number of options when applying it to laminate desktops.

The first step to painting your laminate desk is to prime it with a primer. Primers dry quickly so the surface can be painted before the paint has time to set up and crack or peel off. You’ll need a top coat for extra protection, but any kind of top coat will work on laminate surfaces as long as you do not sand them down too much after applying primer.

This primer works well with any type of surface that will have furniture attached later, including wood floors or wood furniture.

How to paint laminated desk

When I bought my desk, it came with a laminated top. The problem is I’m not sure how to paint it so that the color doesn’t bleed into the white. I have researched a few methods, but none of them seem really effective or convenient. In this section, I’m going to show you how to paint a laminated desk and what are the necessary supplies to do so.


  • Zinsser B-I-N primer
  • mini roller
  • semi-smooth roller
  • paint tray
  • small angled brush
  • a sanding block
  • a cloth made of microfibers
  • mask
  • paint and color of your choosing


  1. First, apply the primer with the roller in larger areas, then use the brush to fill in shallow-sloped areas. If you need to use the edge of the roller to help clean up edges then do so only if necessary. Make sure you apply this primer outdoors if possible because it has a bit of a chemical odor.
  2. Let the primer dry completely before sanding it with a fine grit sand paper. Use a microfiber cloth to clean up mistakes and wipe down the surface. Apply several coats of primer, making sure to check for missed spots.
  3. Let the primer dry completely again. Apply your desired color of paint, and then apply the finishing coat opaque, whatever that may be. I chose ‘semi-gloss’ because it hides any light areas on my shelves like dust particles.
  4. Scrape away any remaining sand that may remain, and apply a layer if necessary.