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Follow the Guide: How to Refurbish Particleboard Furniture With Paint

Particleboard furniture is a modest choice when you need to embellish your home on a strict spending plan, however this sort of furniture doesn’t generally withstand the trial of time. Particleboard boards are produced using wood side-effects, basically sawdust, blended in with plastic sap sticks and squeezed into huge sheets. When utilized for furniture, these boards are typically confronted with layers of plastic facade. After some time, or with particularly hard use, the plastic facade can get scratched, chipped, or scraped with perpetual stains. Dampness can likewise harm the center particleboard, causing expanding.

On the off chance that you’ve seen your particleboard shelf, nightstand, or end table beginning to give indications of wear, it is feasible to renovate the thing as opposed to throwing it. The least demanding strategy is basically to paint it. Painting particleboard will help you set aside cash by disposing of the need to purchase new furnishings, and it can add greater character to a current piece. You can utilize stencils, a striking paint tone, backdrop, or decoupage to additional upgrade the thing.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Putty knife
  • Fine-grit sanding block or sandpaper
  • Veneer roller or wood block (where needed)
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray


  • Wood filler or putty
  • Contact cement (if needed)
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Roller cover


  • Repair Chips and Scratches
  • Repair Damaged Veneer
  • Repair Water Damage
  • Sand the Surfaces
  • Prepare the Primer
  • Apply Primer
  • Lightly Sand the Surfaces
  • Apply Paint
  1. Repair Chips and Scratches

    You will achieve the best results with your particleboard furniture if you carefully clean the entire piece and repair any damage before painting.

    Particleboard furniture can chip, scratch, or crack fairly easily. If you see this kind of damage, begin by filling the damaged area with wood filler or putty, using a putty knife. Smooth the patch area so it is even with the surrounding surface.

    Let the putty or filler dry overnight. After it completely dries, gently sand over the repaired area with fine-grit sandpaper until the surface is completely smooth.

    Particleboard furniture scratch filled with putty for refurbishing

  2. Repair Damaged Veneer

    The glues holding plastic veneer to the particleboard core can often loosen over time, especially at the edges. This can be repaired with contact cement.

    Carefully lift up the loose veneer and use a putty knife to scrape away as much loose, dried glue as possible. Apply a thin layer of contact cement to both the particle board surface and the bottom surface of the veneer. Use a small stick or a pencil to keep the surfaces apart for 15 minutes or so, until the glue is no longer shiny.

    Press the plastic veneer down onto the particleboard core, using a roller or block of wood. The veneer should bond firmly.

  3. Repair Water Damage

    Some particleboard furniture is not faced with laminate, but instead is already painted. With these pieces, long exposure to water can create bubbles and permanent stains on the surface. The particleboard may even soften and begin to break down.

    To fix water-damaged sections of particleboard furniture, remove the damaged areas using a sharp razor, then fill the space with wood filler (see above) and sand smooth.

    If the damage is extensive, remove the damaged areas and replace with a new piece of particleboard. If the furniture item is not that important or sentimental, you may want to evaluate the cost of the repair versus purchasing a new piece of furniture.

  4. Sand the Surfaces

    Once all the damage has been repaired, it’s time for sanding. Since particleboard furniture faced with laminate has a glossy finish, it’s difficult for paint to stick to the surface. If you skip this step, you might find your new coat of paint chipping off in a matter of days.

    Sand the entire item with fine-grit sandpaper or a sanding block to remove any old finish, lacquer, or gloss. The goal is not to sand off the plastic veneer, but simply to scuff the surface and give it “tooth” that will help the paint coat adhere. Be careful not to sand too harshly on the edges or you risk chipping away the top layer of the laminate.

    Particleboard furniture sanded down by hand with blue gloves for refurbishing

  5. Prepare the Primer

    Picking the right primer will save you time by eliminating the need for many coats of paint.

    • Use a gray primer if you plan on painting dark-colored particleboard.
    • Use a white primer if you plan on painting light-colored particleboard.

    In a pinch, you can use some of the paint to tint the primer. For instance, white primer can be tinted with the new paint to create the proper shade for painting black particleboard.

    Primer in bucket being stirred by hand with blue gloves

  6. Apply Primer

    After sanding the item, apply the primer to the surfaces. It’s tempting to skip right to the painting, especially if you’re using chalk paint. However, resist the urge and take the time to add a coat of primer. This step makes it more likely that the new paint will last.

    Though you can use a roller to apply the primer, using a paintbrush to apply a thin coat will help ensure the primer gets into every crevice. Make sure to let the primer dry completely before applying any paint. Wait a full 24 hours before going on to the top coat of paint.

    refinishing a piece of particle board furniture

  7. Lightly Sand the Surfaces

    Before applying paint, lightly sand the primer layer. This will ensure that the top coat goes on smoothly and sticks well. After sanding, remove any dust with a lint-free rag.

    painting particle board

  8. Apply Paint

    If possible, use a roller to paint particleboard furniture. This tool will ensure that the final finish is smooth and doesn’t show obvious brush strokes. (However, if you like the texture created by brush strokes, then, by all means, use a paintbrush; You’ll need to use one anyway to cut in corners that a roller won’t reach.)


    There are special closed cell foam roller covers designed to be used with high gloss paints. Using them will give the smoothest gloss finish.

    While painting, watch the edges for any paint drips and use a brush to wipe them away before the paint begins to dry.

    Depending on the paint, one coat may cover the surfaces adequately. But the best result is often achieved if you apply two or even three coats of paint in thin, uniform layers. If you need a subsequent coat, be sure to let the first coat dry completely before applying the next one. A very light sanding between coats will help with adhesion.

    Painting tray with white paint and roller brush and flat brush on parrticleboard furniture

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