What Kind of Paint and Primer Is Best for Laminate Dressers?

Laminate dressers, cherished for durability, affordability, and ease, pose a challenge when it comes to painting. Without proper prep and the right primer and paint, your efforts might not last that long. So what type of paint and primer is best?

Laminate dresses should be painted using water-based paint. This type of paint is easy to clean up, dries quickly, and is available in different colors. Before painting your dresser, it’s important to prime the surface with a bonding primer. This will ensure that the paint sticks properly and lasts longer.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The 3 factors to consider when choosing paint for laminate dressers
  • What type of paint to use
  • What finish is best
  • My top picks for the best paint and primer for laminate dressers

The 3 Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint for Laminate Dressers

1. Adhesion

One of the most important factors when choosing paint for laminate dressers is its ability to adhere to the surface of the laminate.

Because laminate is a smooth, non-porous surface, it can be difficult to get paint to stick without the proper preparations. Look for paint specifically formulated for laminate surfaces, and use a primer to help the paint adhere.

2. Durability

A dresser is a piece of furniture that will be used extensively over its lifetime. It is important to choose a paint that is durable and will stand up to wear and tear. Look for paint that is scratch-resistant, water-resistant, and easy to clean.

3. Application Method

Finally, consider the method of application for the paint. Depending on your skill level and available tools, you may choose to brush on the paint, use a roller, an in-can spray, or a spray gun.

Consider your available time and how much work you are willing to invest in the project when selecting your application method.

What Type of Paint Is Best?

Latex Paint

Latex paint is water-based paint that uses latex as the binder. The term ‘latex’ in the paint refers to a polymer used as a binder.

The polymer is distributed throughout the water, and as the water evaporates as the paint dries, the polymer particles merge to form a film of paint.


  • Easy Clean-up: It is water-based, so it’s easy to clean up with soap and water.
  • Quick Drying: It dries faster than oil-based paints, speeding up your project timeline.
  • Low VOCs: They usually have fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making them safer for indoor use.
  • Less Odor: These paints typically smell less strongly than oil-based paints.
  • Non-Yellowing: Unlike oil-based paint, latex paint does not turn yellow over time.
  • Flexibility: It is more flexible than oil paint, so it’s less likely to crack over time.


  • Adhesion: Laminate is a slick surface, and latex paint might not adhere well without proper preparation.
  • Durability: While latex paint can be quite durable, it may not hold up well on a high-traffic surface like a dresser.
  • Multiple Coats Needed: Depending on the color and quality of the paint, you may need multiple coats to get an even, opaque finish.
  • Not as Smooth: It does not level out like oil-based paints, which can result in visible brush strokes.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a type of paint made from pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion. It’s water-soluble but becomes water-resistant when dry.


  • Quick Drying: It dries quickly, which can speed up your project.
  • Versatile: It can be used in thin layers or heavy impastos to achieve different effects.
  • Easy Clean-up: Because it’s water-soluble, clean-up is easy with soap and water.
  • Low Odor: It has less odor than oil-based paints, making it more comfortable to work with indoors.
  • Water-Resistant When Dry: Once acrylic paint has dried, it becomes water-resistant, protecting the dresser.


  • Adhesion: Like latex paint, acrylic might not adhere well to slick surfaces like laminate without proper preparation.
  • Thick Texture: It tends to have a thick texture, making it harder to get a smooth finish.
  • Quick Drying Can Be a Drawback: Because it dries so quickly, it can be difficult to blend colors or correct mistakes.
  • May Require Multiple Coats: Depending on the color and quality of the paint, you might need multiple coats for an even, opaque finish.

What Paint Finish Is Best?

A high-gloss finish is the recommended type of paint finish for laminate dressers. This finish is incredibly durable and resistant to scratches and scuff marks.

Additionally, it is easy to clean and maintain, allowing laminate dressers to stay looking new and vibrant for longer periods. However, its shine might be off-putting for some.

A satin finish is another type of paint finish that is ideal for laminate dressers. This type of finish is less reflective than a high-gloss finish, which can be beneficial if you want a more low-key, subdued finish.

A semi-gloss finish is another great option for painting laminate dressers since it balances the highly reflective high-gloss finish and the more subdued satin finish.

This finish is suitable for people wishing to make a statement while keeping a neutral style. It is durable and easy to clean, making it the perfect paint finish for laminate dressers.

The Best Paint and Primer for Laminate Dressers

Best Brush-on Paint

Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover Multi-Purpose Brush-On Paint is one of the top recommended brush-on paints for painting laminate dressers.

It boasts a unique acrylic formula that provides superior coverage, chip resistance, and color retention, making it the perfect choice for any furniture painting project.

One of the standout features of this paint is its ability to provide long-lasting protection and durability. When applied to laminate dressers, it creates a tough and resilient surface that can withstand daily use and prevent wear and tear for years.

Moreover, the multi-purpose brush on paint by Rust-Oleum offers excellent adhesion on various surfaces, including wood, metal, plaster, ceramic, and even glass, making it the ultimate go-to paint for all your DIY projects. The paint dries quickly, allowing for efficient completion of your projects in a timely manner.

Notably, one of the reasons this paint is highly recommended for painting laminate dressers is its ability to adhere to difficult surfaces with ease.

Laminate furniture, in particular, can be challenging to paint because it is often coated with a shiny finish that resists adhesion.

However, Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover Multi-Purpose Brush-On Paint guarantees outstanding results, even on the most challenging surfaces.

Best Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint is an excellent choice for painting laminate dressers.

Because of the specialized technology, these sprays provide superior coverage to other general-purpose paints. With ultimate coverage capacity, it can cover more surface area with fewer spray passes, saving time and effort in any painting project.

Moreover, these sprays offer fast and easy application to various surfaces, making them particularly well-suited for painting laminate dressers.

Additionally, the any-angle spray feature allows you to paint in any direction, including upside-down, and the comfort spray tip helps to reduce finger fatigue during larger projects.

The finish is durable and long-lasting, providing a polished final look to dressers that require an elegant touch.

Given its fast-drying property, you can carry out various applications and coats in a single day, ensuring that your dresser is ready for use in less time than alternative paint products.

Because it is premium general-purpose spray paint, Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint can be applied to various surfaces.

Best Primer

Insl-X Stix Waterborne Bonding Primer is highly recommended for priming laminate dressers due to its unparalleled adhesion capabilities.

This premium-quality acrylic-urethane bonding primer-sealer is specially designed to bond to even the most challenging surfaces, including gloss tile, PVC, vinyl, plastic, glass, glazed block, pre-coated siding, fiberglass, and galvanized metals.

This versatility makes it ideal for painting furniture pieces such as laminate dressers, which can be extremely challenging substrates to paint.

What sets it apart from other primers on the market is its ability to fully cure in temperatures as low as 35°F (2°C). It can be used in colder climates or seasons where other primers fail to provide adequate adhesion.

Furthermore, once applied, it can be top-coated with almost any product, giving you the ultimate flexibility to choose the finish and color of your preference.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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