To create particle board, manufacturers recycle scrap wood. Once scrap is ground down, mixing in an epoxy creates the board. For this reason, it can be an inexpensive building material for furniture or kitchen cabinets. Laminate is one way to make particle board durable and decorative. Staining allows you to give your laminated piece a makeover. With proper application, stain can revitalize the wood and turn an old piece of laminated particle board into something new.
Remove any hardware from the piece. For example, if staining a laminate cabinet, remove the hinges and pull the door off. Take off any knobs prior to staining.
Wipe down the laminate surface with a degreaser to remove residue. Follow the instructions on the cleaner for proper application.
Sand the surface with medium-grit sandpaper. The sandpaper will break up the finish and allow stain to set. The goal is to make the laminate rough, but not to destroy the material. Wipe the surface down after sanding to remove dust. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the area thoroughly after sanding.
Fill any holes in the particle board with wood filler. Follow the instructions on the product for application and curing. Sand down the filler once it dries to create a flush surface on the wood.
Apply primer to the laminate with a roller or brush. It may be necessary to apply a second coat of primer. Read the directions on the product for recommendations. Let the primer coat dry completely before staining.
Dip a rag in the stain and wipe it across the wood. The key to staining is to apply the product with a rag and wipe it off with a second, clean towel. Follow the directions on the stain can for proper application methods and drying times. Apply the stain evenly to avoid dark spots and uneven color.
Spray or roll on a polyurethane sealer once the stain dries. Apply a thin, even coat. Dry the wood over night to allow the sealer to cure.