Using veneered furniture is an inexpensive way to decorate your home. Pieces are typically made of particle board and then covered with a thin layer of plastic veneer, sometimes called laminate. Although veneer cannot absorb stain in the same way that traditional wood can, it is possible to spruce up veneered furniture with paint.
Remove all hardware from the furniture. This may include handle pulls, hinges and decorative knobs.
Clean your furniture thoroughly, using a low-sudsing, grease-cutting household cleaner such as trisodium phosphate. Rinse off any soap residue, and then wipe down the surface with a dry cloth to expedite the drying time.
Go over the veneer with 120-grit sandpaper. Sand the veneer enough to create a rough texture for the paint to grab onto but not deep enough to expose the particle board beneath.
Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to remove the dust created from sanding.
Apply an oil-based primer with a paint roller. Although you can also use a water-based primer and paint, it takes much longer to cure -- up to several weeks. Oil-based primers dry in 24 to 48 hours.
Apply an oil-based paint to the furniture. Allow the paint to dry for at least 24 hours. If you will be applying a second coat, lightly sand the furniture between coats and wipe away dust with a damp cloth.
Let the furniture dry for 24 hours and then replace all hardware to the furniture.