How to Refinish a Laminate Dresser & Night Stands

Refinishing your laminate dresser and night stands can be a cost-effective way to change their style. Solid wood furniture only needs sanding, restaining, and resealing to gain a completely new character, but laminate furniture can be a bit more complicated to refinish. Laminate furniture is often composed of a wood veneer outer layer over high-density particleboard or chip board. The usual staining methods do not work because furniture with wood laminate over particleboard doesn't absorb wood stain as easily as normal wood, and the veneer layer is thin and delicate. It can be stained with a little care and the proper technique.

Hands staining wood
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Step 1

Scrub the dresser or night stand vigorously with a wet kitchen scrubber sprinkled with trisodium phosphate. This will remove the clear-coat sealer and stain, and roughen the surface so that it can better absorb the new stain.

Step 2

Clean off dust and grime with a clean, wet cloth, then allow the laminate surface to air-dry completely.

Step 3

Paint on the wood stain with a fine-bristled paintbrush. The number of coats will depend on how dark you want the stain. Allow to dry overnight.

Step 4

Roughen the laminate surface again gently with fine steel wool so that the polyurethane finish can stick to the laminate.

Step 5

Clean off dust and grime with a clean, wet cloth, then allow the laminate surface to air-dry completely.

Step 6

Paint on the polyurethane finish, according to the manufacturer's instructions, and allow to dry completely before using the furniture.