Faux wood is a common alternative to using natural wood. Faux wood products can either be entirely made of plastic or they can have a plastic, laminated surface adhered on top of particle board or wood chips that have been glued together. The surface of faux wood is usually very smooth. To hold paint, the surface needs to be cleaned, sanded and primed first.
Place the faux wood item on drop cloths to protect the working surface. If you're painting stationary items like kitchen cabinets, cover the surrounding area with drop clothes.
Remove any hardware from the faux wood product that you don't want to paint, such as metal knobs, pulls and door hinges. If these items are too difficult to remove, cover them with masking tape.
Clean the surface and let dry. If needed, fill in deep scratches and holes with wood filler. Reattach loose laminated surfaces with wood glue, and then carefully hold the glued areas together with masking tape. Let dry.
Sand the faux wood product using fine, 220-grit sandpaper to remove the gloss from the surface while leaving a smooth finish. Remove the sanding residue from the faux wood product with a tack cloth.
Prepare the surface for painting by brushing on primer. Let the faux wood product completely dry.
Paint the faux wood product with a paint brush or paint sponge. Apply a second coat of paint, if needed. For extra protection for high use products, finish with a coat of polyurethane.