How to stain laminate furniture?

How to stain laminate furniture?


Staining laminate furniture can be a great way to give it a fresh and updated look. Whether you want to change the color of your existing laminate furniture or simply enhance its natural beauty, staining can be a rewarding DIY project. In this article, we will explore the step-by-step process of staining laminate furniture, including the materials needed, preparation, application techniques, and finishing touches.

Materials Needed

Before diving into the staining process, it’s important to gather all the necessary materials. Here are the items you’ll need:

1. Laminate furniture: Choose a piece of furniture made of laminate material that you want to stain. Ensure it is clean and free from any previous finishes or coatings.

2. Sandpaper: Use sandpaper with a grit between 120 and 220 to roughen the surface of the laminate furniture. This will help the stain adhere better.

3. Stain: Select a stain that is specifically designed for use on laminate surfaces. There are various types of stains available, such as oil-based, water-based, and gel stains. Choose the one that suits your preferences and the desired outcome.

4. Brushes or applicators: Depending on the type of stain you choose, you may need brushes, foam applicators, or cloth for applying the stain. Ensure you have the appropriate tools for the specific stain you are using.

5. Protective gear: It’s important to protect yourself during the staining process. Wear gloves, safety glasses, and a mask to prevent any potential harm from the stain or fumes.


Proper preparation is crucial for achieving a successful staining result on laminate furniture. Follow these steps to prepare the furniture:

1. Clean the furniture: Thoroughly clean the laminate furniture using a mild detergent and water. Remove any dirt, dust, or grime from the surface. Allow it to dry completely before proceeding.

2. Sand the surface: Use the sandpaper to lightly roughen the surface of the furniture. This will help the stain adhere better and ensure a smooth finish. Be gentle while sanding to avoid damaging the laminate.

3. Test the stain: Before applying the stain to the entire furniture piece, it’s advisable to test it on a small, inconspicuous area. This will help you determine if the color and finish are as desired.

Application Techniques

Once the furniture is properly prepared, it’s time to apply the stain. Follow these techniques for a successful application:

1. Stir the stain: Thoroughly stir the stain to ensure an even consistency. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper stirring techniques.

2. Apply the stain: Use a brush, foam applicator, or cloth to apply the stain. Start with a small section and work your way across the furniture, following the grain of the laminate. Apply the stain evenly and avoid leaving any excess or puddles.

3. Wipe off excess stain: After applying the stain, use a clean cloth to wipe off any excess. This will help achieve a more even and consistent color.

4. Allow drying time: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the drying time for the stain. It’s important to allow sufficient drying time before proceeding to the next step.

Finishing Touches

To protect and enhance the stained laminate furniture, consider applying a topcoat or sealant. This will provide durability and a polished finish. Choose a topcoat that is compatible with the stain you used and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.

Additionally, consider adding new hardware or accents to further enhance the appearance of the furniture. This can include replacing handles, knobs, or adding decorative elements that complement the stained finish.


Staining laminate furniture is a rewarding DIY project that can transform the look of your furniture. By following the step-by-step process, gathering the necessary materials, and taking proper precautions, you can achieve a beautiful and long-lasting stained finish. Remember to always test the stain and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.


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