Yes, this is laminate but it actually wasn’t a difficult process in retrospect. Any difficulty arose from our refusal to disassemble the Expedit before painting!
We have been using a dark (and depressing to me) Ikea Expedit bookcase turned sideways as our TV stand/media center. Although there is nothing (really) wrong with the dark color, I am not a big fan of the darker “standard” Ikea colors. In this case, the tv stand/bookcase was destined to be replaced somehow because it was bringing down the whole room. Much like our couch actually, but that is another story.
We thought about buying a new tv stand, but an online search revealed that a “compartmentalized” media center to replace this sideways Expedit can run anywhere from $300 to $2000. Instead of buying a new piece, we decided to repaint the existing Expedit bookshelf/tv stand. The internet is full of articles on how to paint Ikea furniture so I did some research before going to buy things.
I have seen conflicting articles regarding sanding or not sanding before painting, primers to use, paints to use, etc. I arrived at the hardware store fully prepared with a list of items and a primer in mind. However, after talking to the paint experts my list changed a bit.
For the primer we used Glidden Gripper in white and finished off what was left from our DIY hairpin leg nightstands. I was expecting to use the Zinnser primer since others have recommended this to paint Ikea furniture. However, at the hardware store, the paint expert recommended the Glidden Gripper.
For paint, we used Glidden DUO in Gold Coast which is an off-white color with a yellowish tint (depending on the light!). I picked the color before realizing it was a DUO paint which technically does not need a primer. However, considering Ikea furniture is usually laminate, we did not take any chances. We got the paint in an eggshell finish to maintain the “smoothness” of the original paint. Now that I think about it, we might use an eggshell finish all the time! No more flat/matte.
First, we sanded the Expedit. This was probably not necessary but we did it anyway with fine sandpaper. This is a dusty process so gloves and a mask are recommended.
After sanding the entire thing (which took a while) we applied the primer left over from our DIY nightstand project.
After priming, the fun part began. Painting. We ended up using foam brushes although we started with rollers. I found the foam better for a “smooth” finish vs using rollers. Of course, using the foam brushes took some time as well.
Once the paint was applied we left it to dry in place overnight.
All this was done in the living room at night after a long day spent in the city. I was quite proud that we did not fall asleep halfway through. We had to move things out of the way, cover furniture, clean up, etc and we used cardboard boxes to protect the floor in the “work area”. By the end, we were pretty tired and conversation was at a minimum because it would have taken too much energy!
This whole process took up a quart of paint and 0.75 quart of primer. A bit more than I was expecting, but we had just enough to finish.
Here’s what it looks like in late morning sunlight from the window.
I now think I sprained my wrist with this project! But, at least we have a much lighter tv stand! I really prefer this color. The darker color was a bit imposing in our (relatively) small living room.
Next time I decide to do this though, I have promised myself to disassemble first and maybe go with spray paint instead. These weren’t really options this time since we had to do everything indoors.
My next task is to get a large piece of plywood to cover the back of the bookshelf/tv stand and hide all the wires. I will need to figure out whether to go with the same color or be adventurous and use something “loud” like orange or maybe a pattern of some sort?
So glad this is done as it is another thing scratched off the To Do List! Thoughts on the new color?