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How do I paint a bookshelf?

Budding Browser

How do I paint a bookshelf?

Hi all,

I have an old and cheap bookshelf (no real wood) and would like to freshen it up with some new colour. Could you give me some recommendations on which primer and colour to use (spray vs paint, oil vs water-based etc.)?


Thanks a lot in advance,




Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How do I paint a bookshelf?

Hello @Sus


Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. It's wonderful to have you join us, and thank you for sharing your question about painting your bookshelf. 


We need to find out if your cabinet is covered in timber veneer or laminate. I suggest getting some sandpaper and in a corner that is not in direct sight sand it down. You'll see either of two things, timber dust which is an indicator that you have timber veneer covering the bookshelf or plastic dust which means that it is laminate covered.


If it is timber veneer you'll need to sand the cabinet all over. I suggest using British Paints 1L White Semi-Gloss Doors Windows And Trim Paint And Prime. This will save you from having to buy a separate primer and you can paint this directly over the cabinet in your preferred colour. 


However, it's a bit different with a laminate covered cabinet. You'll still need to sand the bookshelf, but you'll need to use White Knight 1L Renew Tile And Laminate Primer Paint. This is a specially formulated primer that will go on a laminate surface. The paint that goes with it is the White Knight 1L White Satin Renew Tile And Laminate Paint. Using ordinary paint on a laminate surface will not work because of the material that it's made of.


Here are some handy step by step guides: 




If you need further assistance, please let us know.




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