IKEA Hack: Spray Painted Laminate Chairs

IKEA Hack: Spray Painted Laminate Chairs


  • Two Chairs
  • Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Primer
  • Krylon Colormaster Paint + Primer
  • Krylon Color Maxx Top Coat
  • Painter's Tape
  • Cardboard
  • Garbage Bags

We recently moved into a new apartment and I had dreams of transforming our balcony into an outdoor oasis. I searched Pinterest for ideas, pinned a million things, wandered around Target and IKEA, and looked online for the perfect outdoor table and chairs only to be disappointed that my taste didn’t match my budget.


IKEA Gilbert Dinning Chair


Our old dining room table is now my work table in my studio so we had an extra six white laminate dining chairs from IKEA lying around. Could I really turn indoor laminate chairs into outdoor furniture? We had used two of the chairs as outdoor seating on our old balcony and they seemed to hold up fine despite their rusty legs from saltwater blowing up on the balcony.


I searched endlessly online to see if anyone had painted laminate chairs from IKEA before and then used them as outdoor furniture. Was it possible? What was the prep? What technique was used? What materials were used? After all my searching, I found out that I was either a pioneer of my time or incredibly stupid thinking this would work.


I knew I would need a good primer for the paint to stick and I knew I would need a good top coat for the paint not to chip off, but other than that I was starting at ground zero. 


jungalow togetherness duvet set


Before I start any project, I like to start out with an inspiration photo. I found this beautiful bedroom The Jungalow had posted on their Instagram; I loved the look of the colors together so the subject didn’t necessarily matter. This was my starting point.


Krylon Color Master


After reading tons of reviews, I decided on Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Primer, Krylon Colormaster in Coral Isle, and Sea Glass and Krylon Color Maxx Topcoat, all purchased from Amazon. The price of the Krylon Colormaster actually varies on Amazon depending on the color, the week, or even the month, so if you aren’t set on a color and cost is a factor, search online to see which colors are the least expensive.


metal rust removal


First, I had to remove the rust from the legs of our laminate chairs! Straight vinegar removes rust well so I actually put the entire leg of a chair into a large bottle of vinegar letting it sit for an hour or two and then scrubbed it with a rust removal brush, which I also purchased on Amazon.


Spray Painted Laminate Chairs


After all the rust was off, it was time to start painting! This is where your cardboard comes in: lay the cardboard down to protect the surface you’ll be painting on. The spray paint will get all over the ground no matter how careful you are. 

Some articles online said to sand the laminate first, others said not to. I chose not to since I was using a good primer which would allow the paint to stick.


zinger bullseye 123 primer


Make sure the chairs have been wiped down so that they are free of any dust or dirt and are completely dry. I followed the instructions on the primer, it’s really important to shake the can for a minute prior to use like the directions say. It also recommends not to use the spray in temperatures over 70 degrees or in high humidity, but I live in Miami so that’s really never an option. Nevertheless, my primer turned out great. Spray in sweeping motions covering the surface lightly, it’s just the primer so it doesn’t have to be perfect. What you are doing is creating a rough surface for the paint to stick to. The primer will be dry to the touch in minutes but wait 30 minutes before applying your color.


ikea hack chair painting


Then it was time for the fun part, the color! I used trash bags and tape to cover the legs so the color of the chairs wouldn’t get all over them. I then began spraying the chairs.  It’s also very important with the Krylon Colormaster to shake the can vigorously for one to two minutes prior to use and continue to shake while using. 


Krylon Colormaster Coral Isle


I tried to do light sweeping motions but the paint came out rather thick at first, running down the back of the chair. When painting the back of the chair, I would recommend laying it down so the paint can’t drip. It will take a little longer to paint everything, but it’s totally worth it. Once I had a good first coat down, I waited 4 hours to do the second.


Krylon Colormaster Sea Glass


I’m a little impatient, and since the directions said you could handle the paint after an hour, I then taped the top part of the chair so I could spray the legs. I do not recommend this, however, if you’re short on time, or just impatient like me, go for it! The worst that could happen is that you’ll have to repaint the top part again. I used a black trash bag and tape to cover the top part of the chair and sprayed the legs.


Krylon Colormaster

Once I had applied two coats to the legs and the top part of the chair, I let them dry overnight. In the morning, I went back with white acrylic paint to paint the white lining around the chair. This detail is not necessary but something I wanted to add.


Krylon Color Maxx Top Coat


It was finally time for the topcoat. Again, make sure to shake the can one or two minutes before use. I sprayed the topcoat on while the chair was upright, and even though the paint was dry, it began to run. I would again recommend laying the chair down to paint and waiting for it to dry before bringing it upright. 


IKEA Hack Spray Painted Chairs


I gave the chair a good two coats and waited a full day for it to dry even though it says only an hour. After that, they were ready to go out on my balcony.


Painted Table and Chairs


Here is the finished product! I also added a table I purchased at IKEA and then painted, I'll cover the steps for that in another blog post. Pretty cute, right? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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