Friday, April 22, 2011

who says you can't stain wood laminte?

Not me! I found this LANE side table at Savers for $8.99. I wanted it for a tv stand upstairs in the loft. I liked the lines and its from 1964 (you can tell with Lane because the date of manufacture is the serial number backwards so April 4th 1964.
When I bought it I thought it was solid wood. Well it wasn't. I started to sand it down and realized it was LAMINATE! good laminate but laminate none the less. I REALLY wanted to stain this and not paint it so I figured I would sand it down to where I liked it (yet not all the way through the laminate) and then see where that took me.

I sanded with 150 grit first and then 180 so get it nice and smooth. I used two coats of stain (dark walnut, in my experience the DARKER the stain the choose the more forgiving it is for mistakes) This table was SOOOO easy to stain. Wood type makes a lot of difference. I was staining pine at the same time (I am not a fan of stained pine because its such a soft would and easily dents) and the pine just sucked all the stain in and there was no room for mistakes. This table took its time to dry and it was nice to make sure it was all staining at the same rate. I did the legs first and then I did the top. I like to use a freshly laundered rag when staining. Its just easier for me to focus on the staining that way. Then I put one coat of polyurethane (I just used a cheap foam brush) and here is my final product:

I used a dark walnut stain and I really like it. It seems more modern now. Best of all my husband really loves it. Here is the top. The top is a dead giveaway that it is laminate wood. I don't know how I missed that. Anyway Nicely made laminate IS STAINABLE!!

I was willing to try this because the price was low. If I would have ruined it it would have been a small cost for experimenting. I used my sander for all parts of this. Its just a mouse ryobi (If you have one of these its really not good for table tops! I have done many table tops and am now used to it but it will leave little marks all over the top if you don't sand in the exact right way.)

If you have never stained before I would say go find some inexpensive piece of used furniture and start with that. If you found your dream dining room table and want to stain it, start with something small first because you don't want to ruin the dream table.

linking up with:

Furniture Feature Fridays


Stuff and Nonsense


  1. This looks great! I have painted laminate but not stained it -- your table turned out great!

  2. very cool...i would never have thought to stain laminate glad you linked up to fridays unfolded!


    stuff and nonsense

  3. I never knew one could stain a laminate. Thanks for sharing! Visiting from Fridays Unfolded.

  4. Popping in from Miss Mustard Seed...

    Well, I learned something new here today! Usually I would just paint laminate, but now this opens up another option for me. Thanks! :)

    Enjoy your table; it looks so fresh now!

    Carolina Country Living

  5. Hi, friend! Newest follower :) You've got so much creativity going on in your blog so can
    you please share them with us at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop?

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  6. hi Miriam, so glad i found your post (through Google). i have a laminate desk from Ikea that i would love to try staining. do you think Ikea furniture counts as "Nicely made laminate"?

  7. Definitely gonna try this. Also you Should add the pin it button. I have a blog on blogspot too. It took me a while to get it but I figured it out. It helps with exposure. Let me know if I can help.


  8. That looks like a veneer rather than a laminate. Laminates are plastic-like and don't hold stain. Veneer is a very thin sheet of nice-looking real wood that has been applied to the not-as-attractive structural wood that the piece is built from. Looks great, btw.