Hackers Help: Need advice on painting HEMNES TV unit

Photo: IKEA.com


I have a black-brown HEMNES TV unit (Article Number: 802.509.57) that I’m trying to paint white (the exact same color as HEMNES Bookcase white stain). I bought 2 of those white bookcases so that I can create a large entertainment center like HEMNES TV storage combination after painting the TV unit white. I took one of the pieces of the bookcase to the paint shop to paint match and they gave me a semi-gloss water-based paint with primer. I explained to them that the descriptions of the TV unit said solid pine, stained, clear acrylic lacquer. They said since the surface is smooth I didn’t need to sand. However, after the second coat of paint the paint could easily come off by scratching with fingernail.

I don’t know much about painting but whether I use water-based or oil-based paints I don’t think it’s supposed to come off with a simple scratch like that. Does clear acrylic lacquer mean laminate? I’ve been researching on how to paint furniture but I don’t know if laminate furniture is what’s underneath the surface or what’s on the surface. I don’t know if I need to go buy a primer in addition to already having a paint with primer in it so the paint will stick better. Do I need to sand it down and paint even though the paint shop person told me I don’t have to?

I have a small child who constantly plays with his toys on this TV unit so it needs to be able to withstand the wear and tear of children’s play. Would you please give me some suggestions on how to paint this TV unit? I can’t return this paint since it was custom made so I need to know a way to paint it using the paint I already have. Thank you!!

The HEMNES is solid wood with a coat of lacquer to finish it. It is not laminate. (Laminate is a thin layer of veneer stuck on top of the surface) It is recommended that you remove the lacquer first before painting, if not the paint would not adhere. In short, sand it down. Clean it. Prime and paint. Here is a tutorial from Centsational Girl who tackled the HEMNES dresser which is the same material as the TV unit you are painting. Good luck. ~ Jules