I've had a set of 3 white laminate shelves since I was about 16. My mother bought them for me as a gift and for some reason they've tagged along with me for many years. Maybe it’s the sentimental value I've attached to them. Either way they were really banged up and not very attractive.
The first thing I did was remove the hardware and lightly sanded them.
I was careful not to sand too much, as the particle wood will fray. Because it was white, I only needed one coat of primer. Then I applied one coat of yellow paint.
I let it sit overnight to make sure that it was good and dry. I wanted to give it an antique look so I applied some wood stain with a sponge brush. Then I wiped it off with a rag. When doing this, you are able to do as much or as little antique affect as you like.
The finished product is better then I expected. This was my first paint project so I didn't know how it was going to turn out. The paint gives them a more "upscale" look and I can't tell they are made of laminate at all.
I have a TV stand I use in my living room that is laminate. I was going to just get rid of it, but I am thinking about trying to give that one a face lift too. Maybe this weekend!