I've heard it's impossible. Don't even try. Painting laminate furniture is a disaster waiting to happen. Sounds like a challenge to me! Especially since I don't have the budget to buy a new bookcase but I do have a cheapo laminate bookcase and some left over Almond Paste by Olympic.
Before I start any project I do some research. I figure I'm not 16 anymore, it's okay for me to learn from other peoples mistakes. I sat down with my laptop and searched "painting laminate furniture" the first listing is on one of my daily reads Living With Lindsey . She walks you through the whole process.
I took the shelves out from my cheapo bookcase and lightly sanded them down with my palm sander. After wiping them clean I used a foam roller to prime with some Zinsser primer. I always use a foam roller on a smooth surface, you don't get brush lines and for some reason the foam leaves a much smoother finish than a roller you'd use on a wall. I decided not to sand the frame of the bookcase for two reasons. 1. I'm too lazy. 2. Um... Okay, maybe I'm just lazy. I did prime the frame though, using a foam brush to get into the hard to reach corners. After letting the primer dry and cure I rolled on two coats of paint.
The next day I called for my tall man and we lugged the bookcase back upstairs and into our office. When I put the shelves back in place I did scratch the paint in a few places but it was nothing a little touch pain couldn't fix. I did it, I painted laminate furniture and lived to tell about it.
So I went from this: