There is a CRUCIAL TRICK to painting Ikea furniture that is laminate! Zinsser B. Primer–this is CRUCIAL. This is a shellac based primer. You cannot use a water-based or oil-based primer that you may be used to.
Gel stain allows you to make any painted surface (wood, laminate, metal) look like dark stained wood as long as you know the right process. I love to restore furniture and give it a new life. These end tables had water damage and a horrible orange stain