Problem: we didn't use primer. We thought "Hey it'll be okay to use latex paint on laminate". WRONG! That is wrongsauce if I ever had a hindsight thought. Do not just go for it. You'll definitely need primer on this fake wood 2007 office supply store bookcase. We knew something was up when it was getting nicked super easily after it dried. We were afraid of putting items on the shelves since the paint didn't seem to have 'stuck'. A non working bookcase wasn't functional. (imagine a bed full piled with junk we couldn't put back on these new shelves)
Working outside I primed each shelf with 2 coats of Kilz primer about 4 hours apart. I used a small foam roller for even application. Yes this oil based primer was messy and I may have destroyed a kitchen scrub brush (sorry Tony). Everything started to look the same again. Boring photos - more of the same white shelves. Primer = white, paint = white. Anyway, after 2 coats of the same white paint we were in business. You can definitely tell the difference in the primer + paint vs no primer. Texture wise that is. The no primer was much smoother and slick. The primered base has a big more of a 'grip' to it and wasn't nicking at all. Overall it looks great (yeah yeah I said that last time).
The after - nice and clean and dried and now - usable!
This is what happens when new DIYers decide to do a project they know little about.