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Laminate flooring is a very reliable, trustworthy, inexpensive, and resilient flooring option for many homes. However, it does not last forever and over time, it can soon show signs of wear and tear, which can make it look shabby. Besides this, you might want to improve your home décor and change your flooring to fit in with the new furniture you just bought. So, can you paint laminate flooring? Read on to find out!
Table of Contents
What Is Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is a very popular and durable flooring type and is very easy to install, making it an extremely popular choice for any homeowner. It is also a type of flooring that can be installed in any room of your house and can also be used in commercial settings.
Before we take on any repairs of painting or replacing your laminate flooring, it is important to first understand what laminate flooring is. Laminate flooring is a synthetic type of flooring that consists of several layers. The top layer consists of paper or vinyl, the central layers are made from fiberboard or foam, and the final layers at the bottom consist of a moisture-resistant material. All of this is covered with a glossy plastic finish, giving it a very smooth surface.
Can You Paint Laminate Flooring?
There are two options for this, you can go ahead and rip up the old flooring and replace it with new laminate flooring, or you can paint over the old flooring. The first option is probably the best, where you replace the old flooring with new laminate flooring. However, pulling up the old flooring and replacing it with new flooring can become very costly, and it can be very disruptive for your whole household.
So, can you paint cover laminate flooring? The answer is yes, it is possible to paint laminate flooring, however, it is not recommended as it is not a long-term option or the best option.
It is very likely that the paint will not stick properly and may begin to chip and scratch, resulting in the paint peeling off. This means that you will need to keep on repainting the floor regularly. However, if your budget does not allow for the replacement of new laminate flooring, and you want to save some money by doing it yourself, then painting the flooring may be the right option for you to pursue.
What Type of Paint Can Be Used on Laminate Flooring?
Many options of paint are available for use on laminate flooring, which can include any type of hardwearing paint that is suitable for flooring. The thing to remember is to use paint that is compatible with the type of primer you are going to use.
You should use paint that is moisture-resistant and durable because the floor is going to experience a lot of foot traffic, moisture, and scratches or dents. Some of the laminate floor paints that meet these requirements are porch paints, sealants, or deck stains.
Latex paints can be used on laminated flooring because they are very durable and have smooth finishes. This can include Waterborne Interior Acrylic Enamel for use on lighter colors, or All Surface Latex Enamel Base for use on deeper colors, which can be purchased from different paint manufacturers.
You can also apply oil-based paints as they are more durable, dry more evenly, and are easier to clean. These paints also come in different finishes, we advise a semi-gloss, satin, or glossy finish. Matte finishes are impractical as they show up all the marks and stains.
It is advisable to steer clear of the one-paint-does-it-all type that says you do not need a separate primer and the paint as it is all-in-one. This will not be the most durable option.
So, if you have decided to paint or cover laminate flooring, there are a few things that you need to consider. Let us now guide you through a step-by-step tutorial on how to paint laminate flooring successfully to ensure the best finish.
How to Paint Laminate Flooring Tutorial
We have already discussed the possibility of painting your laminate flooring and the results that you can expect. But how exactly do you apply laminate floor paint to your laminate flooring? For the best results you need to carefully follow the step-by-step guide we are now going to share with you, to ensure you get the process right the first time.
Materials and Equipment You Will Need
It is not difficult to learn how to paint laminate flooring. However, you need to do the job properly, which means you need to have the right tools and equipment before you even start, or else you are not going to be very successful. So, here is a list of the tools and equipment you will need.
- Vacuum cleaner
- Orbital sander with some sandpaper
- Bucket of water
- Liquid soap or TSP (trisodium phosphate)
- Paint brushes, rollers, or sprayers
- Deglosser (Removes the protective plastic layer on the laminate flooring)
- Laminate floor patching compound or repair caulk
- Good quality wood primer to prepare the wood
- Paint (Compatible with primer)
The correct preparation is the key to the whole process of being successful. Be warned that the preparation will take some time and money, but doing it right the first time will not only give you a good job.
Proper preparation will save you more time and money because you will not have to do it all over again.
Clean the Flooring
The very first thing that needs to be done is cleaning the floor surface. If the laminate flooring is fairly old and there is no carpet covering protecting it, then there will be a lot of dirt, debris, and dust that could be trapped on the surface layer of the flooring.
You need to make sure that you have gotten rid of all the surface dust with a vacuum cleaner.
Then you can use a bucket of water and soap, to ensure a deeper cleaning. You can also consider using a little trisodium phosphate (TSP). Once done, you need to let the floor dry properly before moving on.
Sanding the Flooring
Use the sander with 180 or 150-grit sandpaper to remove the gloss from the laminate flooring. The gloss is the top layer of the flooring that protects the texture of the flooring and is usually a plastic layer.
You need to be careful not to remove the plastic wear layer completely but only the uppermost part of the glossy layer.
As the glossy layer protects the floor surface from wear and tear, leaving the glossy layer on will prevent the paint from binding to the floor, making it easy to scuff and peel the paint off over time. The sanding process needs to be done delicately, as too-aggressive sanding will damage the soft material that is underneath the glossy layer.
Preparing Any Holes or Cracks in the Flooring
Now you need to examine the floor surface and see if you may have sanded a little too much off, or if there are any deep marks, holes, cracks, cuts, grooves, or scuffs. These cuts or holes must be repaired before you can carry on with the painting.
The repairs can be done using some caulking compound or wood-filler, but you need to ensure that you leave the floor surface completely smooth.
Priming the Flooring
To be sure that you end up with a good paint job on your laminate flooring, the floor needs to be primed first. This is very important, otherwise, when you apply the paint without a primer, it will not stick properly.
You can use an oil-based or a latex-based primer, just make sure the primer is properly dry before you start with the painting. This can take a day using a latex-based primer, or maybe a little longer if you use an oil-based primer.
It is advisable to apply two coats of primer as it helps to smooth the surface of the flooring. Also, the primer can cover or seal any cracks or dents you may have missed earlier during the preparation stage. Using an oil-based primer is advisable, as it is more able to stick to a smooth and non-porous surface and it it is more likely to dry evenly.
Painting the Flooring
The final step in the process of painting your laminate flooring is to apply the paint. There are several ways to do this, and each one of these has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are the three methods for applying the paint to your flooring.
- Paint roller: The most effective and easiest method for applying the paint is using a roller, as the paint goes on easily and leaves a smooth and even paint layer.
- Paint sprayer: This is an excellent option, but the room needs to be large with no furnishings or objects in the way.
- Paint brush: Only use this option if there are certain fixtures like cabinets on the floor that cannot be moved. You can also use a small brush to finish the edges and the skirting boards.
The type of paint you use needs to be resilient and durable and needs to be compatible with the primer you applied. The paint also needs to be able to last as long as possible without excessive wear or tear, as the floor will see a lot of foot traffic.
This can include porch paint, latex paint, or even chalk paint if you want a more rustic look.
Acrylic paint is also an option, but it may fail to adhere properly to the floor surface and will wear off easily. When applying the paint, start in the corner furthest from your eventual exit point, and work in small sections at a time. When you have completed the painting of your laminate flooring, make sure you give it enough time to dry properly before using it. The paint should dry within 24 hours, but just to be sure, leave it for two or three days.
Sealing the Painted Laminate Flooring
Is it advisable to leave the painted laminate flooring without applying a sealing or finishing coat? If you are not going to cover the flooring with a carpet, it is very important to apply a sealing coat to protect the flooring from excessive wear and tear and foot traffic.
Polyurethane sealant is ideal for this job, as it can minimize wear and tear and prevent water damage to your flooring.
However, it all depends on the type of paint you use, Polyurethane sealant will work for latex paint, but you need to use polyacrylic sealant for chalk paint, and any regular sealant will work for porch paint. A coat of sealant is also useful to cover up any scratches, marks, or scuffs you find on your flooring.
How to Care for Your Painted Laminate Flooring
Painted laminate flooring looks great and adds beauty to your room and home, but a painted floor seems to pick up dirt a lot easier than ordinary wooden, or laminated flooring.
Therefore, it is crucial to keep your painted laminated floor clean as the dust can result in scratches to the paint, damaging the floor’s finished surface and resulting in having to repaint the floor more often.
Painted laminated flooring is different from the original flooring, so you need to know how to clean it properly to prolong its life. The floor needs to be cleaned at least once a week and if the area experiences heavy foot traffic, it needs to be cleaned more frequently. Below you will find the best method for keeping your floor clean.
Cleaning Your Painted Laminate Flooring from Dust and Dirt
Take a bristle broom and sweep the floor to loosen the dust, then use a vacuum cleaner over the whole area, making sure you reach all the crevasses and cracks where dirt and debris can accumulate. Next, take a dust mop or damp cloth and wipe the floor down at least twice a week. When doing this, try not to leave any moisture behind as it can leave watermarks that are very difficult to remove.
At least once every month take a damp cloth or wet your mop and wipe down the painted flooring, making sure you get into all the corners and around the doorways.
To prevent dust or dirt from damaging your painted flooring, it is advisable to lay down rugs, especially in areas that have high foot traffic. The rugs can easily be removed and washed or cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. It is also advisable to place some doormats outside the entrance to prevent dirt from entering your home. You might even consider removing shoes before entering the home. Be careful not to use a steam mop as the moisture and heat can cause damage to the flooring.
Never use harsh cleaning solutions or abrasive cleaners on your painted flooring, like scouring powder, steel wool, or citrus oil products, as these will wear away the sealant and damage the paint layer. Never use floor polishes or any wax products as they can leave behind streaks and attract dirt.
If you make some spills or stains on your painted laminate flooring, just mix a solution of half water and half vinegar. Dampen some paper towel in the solution and apply it over the stain. Allow this to stand for about 10 minutes, then remove the paper towel and rub the stain off.
If there is a stubborn stain and the vinegar and water solution does not work, apply a mixture of baking soda and water, which is mildly abrasive. Apply it to the stain and rub the stubborn stain away, this will not damage your paint in any way.
Another option is to mix a solution of washing soda (four teaspoons), borax (five tablespoons), and dishwashing liquid (four teaspoons) and add all these ingredients to a one-gallon container. Fill this with hot water, and mix gently until everything is dissolved.
Pour the mixture into a smaller spray bottle and first test it on the floor behind the door or in a corner. Spray the solution over the stain and using a sponge, stiff brush, or a cloth, scrub the stain until it is removed. Now dry the wet patch with a clean dry towel, removing all the dirt and preventing any streaks on your flooring.
Repairing Small Cracks or Nicks
If there are any small visible scratches or nicks on the flooring, you need to use some fine-grain sandpaper and lightly sand the affected area, but be careful not to remove too much of the paint.
After you are satisfied the scratches have been removed, you can use the same paint you applied to the floor and touch up the sanded areas.
Can You Paint Laminate Flooring Without Sanding It First?
Laminate flooring is made up of several layers and is finished with a glossy finish that gives it a very smooth finish. This means that if you decide to paint your laminate flooring without first sanding it, the paint has nothing to adhere to and will begin to scuff, fade, and peel off very quickly. So, you can paint your laminate flooring without first sanding, but it is not advisable, as it will not last for very long. This means you will have to repaint the entire floor, especially where it is subject to a lot of foot traffic with wear and tear.
It may require some time and effort, but it is possible to paint laminate flooring. In this article, we have laid out a step-by-step tutorial for you to follow, giving you all the necessary details and the results that you can expect. The main thing to remember is that for a perfect job, the whole process is dependent on the correct preparation of the floor surface before you start any painting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Use Spray Paint to Paint Laminate Flooring?
Spray paint is an excellent option to use for painting your laminate flooring, but make sure you hold the nozzle about 18 inches away from the floor when spraying. You will also need to completely cover every nearby wall and surface to protect against overspray. Apply several coats, and wait for the paint to dry before applying the next coat.
Can You Stain Laminate Flooring?
If you want to change the color of your laminate flooring to give your room a new look or match the décor of the room, you can apply a suitable polyurethane stain or whitewash. As laminate is non-porous, avoid using penetrating stains. These products are designed to be absorbed into wood fibers and will pool and take forever to dry when applied to laminate. However, the same process we have described for painting must be followed to produce a good result.
How Long Does Paint Last on Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring has a plastic coating, which gives it a very smooth finish, and the paint applied to this surface will not last very long before it begins to peel or chip off. So, it is advisable to use water-borne acrylic paint that is guaranteed to not fade or chip for at least five years. Remember, this is also not the best long-term solution if you want to update your flooring. The best solution is to remove the laminate flooring and to start over.