Your laminate floor is old and worn out, but a replacement may not be within your budget. On a mission to redo your room for less money, you might ask, “Can you paint laminate flooring?” Plenty of people have undertaken such a project and come away with attractive results, but you should go into it with the knowledge that the painted finish may be only a temporary fix.
Can You Paint Laminate Flooring?
Yes, you can transform the look of your laminate flooring with a few coats of paint! Covering the floor with paint can be a smart, budget-friendly approach to upgrading your room, and you can complete the entire project within just a few days.
One great advantage to painting your floors is that you’ll have almost no limit on the colors and designs that you can use. You can choose a shade of paint that’s close to the original color of the laminate, or you can brighten up the space with brilliant hues or bold patterns.
How to Prepare a Laminate Floor for Painting
Preparation is one of the most important steps in the painting process. If you don’t take the time to properly prepare the surface, you may be dissatisfied with the end results. Follow these steps to get your flooring ready for paint.
The top layer of laminate flooring is called the wear layer. Paint won’t adhere well to this glossy material, so you’ll need to rough it up before beginning your painting project.
A mechanical sander may be the fastest approach, but you’ll need to be careful not to go too deep. Removing the entire wear layer will reduce the flooring’s ability to resist water damage.
You’ll probably need to use sandpaper instead of a machine along the edges of the room.
Sanding will create a big mess! It’s important that you clean up all of that debris as well as any other dirt, hair and dust that are on the floor. If you don’t do a thorough job of getting the floor spic and span, the paint won’t adhere well.
3. Degloss Laminate Flooring
Next, apply a commercial deglossing product. Together, your sanding efforts and the deglosser should do a pretty good job of roughing up the laminate’s smooth surface so that the paint can stick.
You don’t want to end up with paint on your walls or trim. Take the time to place painter’s tape along all edges of the room and anywhere else where extra care is required.
5. Fill Imperfections
Finally, apply caulk to any dents, gaps or cracks. Smooth the caulk so that it’s level with the surrounding floor. Allow the caulk to cure fully before moving on with your project.
Best Paint to Use for Laminate Flooring
Once the prep work is finished, the painting portion of your project should be done in several steps.
To give the paint the best chance of adhering well to your laminate floor, be sure to apply primer first. Don’t use just any primer, though! Rather, be sure to get a bonding primer that’s meant for use on glossy surfaces.
If you plan to paint the floor a dark color, ask at the hardware store about having your primer tinted. A deeper shade will blend more easily with dark paint than white primer would.
Start by applying one thin coat. Begin in a far corner of the room, and work your way toward the opposite side.
After the primer has dried according to the manufacturer’s instructions, you may want to apply an additional coat for good measure.
Some people advise doing another round of sanding after you’ve finished putting down the primer. This may increase how well your paint holds, but it’s an optional step. If you go for it, just make sure to dust again afterward.
2. Paint Laminate Flooring
It’s finally the moment you’ve been waiting for! It’s time to paint!
Be sure to choose the right paint. Wall paint is likely to bubble. Choose a paint variety that’s designed for porches and floors.
To begin, apply one thin layer. Just like you did with the primer, start in a far corner, and make your way across the room.
After allowing the paint to dry, put down another thin coat. It may seem like it would be faster to paint one thick coat instead of two thin ones, but multiple thin coats lead to greater durability.
You may choose to add even one more coat of paint after the second has dried.
Finally, you may want to add a coat of polyurethane over the paint. This might improve the durability of your new flooring design. A coat of sealer is also useful for reducing the tacky feel of a freshly painted floor.
Make sure that the final coat is fully dry before removing the painter’s tape, walking across the floor or moving furniture back into the room.
Planning for the Future
Even the highest-quality paint probably won’t last on your laminate floor forever. As chairs scrape, shoes tromp and dog nails click-clack across the floor day after day, the painted finish may start to wear away.
Also, laminate floors aren’t fully waterproof, and excessive sanding might have made the boards even less water-resistant than they were before. Leaks and spills can wear down the integrity of the painted flooring.
As a result, it’s smart to have a long-term plan in mind. The paint job can be a quick fix that allows you to save up for a more complete overhaul. Hopefully, within a few years down the road, you’ll be able to lay a new laminate floor that will stay reliable for a long time to come.