How to Whitewash Laminate Flooring? (4 Methods)

You must whitewash laminate planks if you want a brighter and rustic look for your floor. So, how to whitewash them?

To whitewash laminate floors, apply a mixture of masonry lime, table salt, and warm water over the planks. Then, seal the mixture (and planks) using a clear waterproof sealant, such as water-based latex varnish. However, the planks must be clean, dry, and sanded before whitewashing. 

You can also whitewash planks by applying 2 coats of off-white chalk or latex paint on the planks. When dry, the latex or chalk paint gives the planks a rustic look.

Can You Do it?

You can whitewash laminate flooring because the planks have a more natural than synthetic formula. This makes laminate planks similar to hardwood floors. Since you can whitewash hardwood floors, you can whitewash laminate flooring too. 

Usually, whitewashing is done on outdoor floors, such as concrete and stone, to give the surface a rustic appearance. However, over time, homeowners have started to whitewash laminate floors too. Nowadays, you can get already-whitewashed laminate planks from the store and install them.

Pros/Cons

Next, let’s check out the pros and cons of doing it:

Pros

  1. Gives a rustic appearance to the flooring.
  2. Brightens dark planks.
  3. Protects the floor from dents and catches. Especially if the coating is sealed. 
  4. It will match or complement the look of your flooring. 
  5. Affordable.
  6. It helps to hide stains and imperfections on old laminate floors. 

Cons

  1. You can’t get an original look of laminate planks after whitewashing them.
  2. It isn’t waterproof. 
  3. The off-white appearance will get boring after a while.
  4. Time-consuming process for large floors.

Painting vs Whitewash (For Laminate Flooring)

Painting vs Whitewash For Laminate Flooring

Whitewashing and applying white paint over laminate planks are two different things. Here’s the difference between them:

 WhitewashingPainting
The makeupMasonry lime and table saltResins, solvents, and pigments
The colorOff-white or bleached appearancePlain white (also come in other colors)
WaterproofingPoorGood
The lookRustic or vintage lookCan be flat or glossy

When you whitewash planks, you bleach the floor. On the other hand, the paint is just a white topcoat color over the planks.

Whitewashed planks will appear old and jaded. In comparison, painted planks will appear coated and not faded. That’s because the paint has a level of resins and gloss that makes laminate planks appear different.

Also, they have different application methods and make-up formulas. Whitewash is made from masonry lime, while the paint is made from a combination of resins, pigments, and solvents. Also, you must seal a whitewash coating, but you don’t have to seal a paint coating. 

How To Whitewash a Laminate Floor?

Whitewashing laminate floors isn’t hard, but it’s a time-consuming process. You can get poor results if you don’t know how to do it. 

Here are the tools you need:

  • Dish soap or detergent
  • Masking tape
  • A bucket of water
  • A mop
  • Rags
  • A primer paint
  • Off-white latex paint or whitewash mixture
  • Water-based latex varnish
  • Floor or orbital sander
  • Sandpaper
  • A pair of gloves

1. Prep The Floor

Prep The Laminate Floor

Prep the floor. To do this, remove all furniture and objects from it.

Next, clean the laminate floors. Cleaning them will remove dirt, debris, and filth from the floor. If the floor is dirty, the finished result won’t be good. That’s because dirt will affect the whitewash or paint you use. Also, cleaning flooring allows you to see damaged or dented spots that need fixing. 

You must tape the bottom walls with two layers of painter’s tape to prevent spills on the base walls or trims. 

2. Sand The Laminate Flooring

Sand The Laminate Flooring

Once the planks are clean and dry, sand them. Sanding removes imperfections from the floor and creates a smooth surface for the primer and the finish to stick. To sand laminate planks, use a floor or orbital sander with fine-grit sandpaper. 

3. Apply a Coat of Wood Primer

Apply a Coat of Wood Primer

To get a better finish, apply primer to the planks. To prime laminate planks, apply one coat of latex primer using a paint roller. 

4. Mix and Prep The Whitewash

Mix and Prep The Whitewash

There are two appearances you can get by whitewashing laminate floors; real rustic and rustic-like appearance.

For a real rustic appearance, use a mixture of lime powder, table salt, and warm water. Mix 2 cups of salt, 6-8 cups of lime, and two cups of water together to use this. Stir the mixture in a large bowl and add more water if the mixture is too thick.

For a rustic-like appearance, apply two coats of off-white-latex paint to the laminate. To use this, stir the paint.

5. Apply and Seal The Whitewash

Apply and Seal The Whitewash

Apply the mixture over the planks using a brush or roller. Once the whitewash coating is dry, seal it. A sealant will protect the finish from moisture, water, scratches, and other damage. 

To seal it:

  1. Use water-based latex varnish.
  2. Apply 2 thin coats of sealant using a paint roller.
  3. Wait until the first coat dries before applying the next one. 

If you used paint, sealing isn’t mandatory but helps. When the sealant is dry, you’ll enjoy that rustic appearance.

Other Ways To Lighten Laminate Flooring

By Using Off-white Flat Paint

You can get a whitewashed rustic appearance by using off-white flat paint like chalk. Chalk is a flat paint that dries fast and offers that vintage appearance.

If you use chalk paint with off-white color on your flooring, you’ll get a whitewashed appearance. But you should seal chalk paint because the paint isn’t durable enough. 

By Using Clorox Bleach

You can also lighten the appearance of a laminate floor by using Clorox bleach and warm water. To do this, mix 3 tablespoons of bleach in half a gallon of warm water.

This will give you a light mixture that can be used to wipe the laminate planks. You can wipe the planks twice with the bleach mixture and leave the laminate floor to air dry. The bleach will fade the laminate planks making them lighter.

Cleaning Whitewashed Laminate Floors

Maintaining whitewashed laminate flooring is the same as maintaining non-regular floors. The only difference is that whitewashed floors reveal stains and filth more than regular brown laminate. 

Since they reveal stains and dirt more, you must clean the planks more frequently. Also, darker stains or marks will show more on whitewash planks than on regular brown planks. 

Cleaning whitewashing planks regularly won’t remove the whiteish appearance. Instead, it will give the planks a lighter appearance. 

Final Words

Whitewashing laminate planks is a great way to give the floor a rustic-like appearance. To whitewash laminate planks, use a mixture of masonry lime, salt, and warm water, or use off-white latex paint. Once the mixture is dry, seal it with latex varnish. 

Tony Adams
Tony Adams

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about,

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