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 laminate floors?

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 laminate planks by applying 2 coats of off-white chalk or latex paint on the planks. When dry, the latex or chalk paint gives the laminate planks a rustic look similar to regular whitewash. 

You Can Whitewash Laminate Planks

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 of Whitewashing Laminate Flooring

Next, let’s check out the pros and cons of whitewashing a laminate floor.

Pros

Here are the advantages you’ll enjoy from whitewashing a laminate floor:

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

Cons

Here are some disadvantages to consider before whitewashing a laminate floor:

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

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 whitewashing and painting for laminate planks:

 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 laminate planks, you bleach the floor. On the other hand, 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, whitewashing and painting 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 solvent. 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. Also, you can get poor results if you don’t know how to do it. 

Luckily, this post reveals all you need to know about whitewashing a laminate floor in 5 simple steps. But before we move on to the steps, we’ll need a few tools and supplies:

  • 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 Laminate Floor

Prep The Laminate Floor

First, wear safety goggles before whitewashing laminate planks. 

Then, prep the laminate floor. To do this, remove all furniture and objects from the laminate floor.

Next, clean the laminate floors. Cleaning laminate floors will remove dirt, debris, and filth from the floor. If the floor is dirty, the whitewashing result won’t be good. That’s because dirt will affect the whitewash or paint you use. Also, cleaning laminate 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 whitewashing the base walls or trims. 

2. Sand The Laminate Flooring

Sand The Laminate Flooring

Once the laminate planks are clean and dry, sand them. Sanding removes imperfections from the floor and creates a smooth surface for the primer and whitewash 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 help the whitewash coating stick better, you must prime the laminate 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

Once the whitewash coating is dry, seal it. A sealant will protect the whitewash coating (and the laminate planks) from moisture, water, scratches, and other damage. 

To seal a whitewash coating:

  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 to whitewash laminate planks, sealing isn’t mandatory but helps. 

When the laminate floor is dry, you’ll enjoy that rustic appearance on your floor.

Other Ways To Lighten Laminate Flooring

Here are other expert ways to whitewash or 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 laminate 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-whitewashed floors. The only difference is that whitewashed floors reveal stains and filth more than regular brown laminate. 

Since the whitewash planks 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 whitewash 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 whitewash is dry, seal it with latex varnish. 

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