Can You Paint Laminate Flooring? (Here’s How)

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Reviewed by
Eral Kadrija

Tony Adams

Laminate floors add a touch of class and beauty to the home. But often, homeowners want to change the look of their look by painting over them. So, can you paint over laminate floors?

You can paint over laminate flooring as long as you prep the floor properly. You need to clean, sand, and prime (optional) the planks to allow the paint to stick.

This is also a one-way task as it’s impossible to return the original color shade of the floor once you do it.

Type Of Paints To Use

What Type Of Paint Should You Use On Laminate Floor?

You can use any type of paint over laminate planks as long as the paint is compatible with the primer you will use. However, it’s advised to use moisture-resistant and durable paint because the planks experience high-foot traffic and use.

The durable paints can handle the traffic better and protect the planks from dents and moisture. It’s recommended to use porch paints, deck stain, or sealants. All of these finishes are durable, moisture-resistant, and can withstand heavy usage.

However, you shouldn’t apply them directly to the planks. Instead, you must apply one primer coat, wait for it to dry, and then apply the paint. The primer coating will cover imperfections and holes, and provides a textured layer for the paints to stick to.

Is Sanding Necessary?

Sanding is necessary because it removes the glossy top layer of the laminate planks. Laminate planks are reinforced with a floor sealant (fabric-made) to make them water-resistant.

This layer prevents liquid from penetrating the planks. It also prevents the paint from sticking, so you must remove it. To remove it, use medium-grit sandpaper, sanding pads, or use a floor sander.

If you don’t sand the new finish:

  • Won’t stick well.
  • It will peel off.
  • The finish can form blisters due to poor adhesion.
  • It will turn sticky.
  • It will appear smudged.

How To Paint Over Laminate Floor?

Painting laminate flooring is difficult, but if you have the right steps to follow, it can be easier. Luckily, this guide will show you how to do this in 5 simple steps.

Here are the tools you need:

  • A vacuum
  • A mop
  • A bucket of water
  • Detergent
  • Laminate floor patching compound
  • Primer
  • A random orbital sander
  • A floor brush or push broom
  • Brush, rollers, or a sprayer
  • A gallon of paint

1. Sweep and Mop The Floor

Sweep and Mop The Laminate Floor

First, sweep and clean the floor. Cleaning will remove the dirt and dust from the planks. If the planks aren’t clean, the filth will prevent paint from penetrating and sticking. As a result, the finish will peel off and can develop bumps.

To clean it, sweep the dust off the planks. You can also use a vacuum for this. After, mix some detergent in a bucket of water and use the soapy water to mop the floor clean.

If you notice stubborn stains on the floor, scrub them off using a floor brush or push broom. When you have washed the floor, mop it with clean water and leave it to dry. When the floor is dry, you can move to the next step

2. Repair Dents and Gouges

Repair Dents and Gouges In The Floor

Next, use a patching compound to repair imperfections. If you don’t, the coating will be sucked into the holes and cause wastage and a patchy finish.

Holes, gouges, dents, and spaces should all be filled with floor patching compounds. The patching compound takes about 2 hours to dry.

3. Sand The Laminate Floor

Sand The Laminate Floor

Next, sand the floor to remove the glossy topcoat it has. Since laminate floors are usually wide, sanding manually will take forever. So use a random orbital sander for this.

However, the speed and power of the sander shouldn’t be too high. If the sander is too high, it can damage the planks. After sanding, use a vacuum or broom to remove dust.

4. Apply Primer

Apply Primer Paint On The Floor

After the planks are cleaned and sanded, apply one coat of primer. The primer needs to be compatible with the paint.

5. Apply The Paint

Apply The Paint

To apply paint on laminate floors, use a roller or a spray gun. You shouldn’t use a brush as it takes a lot of time.

Apply three even (flat) coats of paint. Wait until the previous coat dries before you apply the next one. Once the final coating dries, seal the finish with polyurethane (2 coats).

Changing The Color

You can change the color of your laminate floor if the planks are still in good condition. There are three ways to change its color: painting it, applying a stain, or replacing the floor. Any of these methods will alter its color and appearance.

The method you have to use depends on the condition of the planks. You can paint or stain if the planks are still new. New planks are strong enough to support paint coating. But, if the planks are damaged, you must replace them.

If you paint or stain damaged or old planks, the finish will peel off because the planks aren’t in a good condition to support a coating.

Also, before you change the color of the floor, you must repair the imperfections using a patching compound. If you don’t, the imperfections will show even more after you change the color of the planks.

Things To Know

On average, the paint will last 5 years on laminate flooring if properly applied and maintained. However, the time the finish lasts depends on the type of finish, floor condition, and whether you use a sealant or not.

Painting laminate floors isn’t expensive, it costs less than $80. All you need is paint, primer, and a few other tools. However, if the planks require repairing, the expenses are higher, usually $300.

Final Words

In summary, laminate floors can be painted, but you need to prep planks first and ensure they are in good condition. Also, you should only use strong and durable finishes on the floor as such finishes can withstand high traffic and heavy floor use.

Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

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.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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