Can You Paint Laminate Floors? (How-To)

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

You can paint over laminate flooring as long as you properly prep the floor before applying the paint. To paint over a laminate floor, you need to clean, sand, and prime the floor to allow the paint to stick properly.

You should also know that painting over a laminate floor is a one-way task as it’s usually impossible to return the floor to its original condition after painting over it.

This post reveals everything you need to know about painting over laminate flooring including a 5-step method to carry out the task. So, let’s dive in.

Why Shouldn’t You Paint Over Laminate Floors?

The main reason painters advise against painting over laminate flooring is that the floor is difficult to paint over.

To paint over laminate flooring, you need to do a lot of prep work that includes sanding, cleaning, and priming. Not to mention the length of time that the task will take to be completed. The difficulty of the task and the time involved is why many painters advise against painting over laminate flooring.

Generally, it’s recommended not to paint over laminate flooring due to the texture of the laminate floor and the difficulty of the task. Before you can put paint on a laminate floor, the floor needs to be wiped clean, sanded, and primed to allow the paint to stick.

All of these tasks will require time and effort and it can take several days to successfully paint over the laminate floor. This is why many people will tell you not to paint over a laminate floor.

However, you should know that you can paint over laminate flooring if you want to. Though it’s not advised to paint over laminate flooring, you can if you follow the right steps and prep the floor properly before applying the paint.

You should know that painting over a laminate floor is not a task to take on in a day. It can take over 3 days to do this. So if you know you don’t have the time, it’s better not to even start.

What Type Of Paint Should You Use On Laminate Floor?

What Type Of Paint Should You Use On Laminate Floor?

Technically, you can use any type of paint on a laminate floor as long as the paint is compatible with the primer coating on the floor. However, it’s usually advised to use tough and moisture-resistant paints on laminate floors since the floor will experience high foot traffic and heavy use.

This way, the tough paint coating on the laminate floor will be able to handle the high traffic on the floor while protecting the laminate floor underneath from dents and moisture.

Top choices of paints to use on laminate flooring include porch paints, deck stain, and sealants. All these paints are strong, durable, and moisture-resistant. So they can withstand the heavy impact on the floor.

You should also know that it’s not a good idea to paint over laminate flooring directly. Instead, always apply a primer coating on the laminate floor before the paint is applied.

This will allow the paint to stick better to the laminate floor surface. The primer coating to be used has to match the paint that you intend to use. This means that you should use a water-based primer paint for water-based paints and an oil-based primer for oil-based paints.

Does Laminate Floor Need Sanding Before Painting?

Sanding is very necessary when you want to paint over a laminate floor. This is because laminate floors have a glossy top layer that prevents paint or stain from adhering to the floor.

So before the paint can stick properly to the laminate flooring, the glossy top layer on the floor needs to be sanded off first. You can use regular sandpaper, sanding pads, or sanding sheets to sand the laminate floor.

When it comes to painting over laminate flooring, one task to never skip is sanding. That’s because the success and smoothness of the finish depend largely on how well you sand the laminate flooring.

Like many other floor finishes, laminate flooring has a glossy top layer. This layer is designed to protect the laminate floor from dents, moisture, and damage making the laminate floor last longer. However, this glossy top layer causes problems when you want to paint the floor.

Since the glossy layer is moisture resistant, it means that it will repel or reject paint if applied directly over the laminate floor. So you need to sand the floor to allow the paint to stick as it should. When you sand, you create tiny ridges and pores in the glossy layer that the paint coating can bite into to stick well to the floor.

If you don’t sand laminate floor before applying paint,

  • The paint will not stick well
  • The paint will peel off
  • The paint can form blisters or lumps due to poor adhesion between the paint and the floor
  • The paint will turn sticky or tacky
  • The finish will appear smudged.

Next, let’s check out how to apply paint over laminate floor.

How To Paint Over Laminate Floor?

To many DIYers and painters, painting over a laminate floor is a difficult task but this is because they don’t know the right steps to follow. Luckily, this guide will show you how to do this in 5 simple steps. But to paint over a laminate floor, you’ll need a few tools and supplies:

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

Here is a 5-step guide to painting over laminate flooring.

1. Sweep and Mop The Laminate Floor

Sweep and Mop The Laminate Floor

The very first step is to sweep and clean the floor. This step is necessary as laminate floors are usually filthy especially if you didn’t put a mat or carpet over the floor initially.

If the floor isn’t clean before you start painting over it, the filth and dust nibs on the floor will prevent the paint from bonding properly to the floor. Asides from that, the finish will not be smooth and can easily develop bumps and pimples.

To clean the floor, start by sweeping the dust off the laminate flooring. 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, you can 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 In The Floor

Repair Dents and Gouges In The Floor

The next step is to repair imperfections in the floor with a laminate floor patching compound. If you don’t repair the imperfections in the floor, then the paint when applied will be sucked leading to paint wastage and a patchy finish.

Holes, gouges, dents, and spaces in the floor should all be filled with laminate floor patching compounds. The patching compound takes about 2 hours to fully cure so do not move to the next step yet.

3. Sand The Laminate Floor

Sand The Laminate Floor

When the patching compound is dry, you need to sand the entire laminate flooring. Remember that this is an important step as it helps to remove the gloss on the laminate floor so the primer and paint can stick better. Since laminate floors are usually wide, sanding manually will take forever. So you need a random orbital sander for this.

However, ensure that the speed and power of the sander are not too high. If the sander is too fast or powerful it will be too aggressive and will remove the laminate flooring entirely. After sanding the floor, use the vacuum or broom to remove dust from the surface.

4. Apply Primer Paint On The Floor

Apply Primer Paint On The Floor

With the laminate floor properly cleaned and sanded, you can apply the primer paint. Ensure that the primer paint you use will be compatible with the paint you intend to use.

Use latex or water-based primer for water-based paint and oil-based primer paint for oil-based paint. You only need a good coat of primer paint on the surface. Ensure to let the primer dry before moving on to the next step.

5. Apply The Paint

Apply The Paint

The final step of this task is to apply the paint. A paint roller or a spray gun will offer better and faster coverage of the floor. Using paintbrushes to paint a floor will take a lot of time. But, if you have a lot of hand-on-deck, you can all take a paintbrush and apply the paint over the laminate flooring. So this can be a fun task for your family over the weekend.

You can apply up to 3 coats of paint on the laminate floor but the most important thing is for the paint coats to be even. You can also choose to apply a sealant like polyurethane over the laminate floor but this should only be done when the paint has dried.

Can You Change The Color Of Laminate Floors?

You can change the color of your laminate floor as long as the laminate floor is still in good condition.

There are three ways to change the color of laminate flooring and they include painting the floor, applying stain, or replacing the floor altogether. Any of these methods if properly used will alter the color and appearance of the laminate flooring.

However, you should know that the method you’ll use for your laminate floor depends on the condition of the floor. Painting and staining work for new floors and laminate floors in good condition because the floor is still strong enough to support the paint or stain coating. But if the flooring is damaged or old, it’s usually best to replace the laminate flooring.

If you change the color of a damaged or old laminate floor by painting or staining it, the paint or stain will come off quickly because the laminate floor is not in good condition to support the paint or stain coating.

before you can change the color of laminate flooring, the imperfections in the floor must be repaired with a patching compound. If you don’t fix the imperfections in the floor, they will show even after you have changed the color of the laminate floor.

How Much Does It Cost To Paint Over Laminate Floors?

Painting over a laminate floor is an inexpensive task that usually costs less than $80. In most cases, all you need to paint the floor is the required paint, primer paint, and a few other supplies.

However, you should know that this task can cost up to $300, especially if the laminate floor needs repairs and if you would be paying someone to do this for you.

How Long Does Paint Last On Laminate Floors?

Paints last between 2 years and about 10 years on laminate flooring. On average, paint will last 5 years on laminate flooring if properly applied and maintained.

You should know that the time the paint will last on the laminate floor depends largely on the type of paint. Paints that are strong and moisture-resistant such as polyurethane, enamel, and oil-based paints tend to last longer on laminate floors.

These paints can cope with the high traffic and heavy use of the floor. On the other hand, flat paints especially those without gloss wouldn’t last very long because they can’t withstand the high traffic and wear and tear of the laminate floor.

Final Words

In summary, laminate floors can be painted but you need to prep the floor first and ensure it is in good condition before you can apply paint over it.

Also, you should only use strong and durable paints on the laminate floor as such paints can withstand the high traffic and heavy use of the floor. Finally, ensure to sand and prime before painting over the laminate floor to make the paint stick better to the floor.

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