Over the years, many homeowners have asked if you can paint laminate floors. Yes. As a matter of fact, you can. The real question is should you.
The best place to start is to ask, “Why do you want to paint it?” If you are trying to buy yourself some time so you can save up to buy a wood floor or don’t want to mess with laying a new floor until the kids go away to college, then, paint your laminate floor.
About Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is an engineered product that is comprised with layers of wood or other materials that are pressed together under intense heat. It became popular because it is less expensive than most other alternatives and the fact that it’s easy to install and maintain. It’s also moisture resistant.
Today’s new and improved laminate flooring looks just like hardwood or can be made to mimic other natural materials such as marble or granite. Typically, no underlayer is required and the top protective layer resists scratches and scuffs.
Laminate flooring has a top protective layer which generally has a UV cured polyurethane coating that causes it to shine along with shielding it from wear and tear. Under it is a core which is responsible for the durability. Beneath the core is the backing which is comprised of a moisture-resistant material like PVC or vinyl.
Modern day laminate is widely made to resemble wood flooring and can be found in planks, tiles, and sheets. The surface is actually covered by a wood-patterned paper rather than real wood. This surface will need to be removed to paint the laminate. Sanding and priming the area is a must or the paint will not adhere properly.
Drawbacks To Painting Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is not designed to be painted. Instead, it is supposed to resemble solid wood flooring or another natural material. While you certainly can paint laminate flooring, here are some reasons you may not want to:
Paint jobs on laminate flooring don’t typically last long. Therefore, if you’re just needing the paint to last a short while, you’re in luck. Otherwise, you may be disappointed.
If the surface isn’t properly prepared, the paint job won’t last long. You won’t be able to easily take it back to the state it was before.
A primer is often needed, especially if the laminate flooring is super shiny. By adding an adhesion to the floor by way of a primer, the paint will stick better to the shiny laminate.
Benefits Of Painting Laminate Flooring
Along with the drawbacks to paining laminate floors, there are good things too such as:
You won’t need to wax or strip laminate flooring that’s been painted. You’ll just want to lightly sweep then mop using a gentle cleaning solution.
Painting laminate is a very cost-effective way to change the look of your flooring without spending a fortune. It only requires a can of paint and primer if needed. No need to hire someone to do the work if you are up for a little painting.
Choosing Your Paint
It is common for paint that goes onto laminate to look totally different than what you expect it to. For this reason, you may want to get a variety of sample and try them out before committing to one.
Gloss and semi-gloss paint will make the surface easier to clean but may also be slick. Water-proof paint is best for areas that have high humidity or that may become wet such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.
How To Paint Laminate Flooring
Painting laminate flooring is a breeze if you know what you’re doing. Follow these steps and you’ll achieve the look in no time:
- Thoroughly sweep and mop the surface of the floor.
- Prepare a mixture of trisodium phosphate and cleanse the surface.
- Fix any cracks or flaws in the floor using putty and/or crack sealer.
- Cover any area you don’t want to be painted.
- If the floor is glossy, degloss it.
- Sand the top wear layer of the flooring without leaving it too thin using an orbital sander and a 150-grit sandpaper.
- Apply an oil-based primer by using a paint roller or a paint brush.
- Let the primer dry.
- Go over the floor with one coat of floor or porch paint by roller.
- Allow to dry for at least 24 hours.
- Apply another thin coat of paint and let dry for at least 4 hours before walking on it.
- Seal with a layer of epoxy if desired and let dry for at least 24 hours before allowing traffic onto it.
- It is best not to allow much traffic on the finished floor for up to one week so it can set well.
Tips For Caring For Painted Laminate Flooring
After you have painted your laminate flooring, there are some steps you can take to keep it looking good.
Be sure to put one or more rugs down to prevent wear and tear on the new paint job. Make the rug part of the décor rather than it is projecting the appearance of only being for function. You can easily match the color and the mood of the room such as getting a contrasting-colored round shag rug or a long multicolored runner that brings the shades of the room together.
Don’t be afraid to patch up areas of paint that get worn or chip off. Simply blend the patches in to the rest of the paint. Failure to do so will result in a mess of a floor in no time.
Be careful in cleaning the flooring. Use a gentle bristled broom and soft cloth or mop to clean areas and a mild mopping solution as well.
While painting a laminate floor isn’t ideal, it may work beautifully for your intents and purposes. It’s a fairly simple process and is inexpensive too, so what do you have to lose?