Can you paint or stain laminate flooring? This is a concern of many people when they want to change the color of laminate flooring. Whether the paint or stain laminate flooring affects its quality is a big question mark in many people’s minds.
I am about to respond to your questions through the exciting and engaging sections of this article. You will know the correct answer as well as how to change the color of your floor. Therefore, do not go anywhere; everything is waiting for you to explore.
Expand Your Knowledge With Some Crucial Things About Laminate Flooring
Caption: Laminate flooring is a type of floor used commonly in construction.
Before deciding whether you should paint or stain laminate flooring, you need to know its structure. Laminate flooring is a type of synthetic floor created from the laminating process (1).
The laminate floor is commonly used for construction projects. It is made up of high-density fiberboard. You can find 4 layers of laminate floor:
A protective layer will prevent scratches, burns, tears, and other damages. Melamine is pressed and sealed tightly to form this protective layer of the floor.
The second one -the designer layer will bring the aesthetic to the floor when printed with the patterns of wood or tile floors and sealed with melamine resin. These patterns look like natural wood and tile floors.
Laminate flooring will prevent the attack of moisture thanks to its moisture-resistant layer. It provides structure and durability for laminate flooring. The combination of real wood fibers makes up this third layer. It is placed in the middle of the laminate floor.
The final layer, also known as the balancing layer, will ensure stability and strength for your floor. The longevity of laminate flooring depends a lot on this layer because it will help prevent breakage when under pressure.
Learn some needed information about the laminate flooring.
What Happens If You Paint Or Stain Laminate Flooring?
When your laminate flooring gets scratched, torn, or worn and becomes old, instead of spending a lot of money to hire a professional to replace it with a new one, you can paint or stain it to make it look fresh and beautiful.
In addition, painting or staining the floor also helps change the color of the floor according to your preferences.
Although painting the floor will take quite a while and involves many complicated steps, it will bring a new breath to your home.
In essence, paint and stain are different. Painting is to apply a new coat of paint on top of the floor, and you need a primer before painting. Meanwhile, the stain will allow the color to penetrate the wood fully, and it will be unnecessary to have a primer.
If you want to change the laminate flooring color to give it a richer color, you can stain it. However, laminate flooring is a non-porous flooring, so it will not provide the best effect when staining.
Reasons Why You Should Paint Or Stain Laminate Flooring
To back up the idea that you can give laminate floors a fresh coat of paint, I will show you why you need to apply paint or stain. Let’s take a close look right away!
Cost savings: If you want to replace about 300 square feet of laminate flooring by hiring a professional, you must spend about 1,411 to 3,395 dollars. This figure does not contain other costs, such as removing old floors, cleaning, and removing furniture.
If you paint your old floors yourself, you can save a lot of money. You need to pay to paint 200 square feet of a laminate floor for about 250 to 300 dollars. This is a cheap option and works great for your floors.
Bring a new style: Painting or staining the floor will bring eye-catching and luxurious colors and styles to your laminate flooring. Different paint colors will contain various and beautiful experiences.
You will not need to spend a lot of money on oak floors, ebony, or whitewashed boards because you can create colors precisely like them by painting or staining the floor.
Protect the environment: Choosing a new type of flooring to replace laminate flooring takes time and effort. Instead, just give it a fresh coat of pain. This not only refreshes the floor but also helps protect the environment.
Because, when you want to change to a new laminate floor, many trees are cut to make these wooden boards. You will contribute to the protection of the forest ecosystem by painting laminate flooring.
Pros And Cons Of Painting Or Staining Laminate Flooring
To help you understand better and make the best decision, I will point out the pros and cons of painting or staining laminate flooring. Please read carefully and consider before choosing since you will not be able to find the original wood color when painting it.
As I mentioned, compared to replacing laminate flooring, painting or staining the floor will cost less. You can rent expensive equipment to save money. If you do it well, it will give wonderful results.
Painting floors is pretty simple, so you can have a laminate floor with excellent color with just a few key steps and skills. This just takes your time.
You can decorate according to your taste. Patterns, methods of painting or staining, color are all chosen so you will be pleased with the results.
The floor, after being colored, will need to be sealed carefully to keep the paint from fading and ensure the quality of the floor. This will take your time and effort.
You need to be careful after painting the floor to make sure it is completely dry. Because if the paint or sealant has not dried, they can stick to the carpet or other surfaces.
You need a lot of time and patience to mark the contours. It is not easy to prepare some equipment sục as paintbrush and sanding machine.
Painting laminate floors creates a lot of dust, so it can affect your health and those around you. You can develop allergies or asthma from breathing in wood dust and sealant odors.
How To Paint Or Stain Laminate Flooring?
It is not easy to paint the floor, but you can do it after reading this section. The detailed step-by-step instructions I present below will help you; you just need to follow them.
1. Kick-Off By Choosing The Suitable Paint
Choosing a paint color and a suitable paint type plays an essential role in the success of the floor coating. There are different types of paint you can choose from. If you want long-lasting paint, I recommend polyurethane paint.
You will choose paint colors based on the style and design you are aiming for. In particular, you should carefully observe the paint color of the walls, ceiling, and interior of the house to select the paint color that matches them.
It is essential to pay attention to the space and size of the room when choosing paint for laminate flooring. Dark paint colors can make your room look smaller and vice versa. Therefore, you should select dark colors for open spaces and light colors for narrow spaces.
Cheap paint will not bring good quality to the floor. You should look for paint that is reasonably priced but good quality to use. You should use high gloss paint to help the floor shine and bright.
2. Remove All Furniture Before Working
Before painting the floor, you need to make sure that there is no longer any furniture in the laminate flooring area that needs painting. You need to lift the furniture and move them gently to make sure the floor is not scratched.
3. Clean And Repair The Laminate Floor To Remove Dust And Damage
If you want the floor after painting to be smooth and glossy, you should clean the floor thoroughly to discard dust and debris on the surface of the laminate flooring before painting or staining.
What you need
- Laminate floor patching material
- Putty knife
How you do it
Step 1: Use a broom to sweep all loose dust on the floor surface.
Step 2: Mop the floor with water to remove the stains and sticky residues on the floor. If the stains are too stubborn, you can use mild laminate flooring cleaning solutions.
Note: You need to rinse the floor thoroughly with clean water to remove all excess cleaning solutions when using them.
Step 3: Let the floor dry entirely.
Step 4: Check and locate cracks, scratches, chips, or holes on the surface of laminate flooring.
Step 5: Use a putty knife and fill laminate floor patching material into damaged areas.
Step 6: Wait about 24 hours for the patching material to dry.
Note: If the laminate flooring is damaged too severely. You should replace it with another board.
4. Sanding The Laminate Flooring
You will start sanding laminate flooring to give it a gritty finish because this will make it easier for the paint or stain to adhere to the floor. Sanding will eliminate the wear layer above the surface of the floor. In addition, it also helps the floor to be flatter.
What you need
- 220-grit sandpaper
- Sand block or orbital sander (optional)
How you do it
Step 1: Place sandpaper on laminate flooring.
Step 2: Hold the sandpaper by hand and press down with gentle pressure.
Step 3: Rub the sandpaper on the surface of the floor in a circular motion. You should remove tiny bumps so that the floor becomes smooth.
Note: After you have removed all the finishes from the surface of the floor, you should end the sanding process because if you continue, the lower layer of the floor may be damaged.
Pro tips: If you do not have much time, replace sandpaper with a sanding block or orbital sander.
5. Clean Again To Remove Dust And Debris Caused By Sanding
After sanding the floor, a lot of wood dust and debris will appear, so the next step you need to do is clean the floor again. It is essential to make sure the floor is clean before staining.
What you need
- Damp washcloth
- Dry washcloth
How you do it
Step 1: Sweep dust, dirt, and residues from floor surfaces with a broom.
Step 2: Wipe the floor thoroughly with a damp washcloth to remove any remaining dirt after sanding.
Step 3: Wipe again with a dry washcloth to discard any remaining water and moisture.
Step 4: Let the floor dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
Note: You should not start painting or staining while the floor is still wet.
To speed up the drying process of the floor, you can use large fans or heaters.
6. It Is Essential To Apply The Primer
Laminate flooring does not hold paint well so you need a primer to create a bond between the paint and the floor. It also helps prolong the life of the color. This primer helps your floor surface after painting will be smoother.
Moreover, it helps seal the cracks or scratches left during the floor repair process. You should choose a high-quality oil-based primer for the best results.
What you need
- Oil-based primer
- Paintbrush or roller
- Paint tray
How you do it
Step 1: To make sure the primer does not stick to the walls and other areas, you will need to use painter’s tape or newspaper to cover those areas.
Step 2: Pour primer into the paint tray.
Step 3: Dip the paintbrush or roller into the primer and sweep or roll over the floor surface slowly and gently. You should move your hands evenly so that the primer does not get too thick in one area.
Note: You should start with the furthest part of the room and end with the door area so you do not walk on wet laminate floors.
Step 4: If you want to add another coat of primer, you can do it after about 30 to 60 minutes. I recommend adding 2 coats of primer to make the surface smoother and shinier as well as fill in any scratches or cracks you missed.
Step 5: To ensure that the primer is entirely dry before painting or staining the floor, you should leave it on overnight.
Note: You need to make sure the primer is thoroughly dry before starting painting.
It will be better if you use a primer that contains mainly oil. The sanded laminate flooring area will be sealed by it and better prevent water damage. In addition, water or oil-based paints adhere well to this primer.
7. Paint Or Stain The Laminate Flooring
Once the prep steps have been completed, it is time to paint or stain the laminate floor. This job requires meticulous attention to basic techniques for beautiful paint color and smooth floors. Follow me!
Option 1: Using Polyurethane-Based Paint
Polyurethane-based is the proper choice for your laminate flooring. Polyurethane-based production technology has lost its lead and volatile organic compound content has decreased (2). This type gives a rich color to the floor.
There are many colors you can choose from, such as maple, cherry, or honey for a strong wood stain-like color.
What you need
- Paint brush
- Paint roller (optional)
- Paint spray bottle (optional)
- Polyurethane-based paint
How you do it
Step 1: Choose a paint color that matches your wishes.
Step 2: Wear a paint mask before painting or staining the floor to protect your health.
Step 3: Put paint in the paint tray.
Step 4: Apply the paint over the floor.
Case 1: Use a paintbrush to coat the surface of the floor.
You will dip the paintbrush into the paint.
Sweep the laminate floor evenly to spread the paint on its surface in the direction of grains from the furthest point to the front of the room.
Case 2: Paint the floor with a paint roller.
For this option, instead of spreading the paint evenly over the floor surface, you will roll the roller across the surface of the floor in the direction of grains. This choice makes the painting more accessible and the paint more evenly.
Case 3: Using a paint spray bottle. This option will be good for rooms that are large and have no furniture in the room.
Paint will be put into a spray bottle and sprayed evenly on the floor surface. This method requires high skills; otherwise, the paint will be uneven.
Step 5: Wait about an hour for the paint to dry before applying more layers.
Step 6: After about 1 hour, you can begin painting the next coat. The number of coats depends on the dark you want. You should allow about an hour to wait between each paint or stain.
Step 7: You should leave the floor for at least a week to dry before using it.
- Avoid painting in one place too thick and another too thin.
- You need to clean the brush and roller thoroughly to remove dirt before using them to paint the floor.
- 3 coats of paint are the perfect choice for your floor.
- You should not touch or step on the floor while waiting for the paint or stain to dry.
- You can substitute a few other paint options, such as eggshell paint, semigloss paint, epoxy, and enamel paints.
Option 2: Using Latex Grain Paint
Besides polyurethane-based paint, you can use latex grain to apply a new coat on the surface of your laminate flooring. You can choose your favorite colors. If you prefer long-lasting paint, this is a suitable choice for you.
After choosing the proper paint color, you can dilute the paint with a sufficient amount of water. This is a common practice before staining. The operations to paint or stain with latex grain paint are the same as you would with polyurethane-based paint.
Option 3: Using Gel Staining
Gel stains are commonly used on the surface of the wood. It is used to bring color to wood floors or other wooden furniture in your house. This type lies only on the surface and does not penetrate the wood.
Gel stains will not cover the entire floor surface like the 2 types of paint above. You will follow the same steps to stain with gel stains as you did with polyurethane-based paint. This type takes about 2 to 3 days to dry entirely.
8. Protect The Floor By Applying A Layer Of Sealant
The last essential step to finishing the process of painting or staining laminated flooring is applying sealant. The sealant layer will help prevent damage from cracks, scratches, dents, and holes and better protect the paint of the floor.
This step is pretty straightforward when you just need to buy the proper sealant for each type of paint and apply it on the surface of the floor after the paint dries to prolong the longevity of the floor paint.
9. Wrap Up By Bringing Furniture Back
After the sealant is entirely dry, you will clean up the items and tools on the floor to bring the furniture back. As with the initial move, you should lift them gently and place them on the floor. You can put rubber on the bottom of their feet to protect the floor.
Follow the directions to get a pretty laminate flooring by painting.
Tips To Clean A Painted Or Stained Laminate Floor
Having a perfect floor paint color is great, but you need to know floor cleaning tips to reduce the possibility of damage to the painted or stained laminate floor.
- Using too much water when mopping is a mistake when cleaning painted laminate floors. Because water can damage the floor, making it prone to scratches, it is recommended that you use a dry mop to remove dirt from the painted floor.
- It is best to mix soap with water when encountering stubborn stains to form a cleaning solution to discard stains.
- You should not clean the floor with harsh cleaning solutions because they will harm the sealant and the paint.
- When the floor is painted or stained, do not use steam cleaning because it will penetrate deep into the lower layer of the floor and affect its quality.
- Use specialized cleaners to clean to avoid causing wear, tear, and scratches to the floor.
Tips When Painting Or Staining The Laminate Flooring
If you make mistakes when painting or staining laminate flooring, the quality of your floor’s surface will suffer. You should keep these tips in mind to paint or stain the floor more effectively.
- The floor has a lot of dirt and debris that will make the painted surface not smooth, so you need to clean the floor carefully before you start painting.
- You should not skip the step of applying primer before each painting. This helps the paint adhere better to the laminate flooring. It is better to choose a high-quality primer.
- Do not choose low-quality paint to save money. Paint will easily fade and reduce quality as well as difficult to avoid peeling.
- You should not use a paintbrush and roller simultaneously because they will not create uniformity for your floor. You should remove all dirt on the brush and roller before using.
- Do not miss any scratches, cracks, dents, or holes when repairing the floor. You should gently sand these positions.
- To avoid paint or stain sticking on other unwanted areas of your home, you should cover them up with tape.
- To reduce sanding time and effort, you can use a mechanical sander instead of sandpaper.
- You should not use wall paint or paint for other items to stain the floor because it will be less sticky and prone to bubbles.
- You should use pads on the bottom of the furniture to protect the laminate flooring after painting. In addition, you should be careful when moving on the floor after painting because it is pretty slippery.
Watch this video: Caring and cleaning for your laminate floor are essential too!
Experience and learn new things about painting or staining laminate flooring by researching these common questions about the topic.
Make Up Your Mind Right Now!
Have you made your decision yet? I believe that after reading this article, you have a better understanding of how to paint or stain laminate flooring. If you feel it can be applied to your floor after testing and deliberation, you should give it a shot.
You can paint for acquaintances or recommend this post to them so they can experience it for themselves. Please like this valuable article to motivate me to bring exciting knowledge to you. If you want to know more, ask questions in the comments section.
1. En.wikipedia.org. 2022. Laminate flooring – Wikipedia.
2. American Coatings Association. 2022. Driving Sustainability in High-Performance Polyurethane Coatings.