Redoing your floors is a simple way to give your living space a new life, but full-blown renovations can become rather costly. Painting your floors is a good way to save money. But can you paint laminate floors?
You can paint laminate floors as it’s an easy way to elevate the aesthetic of any room. You will need to clean the floors, and sand down the glossy laminate finish before you begin the painting process. Be sure to prime your floors with a good oil-based primer to leave them beautiful and fresh.
Several steps go into painting your laminate floors. Keep reading for everything you need to know to achieve an incredible new look.
What Do I Need to Paint My Laminate Floors?
Painting your floors is an easy and cost-effective way to give new life to your home. Painting your floors can give the illusion of a complete renovation, at a fraction of the cost. But before you begin painting your floors, you should make sure to gather some essential items.
Here are what you will need:
- All-purpose cleaner, to eliminate dirt and dust
- A floor sander (a random orbital sander is best)
- A mop
- A towel
- Painter’s tape
- Paintbrush, roller, painter’s tray
These items are necessary to ensure a thorough and visually appealing paint job. If you have all of these items, you are ready to begin your painting journey.
The quality of your primer and sealant will determine the overall finish of your floors. You will want to invest in a high-quality primer to make sure that your floors look professionally done.
The Basics of Laminate Flooring
Before you begin the big task of painting your floors, it’s good to know how laminate flooring works. Laminate flooring is a constructed flooring made from high-density fiberboard.
Most laminate floors consist of four layers. The first layer is a protective layer that will protect your floor from everything, including scratches, stains, burns, wear and tear, and chemical damage. The protective layer is made from melamine pressed tightly together and sealed, protecting the other laminate layers.
The second layer is the designer layer. This is what gives your floor their look, whether that be faux wood or faux marble. This layer is constructed out of an image of wood or tile, and the image is printed onto this layer and sealed with a melamine resin.
The reason that laminate flooring can look so real is that the print is taken from an image of real wood or tile.
The third layer of laminate flooring is a moisture-resistant core board. This layer lies at the center of your floor and is constructed out of real wood fibers and extremely durable, high-quality resin. This layer gives your floor stability and structure.
The final layer of your laminate flooring is the balancing layer. This layer stabilizes and strengthens your floors. This layer is responsible for ensuring that your floor doesn’t bend or break under pressure—it provides the support needed to ensure your home’s longevity and safety.
If your laminate flooring is old, worn, scratched, or torn, you may want to consider new flooring. Installing new flooring can be rather costly, which is where painting comes in. It is a simple and cost-effective option if done right.
How to Paint Your Laminate Floors
When painting your laminate floors, the paint job’s success will depend on how keenly you followed these steps. Painting over unclean floors will lead to uneven, ugly flooring. For best results, follow these steps.
1. Clean Your Floors
The first step is to ensure your floor is clean. You’ll want to sweep and vacuum your floors to remove any dirt, debris, or dust. Once the floors are swept, you’ll want to use a strong all-purpose cleaner and a mop to cleanse all of the laminate surfaces thoroughly.
Cleaning your floors is an essential step that should not be looked over. Even the smallest speck of dust can put a kink in your paint job, damaging the overall look and effect.
2. Sand Your Floors
After your floors are clean and shining, sand your laminate floors. The best sander for the job is a random orbital sander that will remove the top layer of the laminate. Sanding off the top finish until it is dull will make the paint job look more realistic.
Sanding your floors is an essential step for a successful paint job.
You will want to sand your floor until it is smooth and dull. The floor will look scuffed at this point, but that is okay, it’s all part of the process. Once the finish comes off, and the whole floor looks scuffed, you are ready for the next step.
You will want to stop sanding as soon as the floor looks scuffed. Sanding further can damage the lower layers of the laminate and create unwanted problems.
3. Clean Again
Now that you’ve sanded the primary layer, you will want to remove the dust and debris. Wash your floors with a strong all-purpose cleaner and scrub. A dust mop and damp towel will go a long way to clean your floor.
Before beginning the next step, be sure to let your floors dry completely.
4. Protect Areas With Painter’s Tape
Before you begin priming, you will want to cover any areas that you do not want to paint with painter’s tape. Painter’s tape peels off easily and will protect cabinets, runners, or walls that you do not want to paint.
You can find painter’s tape at any hardware store. It is a small step, but it will save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.
5. Repair Any Damage
Now is the time to repair any major damage that might have occurred on your floor, such as a gaping hole or intense scratch mark. Laminate floor sealants are sold at most hardware stores and make it easy to fill in holes and scratches.
Make sure your floor is smooth and healthy before you continue onto the next step.
6. Prime Your Floors
Time to prime your floors. This is an essential step to make sure the completed look is streamlined and effective. Priming your floors will protect the base layers and make the paint job look clean and aesthetically pleasing.
You will want to select a high-quality oil-based primer to prime your floors before painting. When priming, you will want to apply the coat as smoothly and evenly as possible. This will provide you a smooth canvas for an evenly painted floor.
Begin priming at the far ends; this will help prevent the excess primer from dripping onto your floor and causing imperfections in subsequent layers.
Before you move on to the next step, allow the primer to dry completely. Keep the area off-limits while the layer hardens.
7. Apply the Floor Paint
It’s finally time to paint your floors. As with the primer, you will want to start at the far ends of the room to prevent any excess paint from dripping off the brush and causing lumps and bumps on your floors.
Be sure to choose floor paint designed specifically for floors. This paint is more durable, as it’s intended for flooring, and will stand up to foot traffic and general wear and tear.
You will want to apply two to four coats of floor paint. Each coat is another layer of protection. Be sure to wait and allow each coat to dry before starting to paint the next coat.
8. Apply Sealant
The next and final step is to apply sealant. Applying sealant will help protect your floor from any potential damage, and help fight cracks and scratches. This step is essential to ensuring the longevity of your paint job.
Do not skip this step if you want durable, long-lasting floors! For best results, choose a high-quality sealant.
Polyurethane is a popular sealant for floor paint. It is a synthetic plastic with protective properties that adhere to the paint. Polyurethane works as a clear topcoat for your painted floor, protecting it from scratches and cracks.
Polyurethane is the most popular and most common choice for sealants. You should be able to find some at your local hardware store.
Paint the sealant on delicately to ensure a smooth and finished floor. A good, high-quality sealant should leave your floors shining and new.
Once you’ve painted the sealant on, you can return the room to normal. Bring the furniture and rugs bag, and marvel in your new incredible flooring!
How Much Does It Cost to Paint Laminate Floors?
The cost of painting laminate floors depends on the quality of the products you intend to buy. Higher quality products, in this case, will ensure a higher quality paint job.
While the cost of painting your laminate floors can add up, it is also definitely comparatively cheaper to get your whole floors redone by a professional.
In general, the costs are as follows:
- 2 to 3 gallons of primer can cost you $50 to $100
- 2 gallons of floor paint can run you between $30 and $50
- 2 gallons of sealant or epoxy will run you $200 to $250
- A paintbrush, roller, and other painting equipment will cost you $20 to $40
- Sandpaper or sanding block can cost between $8 to $25
- An orbital sander rental will run you $20 to $35 per day
If you go for the cheaper options, painting your laminate floors can cost you around $328. Compared to hiring a professional to tear up your laminate flooring and install new floors, this will most likely save you money.
Will This Solution Always Work?
While it is possible to paint your laminate floors, some people recommend against it. Pergo laminate floors, for instance, recommend that you should never sand, wax, stain, or paint their product.
Most of the reasons against painting laminate floors involve the quality of your tools. If you are going to paint your floors, it is essential to invest in a high-quality primer. You also must prepare the surface, clean it thoroughly, and sand the top layer.
A thorough application of sealant is also essential. The initial paint job can look rather good, but if the sealant is not strong enough, that layer of paint can be scratched off by chair legs or sneakers.
How to Achieve the Best Results
In order to achieve the best results when painting your laminate floors, you will want to invest in high-quality materials. The higher quality your primer, paint, and sealant, the better your floors will look.
Do not skip the sanding step! This step is vital to ensuring your floors come out looking smooth and polished. Not sanding can lead to a lumpy, bumpy finish.
And be sure to use floor paint instead of regular paint for this task. Floor paint is designed to be more durable than regular paint and will stand up to all the wear and tear from foot traffic.
The best key to achieving incredible looking floors is to take your time. Make sure each layer is painted on smoothly, and allow each layer to dry before continuing onto the next.
That’s everything you need to know about painting your laminate floors! If you follow these steps closely, you’ll come away with gleaming, good as new floors.