Can You Paint Laminated Floors? (How to Guide)

by Katie Williams
Laminate Flooring

Laminated floors are a blessing to modern designers. They are resilient, smooth, and give your house a neat look. The only downside is that it does not last forever and will start tearing given some time. It is possible to replace the flooring, but the much smarter and inexpensive way to deal with it is to paint over the worn-out lamination.

Not only will you save on the maintenance, but your house gets a fresh look as well. This sounds like a difficult task, but all you need to do to paint laminated floors is give your floor a priming job before you start painting.  There are many ways to go about this process, and you can get to know everything about it in this article.

What Kind Of Paint Can You Use On Laminate Floors?

No paint can be used directly on laminated floors because the surface has a glossy covering that does not let it stick and can easily peel off. However, you can paint on laminate floors after giving it a good sanding and priming job. The following are the best types of paints you can use for painting laminated floors.

Paint Pros Cons
  • Latex Based (Porch paint/water-based paint)
  • Easily available
  • Dries quickly
  • Does not yellow over time
  • Would need a latex-based primer for it
  • Oil Based
  • Durable
  • Covers up all sorts of odors
  • Might yellow over time
  • Need an oil-based primer
  • Longer drying time
  • Chalk Based
  • Very durable
  • Can give a vintage look to your floor
  • Works well with layers
  • Brush strokes are visible if not painted in a certain way
  • Sometimes require multiple coats

As you can see, all three paints are suitable for painting on laminate floors and have their pros and cons. Personally, the latex-based paint is the most commonly used one as it is easy to work with, so we recommend it for the first time.

Can You Change The Color Of Laminate Flooring?

Yes, it is possible to change the color of your laminate flooring. It may be glossy and woody, but with the process of staining or painting, you can achieve an entirely new look for your floor. You can also replace your floor entirely, but most people go for painting as it is a longer, but much cheaper process.

Can You Paint Or Stain Laminate Flooring?

Yes, it is possible to paint and stain laminate flooring. In fact, a lot of people choose to color their floors when they get old instead of replacing them. The process of painting laminate flooring will be discussed further in the article, but to stain laminate flooring, you would require to do steps of the process a little differently.

The following are a few tweaks in the process of painting laminated floors after you finish cleaning, repairing, and sanding.

1. Apply Laminate Floor Finish

You would require a floor finish that has the tone of the color you want to stain your floor with. Make sure that the finish is not wood, but a laminate floor finish. With the finish, laminate the whole floor using a washcloth for a glossy surface. Remember to try it out on a small section before you go about it.

After the first coat dries up, apply at least 2 or 3 more coats of laminate finish till you reach the color you want.

2. Painting

Use polyurethane-based paint which is the same color as the floor stain. Coat the surface with a laminate primer or a bond primer so that the paint sticks better. Oil-based primers work as well.

After letting the primer dry, paint on the surface, apply at least 2-3 layers to achieve the color you want, and then let it dry for at least a week.

How Do You Cover Up Old Laminate Flooring?

Every laminated floor reaches it is limit after a decade or two and you have the option of either replacing it or covering it up with a paint job. Most people choose the latter, as it adds another few years without having to spend much out of their pockets.

To successfully paint over laminated flooring, you would first have to prepare it for the process. This makes the task a little difficult and slightly lengthier, but if you skip the preparation, the paint might start peeling off within days. It is important to go through every step so that your painted laminated floor lasts for a long time.

orbital sander

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to cover up the laminated floors using paint.

Step 1: Clean Your Floor

As it is with any sort of paint job, the first thing you need to do is make sure that the area you are working on is absolutely clean. This means that you need to get rid of all the dust, dirt, and debris unless you want them to create a negligible but inconvenient bump on your flooring.

Make sure to vacuum, sweep, and get rid of all dirt before you apply the paint. Over time, floors get depressions and holes as we are used to walking over them without thinking much about denting them. Try and fill in any sort of cracks on the surface to make sure that the painting goes well.

You can fill them with caulking, cement, or any other substance that dries up over time.

Step 2: Remove The Gloss

The next step is to remove the gloss which makes the floor smooth. Painting on a glossy floor will have the paint peeling at the slightest graze, so make sure you do not miss this step.

For removing the gloss, you can use 180 or 150 grit sandpaper or an orbital sander to plain out the surface. You do not need to rub out the plastic layer until it’s completely torn, but rough it up enough to at least take out the gloss from the flooring.

Make sure that you go through with these actions carefully as this is the step that prepares your floor for lamination. Do not be too aggressive with your movements and damage the floor with scratches or bumps.

Step 3: Fix Cracks Or Holes From Sanding

While it is important to not be too aggressive with removing the gloss, if it is your first time, chances are that you will scrape off some parts of the flooring. You can easily fix these bumps or scratches with caulking or any other material. There is no need to worry about how it will look as you will be painting over the surface anyway.

Also, make sure to even out and sweep away any leftover material like extra sanding as you need to ensure that the surface is smooth.

Step 4: Prime The Floor

The next step, which is also the most important, is to prime the floor. Priming helps create a surface that is easy for paint to stick on. As much as you sand the older, glossy surface, it can hardly give you the kind of area you need for paint to stick without damaging the surface.

Hence, make sure to give the floor priming with the general latex primer that you can easily get at a hardware store. Once you are done with the primer, leave it to dry for at least a day before you start painting.

If you want to, or think that the floor could use another layer of primer before you start painting, feel free to apply another coat. You would know if a floor needs more primer simply by looking at it. A good priming job leaves no spaces and is opaque enough for the previous color to be completely hidden.

An additional layer can seal away any cracks showing and is also a way to completely smooth out the floor. The best primer to use on the flooring is an oil-based primer as they stick well to the sanded surface.

Step 5: Paint The Floor

After your paint has dried, you can move on to the last step which is also the most fun. Most wooden floors, even laminated, go well with all sorts of paints. Before you paint over the whole surface, make sure to test how the one you have chosen dries and stays on a small area of your primed floor.

Using good resilient paint like porch paint or latex paint, color over the primed flooring with whatever color you want the vibe of the room to be. Chalk paint is also a good alternative for painting floors. Only acrylic or poster paints should be avoided as they are not long-lasting.

A lot of times, people use the same color of the wood they had to completely restore their floor – which is a great idea if you are not fond of change. Make sure to let the paint dry for as long as it takes and protect it while it’s still wet since it is a surface that will face a lot of pressure in the coming years.

Painting Laminate Floors Before And After

Following is a before and after display of pictures to display show what a laminated floor looks like after a painting job.

Painting Laminate Floors Before

Source: Pinterest

Painting Laminate Floors Before And After

Source: Pinterest

How To Paint Laminate Flooring Without Sanding

Sanding is a very important part of painting laminated flooring, but if you want to skip the lengthy and difficult step, there are ways to paint your laminate floor without sanding it first. The process is the same except for the sanding step and the fate of your floor depends completely on the type of primer you use.

Following are the two things that change and are added to the process when you choose to paint the laminate floor without sanding.


Directly prime the floor after cleaning and fixing it. Try and get yourself a shellac-based primer. As normal water-based or oil-based primers might or might not work on your flooring depending on the material it is made of.

However, shellac is a type of substance that will stick without sanding no matter what the surface is – laminate, wood, or even metal. It also dries very quickly, covers up all kinds of odors and stains, and provides a very smooth base. It also works with any type of paint, which is another plus point.

For other primers, like the normal water-based latex paint, you would require a water-based primer. As for oil-based paint, you would need the same type of primer too.


Since you would be painting on a surface that was not sanded out for the paint to stick, be generous with the amount of priming and painting coats you have to give to the wooden surface. You can also sand the surface with sanding paper in between priming and painting jobs when your floor is dry if you think there are bumps.

After painting, you would require to put a top coat on your floor to make sure that your paint job stays. You can use a water-based polyurethane top coat or a wax-based top coat if you have painted with chalk paint.

After your priming job is done, all you have to do is wait until it dries and follow up with the painting. Just remember to do a scratch test first.

Although we have told you about how to go about the process, painting your floor without sanding is not highly recommended as your floor will face a lot of movement over time, and sanding the area first just ensures that the paint does not start chipping early.

Top coats also wear off frequently, so you would have to continue reapplying them, which can be troublesome. Hence, it is best to go about the normal process of painting laminated floors.

Related Questions

Can You Paint Laminate Floor Without Primer?

Yes, you can paint laminate floors without primer if you use chalk paint since it works well on any sort of surface. However, what the finished product looks like depends on the state your floor is in.

If it is an old one with a lot of dents, chalk paint might look rough and scratchy on your laminate floor without primer. Hence, for best results, always smooth with primer first.

Can You Use Spray Paint On Laminate Floor?

Yes, it is possible to spray paint on a laminated floor, but it will not be the easiest way to color it. Spray paints have a very wide and messy range of spouting colors and you might end up with stains on the wall or other areas you wanted to clean.

Final Thoughts

Make sure to follow through with all the steps properly, even though it can take a bit of time. Painting your laminated floors can even make them more resilient and add on a few more years to the lamination. We hope that this article has helped solve all your doubts about going about painting your laminated floor.

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