Can You Paint Laminate Flooring? A Painter and Decorator’s Guide

Bob Thomas


Are you tired of your old laminate flooring and thinking about giving it a fresh new look?

You might be wondering if it's even possible to paint laminate flooring. As a qualified painter and decorator, I'm here to tell you that it is possible, but there are some essential steps to follow to achieve the best results.

In this article, we'll explore the process of painting laminate flooring, the materials you'll need, and some tips and tricks to make the process as smooth as possible.

Quick Summary

  • Yes, you can paint laminate flooring

  • Clean and sand the surface before painting

  • Apply a primer designed for laminate surfaces

  • Use high-quality paint designed for floors

  • Apply multiple coats of paint and let it dry properly

  • Seal the surface with a protective finish

Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Laminate Flooring

Clean the surface

  1. Before starting any painting project, it's crucial to clean the surface thoroughly. Remove any dirt, dust, and debris from the laminate flooring by sweeping or vacuuming. Then, use a mild detergent mixed with water to mop the floor, ensuring it's free of any residue. Allow the floor to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Sand the surface

  1. Sanding the laminate flooring helps the primer and paint adhere better to the surface. Use a 120-grit sandpaper to lightly scuff the surface, ensuring you don't sand through the laminate layer. After sanding, vacuum up the dust and wipe down the floor with a damp cloth to remove any remaining debris. Allow the floor to dry before proceeding.

Apply primer

  1. Applying a high-quality primer specifically designed for laminate surfaces is essential for proper adhesion. The primer creates a bond between the laminate and the paint, ensuring a long-lasting and durable finish. Apply the primer using a roller or brush, following the manufacturer's instructions. Let the primer dry completely, usually for at least 24 hours.

Choose the right paint

  1. Select a high-quality floor paint that is suitable for laminate surfaces. Ideally, choose a paint that is water-based, as it is easier to clean and has lower odor compared to oil-based paints. Additionally, water-based paints dry faster, which means you can apply multiple coats in less time.

Apply the paint

  1. Using a roller or brush, apply the paint evenly across the floor, working in small sections. Make sure to maintain a wet edge as you go to avoid any visible brush or roller marks. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat. Depending on the color and desired coverage, you may need to apply additional coats.

  2. Apply a protective topcoat (optional)

While not necessary, you can choose to apply a clear, protective topcoat to your painted laminate floor. This will provide an additional layer of protection against wear and tear, increasing the lifespan of your paint job. Select a topcoat designed for use on floors and follow the manufacturer's instructions for application. Allow the topcoat to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Allow the floor to cure

  1. It's important to allow the paint to cure before placing furniture back on the floor or walking on it. While the paint may feel dry to the touch, it takes time to fully harden and reach its maximum durability. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for curing time, which can range from a few days to a week.

Replace the furniture and enjoy

  1. Once the floor has fully cured, you can carefully move your furniture back into the room. Use furniture pads or glides to protect the painted surface from potential scratches or damage. With proper care and maintenance, your newly painted laminate floor can last for years, giving your space a fresh and updated look.

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q. Can I use any type of paint for my laminate floor?

  A: It's crucial to use a paint specifically designed for flooring or one that has excellent adhesion and durability.

Epoxy-based paints or floor-specific latex paints are recommended for the best results on laminate floors.

Q. How can I clean my painted laminate floor?

  A: To maintain your painted laminate floor, use a gentle cleaning solution, such as a mixture of water and mild dish soap.

Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbing tools, as they can damage the paint. Regularly sweep or vacuum the floor to remove dust and debris.

Q. How long will my painted laminate floor last?

  A: The longevity of a painted laminate floor depends on factors such as the quality of the paint used, the application process, and the amount of foot traffic.

With proper care, maintenance, and the use of a protective topcoat, a painted laminate floor can last for several years.

Q. Can I paint over a damaged or worn laminate floor?

  A: While painting can refresh the look of a laminate floor, it's essential to repair any significant damage or wear before applying the paint.

Fill in any deep scratches, dents, or gouges with wood filler and sand the floor thoroughly to ensure proper adhesion of the paint.

Q. How can I prevent scratches and damage to my painted laminate floor?

  A: Using furniture pads or glides on the bottom of furniture legs can help prevent scratches and damage to the painted surface.

Additionally, placing area rugs in high-traffic areas can reduce wear and tear on the floor.

Q. Is it possible to paint a laminate floor with a pattern or design?

  A: Yes, you can paint a laminate floor with a pattern or design.

After applying the base coat, use painter's tape to create your desired pattern, such as stripes, geometric shapes, or stencil designs.

Apply the secondary color or colors over the tape, allow the paint to dry, and carefully remove the tape.

Finish with a protective topcoat to preserve your custom design.

Q. Do I need to sand the entire laminate floor before painting?

  A: Sanding is essential to create a rough surface for the paint to adhere properly.

However, you only need to lightly sand the surface to remove the glossy finish, not sand it down to the core.

Use fine-grit sandpaper and sand evenly across the entire floor.

Q. Can I paint laminate stairs as well?

  A: Yes, you can paint laminate stairs using the same process as painting a laminate floor.

Ensure that you follow safety measures, such as using a non-slip additive in the paint or applying anti-slip tape on the stair treads after the paint has dried.

Q. How long should I wait before walking on the painted laminate floor?

  A: Typically, you should wait at least 24 hours before walking on the painted surface.

However, it's essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions on the paint can, as drying times may vary.

For the best results, wait at least 48-72 hours before moving furniture back onto the floor and avoid heavy foot traffic for up to a week.

Q. Can I paint laminate floor that is installed over underfloor heating?

  A: Yes, you can paint a laminate floor installed over underfloor heating.

Ensure that the paint you choose is suitable for use with underfloor heating systems.

Consult the paint manufacturer for specific guidelines and recommendations.


Remember, painting a laminate floor is a cost-effective way to update your space without the expense of installing new flooring.

However, it's essential to follow the proper steps and use high-quality products to ensure a long-lasting, durable finish.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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