Is it Okay to Paint Over Laminate Wood Flooring?

Laminate wood flooring is an excellent flooring solution, but it is not affordable to replace when it becomes scuffed, scratched or worn, so can you paint over laminate flooring and is it a good idea to do this?






Having laminate wood flooring fitted to a home is a costly exercise. Laminate flooring has become a popular home improvement project for many homeowners because it adds value to a home and looks great when properly installed. The only downside of laminate wood flooring is the lifespan, particularly when installed in a family home. After a few years, the flooring will start to show signs of wear with scratches, scuff marks, and possibly even the wearing-off of the surface coating in high-traffic areas. For more information see 'How to Disguise Scratches and Scuff Marks on Laminate Flooring.'





Once the damage occurs, there is very little to be done other than look at replacing the flooring which again is a costly exercise that most cannot afford. Yes, there are a few touch-ups that can be done but even these are temporary fix-ups.




Advanced Paint and Coating Products


Revolutionary improvements in the paint and coatings industry have launched more advanced paint formulations with the result that paint, polyurethane, urethane and epoxy coatings are now readily available to consumers for DIY or professional application. These products require adherence to the application procedure to ensure a long-lasting finish that can be applied to a variety of surfaces - including laminate wood flooring. Here in South Africa, we do not have access to the same products used overseas, but we still have a fair selection of paint and coatings that can be used on laminate wood flooring. Rust-Oleum offers a Floor Coating and Top Coat that has shown to be effective and long-lasting on laminate wood flooring but this, unfortunately, is not yet available in South Africa.





New Look for Laminate Wood Flooring

You will find a selection of available floor paint solutions for painting laminate wood floors at your local Builders store. However, do take note that these products are not specifically designed for laminate flooring but are formulated for concrete floors. These solvent-based coatings are not eco-friendly but do offer a solution for floors that cannot be repaired but are unable to afford to replace. The onus is on you to conduct a test on the laminate floor and to take the time to properly prepare and apply the product and top coat.









How to Paint Laminate Wood Flooring



• Proper preparation is essential

Failure to undertake the required preparation to ensure that the flooring is ready will only result in disaster and a waste of time and money.



1. Clean the floor

Vacuum or sweep the floor to clean and remove any dust or pet hair.


The flooring must be cleaned of all traces of grime and dirt. A heavy degreaser or product such as Krud Kutter will make quick work of this and can be applied with a mop or floor cleaner. If any type of wax or polish has been applied over the flooring, this must be removed prior to coating the floor.



2. Cover the surrounding areas

Use masking tape and plastic sheets to protect surrounding areas from paint spatter.



3. Apply universal primer

Applying primer is optional but will offer lasting results. Universal primer is formulated for multiple surfaces and will provide adhesion, bonding the surface of the flooring and paint finish.





4. Smooth application

Use a paintbrush the cut around the edges of the room. Starting at the furthest edge of the room, use a paint roller and extension handle to roll the paint smoothly from one side to the other. Avoid excess paint on the roller as you paint and, if you do, be sure to smooth this out before applying more paint. Avoid overlapping any areas where the paint has started to dry - particularly important if you are doing this during warm weather. Complete the entire floor in one day to avoid any differences in the finish. 


It should not be necessary to apply two coats, but if you are applying a light coat over dark flooring make sure to allow the specified drying time before application.







5. Protective coat

Even though the paint coat will cover the laminate flooring, a top coat polyurethane sealer is required. Think of it as the varnish or sealer over wood stain, or ModPodge to finish off a craft project. It is the top protective finish that will determine the lifespan of the project, as this will take time to wear and can be re-applied as and when necessary.





Important notes

  1. Do not skip the preparation step
  2. Follow the instructions for correct application of paint and top coat
  3. Allow yourself plenty of time to complete the project
  4. Avoid foot traffic on the coated surface for at least 24 hours







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