Can You Stain Laminate Flooring? (We Have The Answer)

Can You Stain Laminate Flooring

If you have laminate flooring, odds are that you have thought about changing the color. Luckily, it is possible to change the color and texture of laminate flooring. However, there is a very specific way to go about this.

You cannot stain laminate because it isn’t porous, but you can paint laminate flooring a different color. Paint your laminate floors with a dark color or else it will not look as intended when it dries. Apply a laminate floor refinisher after you paint the floor so that the color holds well.  

In this article, we will cover every step involved in changing the color of your laminate flooring. As long as you completely understand the differences between staining and painting, you shouldn’t have any issues.

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Stain Vs. Paint

The difference between stain and paint is that paint is meant to sit on top of a surface. Stain, on the other hand, is meant to completely soak into the wood. Painting a surface also requires priming, whereas staining one does not.

You can not use stain on your laminate flooring because it does not have pores for it to soak into. Laminate flooring has a transparent seal on top that prevents stain from getting below the surface. However, paint is meant to dry on top of a surface, so it is acceptable to use.

One of the benefits of using paint instead of stain on laminate flooring is the variety of colors. Wood stains generally only come in a few colors that correspond with colors in nature. Paints can come in nearly any imaginable color.

Before You Begin

If you’re thinking about painting your laminate floor, there are some things you should consider. Changing the color of your floor can be a huge job and the decision should not be taken lightly. This is especially true if you are considering doing it yourself.

One thing to think about before you undertake this job is whether you actually need to do it. Sometimes if you just want a change, you can do a lot with rugs and other accessories first. Experiment with some floor coverings before completely refinishing it.

If you have weighed all of your options and still want to paint your floor, it is best to be prepared. This job could take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. This will really depend on your experience and how much time you have set aside for the job.

Tools for Painting Laminate Flooring

Paint Roller 

A paint roller is the most efficient way to spread paint over a large surface like a floor. This should also have an extension for reaching out-of-the-way places. It will save your back from having to bend over too much. 

Paint Mask

Many paints and finishes use harmful chemicals in their formulas. Because of this, you’re going to want to wear a paint mask specifically designed to block these fumes. This is an important safety consideration that should not be overlooked.

Paint Tray

A paint tray allows you to apply paint to the roller in even coats. This is especially important when painting a floor since there’s nowhere for the runoff to go. Excess paint from an uneven application will not dry properly and will become sticky.

Step 1: Choose a Color

If you are painting your floor, it is important to remember that you must choose a darker color. You cannot sand color off of a laminate floor. This is because of the transparent seal over the top of the planks.

There is a wide variety of paint that you can use to paint your laminate floor. However, polyurethane paint is recommended for its durability and finish. It also comes in many natural wood colors as well as other hues. 

When choosing a color for your laminate floor, take your style into consideration. Look at the colors of the walls, ceilings, and other decor. Make sure that whatever color you are picking for the floor matches this aesthetic. 

It is also important to note that darker colors will make a room look smaller. If you are used to the open look of light flooring, this can be jarring. Make sure that you are prepared for the change that a darker color can potentially make.

Step 2: Clean the Floor

Cleaning the floor is perhaps the most important step when applying paint. In order for polyurethane paint to adhere to a surface, that surface must be completely clean. This is especially true for the floor.

The reason this step is so important is that the floor often has quite a bit of hidden dirt that can get stuck under the paint. If the floor is not well-cleaned, it can make the paint sticky or elastic. If this happens, it will have to be sanded and repainted.

It is important to note that you should never use wax on laminate floors. Waxing should be used on hardwood floors only. Waxes only contribute to the build-up of dirt and dust on laminate floors since they are not porous.

Step 3: Apply the Paint 

Once you have thoroughly cleaned the floor, you can apply the paint. This should be done as sparingly as possible with as few strokes as possible. You will add more coats, so don’t worry about not applying enough.

After you have applied the first coat, wait an hour, and let it dry. After an hour, you can apply the second coat. Wait another hour, then decide if you are happy with the color or not. If you want the color to be bolder, apply another coat.

After you have applied all the coats, you should let the floor dry for at least a week. This can be difficult to do, obviously, if you have a family who regularly use the room. However, by taking this much time, you are giving the floor a chance to cure completely.

Step 4: Apply a Laminate Floor Refinisher

After the paint has dried completely, you should apply a laminate floor refinisher. This refinisher will bring out the natural colors of your laminate flooring as well as the new finish. It will also add a clear coat that will help protect the new paint job.

These laminate floor refinishing kits can be purchased at any name brand hardware store. This is an important step in the process and should not be skipped. It helps to ensure that you will not have to refinish your floor again anytime soon. 

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Related Questions

How often should I clean my laminate flooring?

Ideally, you should clean your laminate floors once every two months. This entails using a damp microfiber mop to completely clean any stains. Using an approved laminate cleaning product is also highly recommended.

Which is better, vinyl or laminate flooring?

The answer to the question of whether vinyl or laminate flooring is better depends on your lifestyle. Vinyl flooring tends to be a more luxury item that is durable but expensive. Laminate flooring is less expensive but not as much of a luxury item.

Is laminate waterproof?

Laminate is most definitely not waterproof. Should a massive leak happen in your kitchen or bathroom with laminate flooring, it will have to be replaced. This is because water gets underneath the slats, which can cause warping, mold, and other harmful consequences.

Michael Oconnor

I am a writer and editor from The Bay Area, CA. When I'm not typing, I enjoy hiking, woodworking and gardening. I love sharing tips and discovering new trends in home improvement.

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