How To Paint An Old Laminate Floor, Yes It Can Be Done!

Hi Everyone,

I have just completed a new project that I am excited to share with you today. A couple of years ago we had laminate flooring installed in our kitchen. I was so excited to replace the vinyl flooring with the new laminate. My husband got a deal on it through a contact at work. The laminate runs from our entryway, up the main hall, through the breakfast area and into the kitchen.

To my dismay, after a few months of dogs, kids and us” grown-ups” traipsing around, the floor began to wear and scratch badly.  Whoever said laminate does not scratch must have been sniffing paint thinner. I am a big fan of bargain shopping and squeal when I get something at a really great price but in this case the old adage “You get what you pay for.” really rang true.  It looked terrible and really bugged me.

We thought about ripping it all up and replacing it with the same laminate we installed (ourselves) in our adjacent living room and dining room. It was not in our budget and to be honest, I really didn’t want the hassle of such a big project when my “to-do” list was, and still is about a mile long. I really wanted to paint the old laminate. After reading up on the subject where it seemed that everyone and their mother said you could not paint laminate flooring because the paint just would not stick, I gave up the idea and chose to just live with it.

It still bugged me to no end. One day I was  about revisiting my idea of paint when it occurred to me that I had read about DIY-ers painting their old vinyl flooring. Hmmm. Well, if you can paint old vinyl, why not laminate????

I started searching the Internet on how to paint vinyl flooring and came across a few fellow bloggers who had tackled the project. This is my version of How To Paint A Laminate Floor

I ran to my local Lowe’s Home Improvement and purchased special primer and floor paint that would adhere to the laminate. I chose water based paint. Oil based paint takes forever to dry and it has  a strong smell. Closing off our kitchen and not being able to use it for days was not an option. It was hard enough trying to keep everyone out while the water based paint dried!


On the first day of the project I moved everything out of the rooms and prepped the floor for paint. I started with the primer.


TIP: Tinting your primer can cut down on the amount top coats needed, especially if you are painting a dark color. One gallon of floor paint gives you about 400 square feet of coverage.

I let the paint dry for a few hours, with portable fans scattered everywhere, hoping it would be dry enough to tip toe in to make dinner. It was dry in time thank goodness! Afraid of the dogs and kids running across the newly primed floor before it had completely cured, I laid old bed sheets all over the floor. We stayed out of the room as much as possible.


On day two I began my day by removing the sheets and giving the primed floor a quick sweeping to make sure no dog hair ended up in my paint. Then I began cutting in around the edges with the floor paint.

After I was finished with the floor paint tinted to a delicious chocolate brown my floor looked like this….

This time I had the fans running for hours and when it came time to sneak in and make dinner the floors still felt slightly tacky. YIKES. It was rainy and humid outside but I had the heat on to keep the humidity out as much as possible. I placed the bed sheets back down on the floor and hoped for the best.

When I came down the next morning the floors still felt tacky. I wanted to cry as I pictured all of my time and money flying right out the window. I did a little research on the Internet and found that many people have had the same complaint about this porch and floor paint, even after a few weeks! One solution suggested was to put clear coat on top.

After I applied the first coat of sealer and let it dry I was relieved to find that the tackiness was indeed gone. I chose a satin finish because I didn’t want a very glossy look. I think it has a nice sheen to it.

Oh, by the way, did you notice the big mess all over the counters? Dragging everything out of the kitchen really turned my house upside down so to speak. My kitchen table was stashed in the living room for the time being and my dining room looked like this…….

UGH! The mess drove me crazy but it’s the price you have to pay when doing just about any major home improvement project. The mess was worth it when it was all said and done. I love the chocolaty richness of this color. It blends nicely with my newly painted staircase and the laminate we have in the adjacent rooms.

I let the floor cure for 24 hours before replacing all of the furniture. To help protect my new floor, every stick of furniture got felt pads on the bottom.

It’s been about a month now and everything still looks great. I got a couple of small nicks on the paint after the first couple of days but I think that was due to the fact that the paint was not fully cured. I just touched up the spots with leftover paint and nobody is the wiser. A couple of days ago I moved the refrigerator over so I could paint under it. I thought for sure moving the fridge was going to rip the paint right off the floor but it didn’t. Not a scratch on it!

With about a $100 and a few days of hard work and patience you too can revamp your worn out laminate floors!

***I have written detailed instructions and a supply list for those who want to tackle this project on their own. You can purchase and download the instructions below.

Thanks so much for visiting today!

~ Lisa

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Linking Today To:

Metamorphis Monday, Made By You Monday, Tweak It Tuesday, Wow Us Wednesdays, The Power Of Paint Party, No Minimalist’s Open HOuse Party, Frugalicious Friday, The DIY Show Off, Transformation Thursday, Feathered Nest Friday, Show and Tell Friday, My Repurposed Life


How To Paint An Old Laminate Floor, Yes It Can Be Done! — 36 Comments

  1. What a great job! It looks amazing. I’m so inspired that you decided to just go for it.
    I found you today from the Linky Party at French Country Cottage, where I’m #269. I hope you stop by my blog and leave a comment, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206

  2. Who Knew! Looks awesome . I clean for a lady that has a six bedroom student rental, this would certainly be an option. Thank -you so much for sharing.

  3. Hello, I just bought a house with a laminate staircase and the color clashes with our furniture.. To give our house an updated and modern look, we wanted to paint the stairway black/white. Very few websites say to go ahead and paint the laminate.. Actually this is one of the very few sites. Can you give us an update? Are you still happy with your results 4 months later? Do you still recommend this? Thanks so much!! :)

    • Hi Evelyn,
      Overall I am still happy with the outcome. I do have a few knicks here and there caused by dropping food cans, etc. It’s really easy to touch up though. A kitchen is a tricky room to have a painted floor. We really abuse ours.Eventually we will probably rip up the floor and replace it with something else but for now painting it has been a good quick fix.

  4. Thanks for sharing your challenges with this! I just moved into a house with PINK laminate floors in the basement. I’m hesitant to try painting from a durability standpoint, but if your kitchen can handle it, I’m more convinced paint is the way to go! Great post, pinning it now!

  5. I found your website via Pinterest. What a great job on the floor! I have laminate and I HATE HATE HATE it. You really hit the nail on the head when you wrote that whoever said laminate doesn’t scratch must have been sniffing paint thinner! EVERYTHING scratches laminate. And God forbid you should knock a can off the counter onto it–hello, divot! Did you have any of these in your floor? Did you fill them with anything before painting? What did you use? Over the years I’ve tried several of the color-matching “fillers” made just for this purpose but they don’t last. I really think my floor is beyond help. But I’m glad yours was a success :-)

    • Hi Janet,
      Kitchen are not a great place for laminate and yes we had a lot of dings in it from falling cans, scraping chairs and dogs running across it umpteen times a day. I didn’t fill the dings with anything, I just painted right over them. It has held up quite well considering the abuse we put on our floor. Eventually we will replace the floor but for now the paint has been a good choice and if another falling soup can chips the paint it can be touched up with leftover paint.

  6. Thanks. I was afraid to do so since I read (too) you can’t do it. You rock. Now, I am definately tackling it this summer :-) Thanks for the awesome blog entry. How about the top coat/floor finish? Which roller did you use for that? Does it have to be a special roller?

  7. Thanks so much for this post! I just did this in our kids bathroom with your instructions and I am loving how it turned out!

    • Hi Esther,
      Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I would love to see pics of your completed bathroom floor and post them on my site if you would like to be featured!

  8. I’m so glad I found your blog. My husband came in last night and asked me if I thought we could paint the laminate floor in our bedroom. I love watching the DIY shows but am so afraid to try anything. After reading your blog I feel confident that he and I can do this! I am looking forward to reading more from you and getting more inspiration to follow thru with some of the “projects” I’ve collected to do that are stored in my garage! Believe me, he’d love it, too, so he can get his garage back!!! I’ll let you know how it works for us.

  9. Pingback: 8 Cool Wood Flooring Trends To Watch - Wood Finishes Direct

  10. Would give anything to see a pic. I have a whole house of laminate. All in all it’s in fair shape, I am just sick of taking care of it. I am getting older and I hate pets, I need to go back to sweeping and mopping if I can. This stuff is horrible to take care of. Throw rugs just won’t cut it with the dogs

    • HI Holly. They have held up really well despite the abuse we’ve put it through.Unfortunately our washing machine recently sprung a leak and the water seeped under the laminate flooring. We’ve had to rip it all up and I am waiting to put something new down.

  11. Seeing you posted this a year ago, I would love to know how the painted floors have held up. We are about to do the same to some terribly ugly floors we have. We, too, have so many other home projects, I would like to hold off buying all-new flooring, for now. I also want to know that if we paint our kitchen and family floors (where we spend all our time) that they will look decent, at least for awhile.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Laura. They held up very well considering the abuse we put it through.Occasionally I would get a chip in the paint from a can that hit the floor or a chair but it was easy to touch it up with leftover paint. :)

  12. Hello Isaac. I would LOVE to see how your flooring turned out. Do you have photos you can send? I am thinking about doing the exact same thing. Thanks!

  13. I have ugly blonde laminate in the kitchen and would like that floor to poor rustic so I’m wondering if it could be darkened with a stain/ varnish, I don’t want it to be a solid color but for it to appear to have a grain, I wonder if it would dry, and of course how it would wear, any ideas! Lou

    • Hi Lou. You may want to check with your local home center’s paint department about possibly adding tint to a floor varnish. I would start by lightly sanding your laminate flooring to give the varnish something to grab onto. Let me know how it goes. :)

  14. Hi We had reddish brown laminate flooring put down in our kitchen two years ago and i absolutely hate it and should have gone for a white floor, my kitchen has gloss black and gloss white units with black white goods…..and i feel it is all too dark.

    Do you think i could paint the floor to give it a gloss white finish


  15. Hi! A few years ago, my daughter and I peeled the sticker-top of our laminate flooring off. All of it. It is chocolate brown now also, but with 2 coats of polyurethane wearing off it looks beat up. Any suggestions???

    • Hi Laurie,
      You could try giving it a light sanding and adding some new coats of poly. There are some products on the market that claim they can rejuvenate a floor and cover up the scratches but the two I tried failed to live up to their promises. It just gave the floor a new shine, just like using Mop N Glo but more expensive!

  16. cant enough of paint always wantin to paint sumthing. my kitchen and dinning room have laminate rite throught i orderd new lino samples and was going to use the laminate as a underlay but samples came and as i slid the peices under the door it got stuck so either take the door of (fire security door with metal slates through it) or rip the laminate up which is a no no si paintin it is defo on my mind. Painted my stairs and admittinly they are great . Thanks lindsey

  17. Do you still see the lines in the laminate flooring or is the paint filling in those lines? I can’t stand my laminate flooring and want to darken it but I don’t want it to look like a plain brown floor

  18. Hi there, you didn’t have to lightly sand the laminate before the primer?Just wondering when the paint was on, didn’t it swell the boards?
    Wait for your reply before I start….
    Thank you

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