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 doing some research and came up with a plan to paint my laminate flooring.
How To Paint A Laminate Floor…
I ran to my local Home Improvement and purchased special primer 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 painting the floor, then started with a coat of 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!!!!
The Magic Of Sealing Your Newly Painted Floor
I read online that a lot of people had this issue with floor paint and that once they applied the sealer the tackiness disappeared. The topcoat is a key element for creating a durable painted floor that can hold up well to traffic.
After I applied the first coat of the special sealer and let it dry I was relieved to find that the tackiness was indeed gone. It was very easy to work with and dried quickly. This made putting a few coats on a breeze.
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 months now and everything still looks great which is wonderful considering what a high traffic area my kitchen is. 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! If you do get a couple of nicks in the paint it is very easy to touch up.
With about a $100 and a few days of hard work and patience you too can revamp your worn out laminate floors!
Want To Tackle This Project Yourself?
You can get complete printable instructions and supply list for painting your own laminate floor here.
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