How to Whitewash Laminate Flooring | To Fix Drab and Unappealing Looks and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

You probably have thought of whitewashing your laminate flooring to give your space an attractive yet laid-back vibe. Are you wondering if you can do it on your own? Read through as we outline a simple step-by-step guide on how to whitewash laminate flooring

Whitewashing laminate flooring is an excellent way of giving your indoor or outdoor space an instant look. Also, it is a perfect way of hiding those blemishes and giving the floor an attractive appeal

But before we jump into the DIY guide, let us first get a closer look at laminate flooring (see ‘Does Laminate Flooring Need to Acclimate?‘) and if whitewashing is the best option.

How to Whitewash Laminate Flooring

Before we even think of how to whitewash laminate flooring, we must clear the air first. Can laminate flooring be whitewashed? Luckily the answer is yes. Did you know that vinyl, laminate, and foam flooring are also known as faux wood

Hardwood is costly to maintain. For this reason, manufacturers had to come up with other affordable but durable wood alternatives that would give the same look and feel, just like hardwood. Faux wood is one of the options, and although it is made from polymer materials, one can pass it for hardwood if not keen.

 You can whitewash solid hardwood floors, and faux wood floors are no exception. Laminate floorboard manufacturers are now stocking already whitewashed laminate flooring to meet the growing demand for whitewashed flooring. Homeowners need to have them installed to attain a beautiful and rustic laminate surface in an instant. 

Laminate floor room with a window and curtains 

Can You Change the Color of Laminate Flooring?

Do you want a different color of your laminate floor to blend with the new decor? Or is your laminate floor is unattractive and old? You can change the color and give it a new look. How? By painting, staining, or replacing it. 

If the floor is already worn out and nearing its end, replacing it would be the most viable option. Painting or staining might be a waste of time and money as restoring its vibrant look may be impossible. 

When painting or staining, wash the floor thoroughly to trace areas that need repair (see ‘How to Repair Swollen Laminate Flooring‘). Painting and staining too can give your laminate floor a new and exciting look. 

You can change the color of laminate flooring into the following shades

  • White laminate
  • Light laminate
  • Beech laminate
  • Grey laminate
  • Medium laminate
  • Black laminate

Can You Lighten Laminate?

If you no longer like the dark shade of your laminate floor, you only have two options to lighten it up. First, you can replace it. Replacing the entire flooring with a new bright shade will lighten up your floor. But, always set a budget as replacing the entire laminate flooring can be expensive. 

Second, you can choose to whitewash. Whitewashing involves applying a white-tinted sealer on the laminate floor to lighten it up. Whitewashing also helps in covering up bruised or damaged areas. It is good to note that painting and staining cannot give your laminate floor a brighter look. 

Why? Because laminate surfaces have a wood photograph printed on them. The material used, therefore, cannot absorb stains or paints. So, it is quite hard to lighten laminate flooring as the material used cannot absorb the paint or stain.

White laminate floor with a plant

Is Painting the Same as Whitewashing?

People usually confuse whitewashing for painting. Although both options can change your laminate color, they have some distinctive differences. For instance, whitewash is made of simple ingredients such as lime water and salt. 

On the other hand, paint has more complex ingredients such as pigment, resin, and additives. Also, whitewash gives a plain color, while paint can deliver different colored shades.

How Can I Make My Laminate Floors White Again?

If your laminate floor has lost its classical look and you want to lighten it up again, the best option, as mentioned earlier, is whitewashing. To achieve the bright look, here is a list of the things you will need;

  • Water-based latex varnish
  • Mild dishwashing soap
  • Flat-finish latex paint
  • Primer
  • Lint-free shop cloth
  • A 120-grit sandpaper
  • Clean cloth
  • Paint roller or paintbrush

It is advisable to put on protective clothing and gloves. Some of the products might be harsh on your skin. Here is a step-by-step house on how to whitewash laminate flooring on your own.

Prepare the Floor

It would be ideal if you started by cleaning the entire laminate flooring. So, prepare a solution of mild dishwashing soap and warm water. With a clean cloth dampened in the solution or a mop for the laminate floor wipe the entire floor to remove dirt. Whitewashing on clean surfaces delivers excellent results as compared to working on a dirty floor. After a thorough cleaning, let the floor dry completely before proceeding to the next step. 

Parts of a laminate floor

Sand the Floor

After a thorough clean, you then gently sand the entire laminate floor with 120 grit sandpaper. Since primer will be used in the whitewashing procedure, sanding the floor with 120 grit sandpaper will give a rougher surface texture, ideal for whitewashing. Note, primers cling on better to rougher surfaces. After a complete sanding process, the floor might be full of sanding dust. Therefore, wipe it away with a lint-free shop cloth.

Apply Primer

Using a paint roller, apply a coat of primer on the sanded floor. Experts recommend buying primers compatible with latex paint and those that adhere well to the laminate floor. After primer application on the entire floor, give it time to dry. Always follow manufacturer instructions for better results. 

Make Some Whitewash

The next step is to prepare a whitewash by adding water to the off-white latex paint. To get the preferred whitewash look, you can try different proportions. Also, achieving the right consistency may require you to add more water to the mixture. You will either achieve a thin, normal, or heavy cream. Alternatively, you can make a whitewash by mixing masonry lime, warm water, and table salt. 

Apply Whitewash

After preparing the floor, applying sand and primer, it is time to apply the whitewash. Always use a paint roller or a sponge brush to apply. To achieve a chalky appearance, homeowners should use flat-finish latex paint. Experts recommend leaving the whitewashed surface to dry completely for up to 24 hours. 

Seal the Floor

After the whitewash has dried, the next step is to seal it with water-based latex varnish. Using a regular paintbrush, apply the first coat and leave it to dry. Once the first coat has dried completely, it’s time to apply the second coat. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommended time before applying the second coat. The floor is ready for use once the varnish is completely dry.

 white laminate floor

The Bottom Line

If your laminate floor is drab and unappealing, the good news is that by simply whitewashing it, you can completely transform the aesthetic of your home. Whitewashing isn’t limited to the outdoor stone patios and brick hardscapes only. 

You can also change your indoor space as well by giving it a relaxed vibe. You can even make your woven furniture noticeable through indoor floor whitening. With the simple whitewashing laminate flooring, you can give your home a beachy and rustic feel. 

So, are you looking for a fun DIY home project that will leave your space looking stunning? Look no further; whitewashing is the ideal option for you. 

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