Whitewashing is an excellent option for revamping your laminate floor or switching up your home decor.
Whitewashed laminate flooring creates a beautiful, rustic effect that brightens your home and gives your home a light, modern feel.
Our DIY guide on whitewashing laminate flooring walks you through the process in 7 simple steps.
Tools & Materials
You may be surprised to learn that whitewash is not a type of paint — instead, it’s a mixed combination of paint and water.
The benefit of whitewashing your laminate is that it’s made from simple ingredients and won’t lock moisture into the surface like some paints.
It looks great and is simple to do once you have all the following tools and materials:
- Mild dish soap
- Water-based varnish (latex)
- Oil-based primer
- Matte white latex paint
- 120-grit sandpaper
How To Whitewash Laminate Flooring — Step-by-Step Instructions
Ready to get started? Here’s your step-by-step guide to whitewashing your laminate flooring:
1. Use a Soap Water Solution to Clean the Floor
Before you begin, you must prepare your laminate floor to be whitewashed.
To achieve the best results, sweep or vacuum the floor to ensure you have removed all traces of dirt and debris. Then, fill the bucket with warm water and add a squirt of dish soap to make a gentle soapy solution.
Wipe over the entire floor surface using a lint-free cloth and soap solution to remove any residues or dirt. Leave the floor to dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step.
2. Gently Sand the Floor Using the 120-Grit Sandpaper
Before applying the whitewash, you must prep the floor further by sanding it. This process helps the primer stick to the surface and ensures you get the best result.
Take the 120-grit sandpaper and gently work along the laminate floor grain. You do not need to scrub hard; just light pressure will do. You’re not trying to remove the surface; you only want to add some roughness for the primer to adhere.
3. Clean Dust from the Surface
Once you‘ve finished sanding, you’ll have a fine layer of dust all over the floor — this must be wiped away with one of the lint-free cloths before continuing.
Make sure you work thoroughly; otherwise, specks of dust will ruin your finished look.
4. Apply the Primer
Now that you’ve correctly prepped the floor for whitewashing, it’s time to apply the primer.
As directed in the materials list, it’s best to use an oil-based primer, as this type will adhere to the surface of the laminate much better than other types.
You should also ensure that the primer you’ve chosen is suitable for use with latex paint.
Take the paint roller and apply a thin coat of the primer all over the laminate floor, carefully spreading it as evenly as possible.
Once completed, let it dry for around 24 hours before moving on to the next step.
5. Prepare Your Whitewash
Now that you have cleaned, sanded, and primed the floor, it’s time to prepare your whitewash!
Take your matte white latex paint and slowly mix it with water until you get the right consistency.
There is no exact science here — you don’t want it to be too thick, like double cream, or too thin, like water. You want the consistency somewhere in-between, similar to light cream or full-fat milk.
6. Apply the Whitewash Evenly
Now you’ve mixed the whitewash to the right consistency; you can begin applying it.
Pour a little of the mixture into your paint roller tray and gently soak the paint roller in it. Then, gently roll it over the laminate floor to apply an even layer of whitewash. Once you’ve applied one coat, let it dry, and assess its appearance before adding more coats.
You can apply as many coats as you like to get your desired look. Once finished, leave the floor to dry for 24 hours before moving on to the final step.
7. Seal the Whitewash with Varnish
Seal your whitewash with varnish to ensure it is protected and lasts.
Take a spotlessly clean paint brush (new is best) and apply an even layer of varnish over the floor. Once the first coat is dry, apply another coat and let it dry before using your room.
Whitewashing your laminate flooring gives it a new lease of life by creating a beautiful rustic finish. The process is simple, and the materials are inexpensive to source.
If you plan on fitting new laminate flooring, check out our laminate flooring cost guide and avoid getting ripped off!
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about whitewashing laminate flooring.
Can laminate flooring be whitewashed?
Yes, you can whitewash your laminate flooring if you do it correctly. Follow our step-by-step guide above to achieve the best results.
How do you whitewash wood laminate?
Whitewashing wood laminate is a relatively inexpensive and straightforward process. First, the laminate floor must be thoroughly cleaned and lightly sanded before applying a primer.
Then, mix white matte paint and water to create a whitewash that you can apply with a paint roller. Once finished, two coats of varnish are required to seal the floor and protect the results. For more detail, please read our guide above.
Can you change the colour of your laminate flooring?
You can change the laminate flooring colour by applying a suitable primer and then painting or whitewashing it. Whitewashing is a popular option as it’s easy to DIY, and the rustic results look fantastic!
How do you whiten a laminate floor?
You can whiten a laminate floor by whitewashing it. See our step-by-step guide above to achieve this finish.