Skip to Content

How To Whitewash Laminate Flooring in 8 Easy Steps

Learning how to whitewash laminate flooring is actually quite easy and can completely transform the way your house looks – there is a reason why whitewashing has become so popular on all sorts of surfaces over the last 10 years.

To whitewash a laminate floor, it must be first cleaned and then treated with sandpaper. Afterwards, primer is applied and dried followed by the application of off-white latex paint to create the whitewash effect, which is then sealed with varnish.

Let’s jump right into the steps to make a whitewashed laminate floor a reality.

8 Steps To Whitewash A Laminate Floor

Before we run through the 8 simple steps, please note that this process will damage the finish of your laminate floor.

This is due to the sandpaper that is used, and it can make it very difficult to reverse the process without the use of some machinery.

1. Vacuum Thoroughly

The first step to any flooring project is usually to vacuum to make sure no small amount of dirt or debris is present.

If you start sanding the floor without vacuuming beforehand the final finish can be greatly affected, so we recommend at least 5 to 10 minutes of vacuuming to clean it all up.

2. Clean The Floor Using A Laminate Floor Cleaning Solution

The next stage is to apply a laminate floor cleaner that is suitable for your particular floor. You can find out if it is suitable by checking the label and referencing this to your floor and what coating has already been applied to it.

Follow the instructions and make sure to clean the entirety of the surface area of your floor and you’ll be ready to move on to the fun part – sandpaper.

3. Use Sandpaper To Prepare For The Primer

In order for the primer to be applied properly the floor needs to be sanded first.

#100–#150 grit sandpaper is best for this step and is available at any general hardware store. This medium grit will give the best results in general as it isn’t too harsh to completely sand the surface but it will give enough roughness for the primer to attach to.

You can also try a more coarse grit, such as #60–#80, but try this first on a test piece of wood/laminate if possible before to make sure you want to use that type.

Work with the grain and gently sand the entire surface making sure to not apply a large amount of pressure.

4. Apply A Primer

The next step is to apply a primer.

We recommend oil-based, and a primer that works well with latex paint. Allow the primer to dry according to the manufacturer guidelines and prepare your whitewash.

5. Mix Your Whitewash

Traditional whitewash (masonry lime, table salt and warm water) was used a lot on farms as a sealant and the effect become popular to use on furniture and wood.

The problem with traditional whitewash is that it does not settle on wood for long, or laminate floor in our case. Therefore, we recommend using off-white latex paint with water to create a whitewash effect with a stronger hold.

Mix your paint with water until the consistency is like a thick cream using a paint mixing tool.

6. Apply The Whitewash

Use a paintbrush to generously apply the latex paint onto your floor. You may be enticed to use a paint roller, but whilst this may speed up the process it will also mean large areas of your floor can be easily missed during application.

You can try using a roller first and then applying the finishing touches with a paintbrush if you are in a hurry.

It’s important to let the whitewash dry once you are finished with this stage, usually for more than 24 hours.

7. Seal The Floor Using Varnish

After the floor has completely dried apply a varnish to seal and protect your newly decorated laminate floor.

Start with a smaller layer and apply using a brush. Take your time with this step to make sure the entire surface area is covered as this will act as a protective barrier against the elements and scratches.

8. Leave To Dry And Re-Varnish

After your first coating of varnish has dried it’s time to apply another.

The second coat of varnish strengthens the protective layer and enhances the look of your laminate. After you’ve applied two coats of varnish and left them to dry, your DIY whitewash project is complete.

Why Is Whitewashing So Popular?

Whitewashing became popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a way to move on from the working-class image.

This boom in popularity has become further exaggerated by the influx of laminate and wood flooring options that are available today and also becoming more popular in their own rights.

Final Thoughts

We hope you’ve learnt how to whitewash laminate flooring with these 8 easy steps.

If you have any tips or tricks to make this process even easier, then don’t hesitate to let us know here.