How to White Wash Laminate Flooring: Ultimate Guide

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If you’re looking to add a rustic kind of look to your laminate flooring then whitewashing might be the thing for you! Lots of homeowners will whitewash certain surfaces to give it that chill beachfront vibe.

The chalky look of whitewash is a nice compliment to laminate and can completely transform the look of your flooring.

In this article we’ll go over everything that you need to know when it comes to whitewashing laminate floors. Read until the end to learn not only how to do it, but also the mistakes that you must avoid.

Can you whitewash laminate flooring?

Yes, you can whitewash most brands of laminate flooring. Some manufacturers that make laminate actually pre whitewash it before sale.
In most cases though, if you want to have that whitewashed look then you’ll need to do it yourself. The good thing is that this is a pretty easy process that we’ll go over in this article.

How to whitewash laminate flooring:

  1. Clean the laminate flooring with a mild dish soap and warm water. The results will be better on a cleaner floor of course.
  2. Use medium grit sandpaper to sand the area. Once sanded the floor will have a coarser texture that will enable the primer to stick much better.
  3. Clean up the sanding dust using a lint free cloth.
  4. Apply a light coating of primer and let that dry for the time that is recommended by the manufacturer.
  5. Make whitewash by mixing together masonry lime, table sale, and warm water. An alternative is to instead use off white latex paint and mix this with wter until it forms a consistency like whip cream. Keep in mind that although this isn’t the same as a lie based whitewash but should still give you the same chalky look when applied on laminate surfaces.
  6. Use a paint brush or a paint roller to apply the whitewash to the laminate flooring.
  7. When the whitewash has completely dried on the floor (normally this takes 24hrs), you can seal the surface with a water based latex varnish. Apply the varnish with a paintbrush and let the first coating dry completely.
  8. Once the first coating of varnish has dried you can apply the second coat and leave it for a full day to dry

What’s the difference between painting and whitewashing?

Although painting and whitewashing have some similarities and share similar functionality, they are quite different.

Firstly, the ingredient list of whitewash is very basic and usually consists of lime, salt and warm water. Paint has many more ingredients and consists of pigment, solvent, additives, and resin.

The final color is also different. Whitewash has a classic white color that gives a rustic look when used. If you want to customize this color then you’ll need to add dye separately. Paint on the other hand is manufactured with different colored pigments and you can easily pick the color you want.

When it comes to maintenance whitewash wins the day. It’s quite common for paint to peel, chip, fade, and get damaged. Whitewash on the other hand is easy to maintain and wont chip or peel.

The majority of paint products contain numerous ingredients which are toxic. These ingredients are not only a threat to the environment, but also the health of your family. Since whitewash is made using simpler ingredients, it doesn’t have these same risks.

Regarding moisture, paint seals it in which can cause fractures in stonework when it freezes. This doesn’t happen with whitewash.

Lightening laminate flooring without whitewash

If you don’t want to use whitewash to give your flooring a lighter look then unfortunately there aren’t any other options. Laminate is made with a photograph of wood printed onto a HDF core. Because of this, it doesn’t absorb paints or stains in the same way that hardwood does and won’t lighten your flooring.


We hope that you learned everything you wanted to regarding whitewashing laminate flooring. If we missed anything then don’t hesitate to comment below.

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