$150 Wood Laminate Floor Rescue Into Hottest Look!

After 15 years, my solid wood laminate floors were scarred and worn -- looking milky along the board edges. Near the front door side lights and the deck sliding glass doors, the wood had bleached. I decided replacement was out of the question if I wanted to stay within budget for my kitchen make over. Instead of $5,000 for a new floor, I spent about $150 retail price, using about a quart of Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan and two liters of her Lacquer for floors over about 200 or so square feet!
A wash of Graphite over the floor!
No stripping, no priming necessary. I cleaned the floor which runs from my front entry, down a little corridor to the kitchen and eating area. I used a common degreaser, then hot soapy water using a common dish soap, then rinsed. Ready to paint! The first thin coat was a watered wash of Graphite. I used approximately half a quart....not much!
Dry brushing gives a worn, aged look.
After the Graphite had cured well, I dry brushed randomly Coco throughout the floor space. I worked in my stocking feet to not tear up the thin coat of graphite. After the Coco had cured for several hours, I dry brushed French Linen into some of the areas that only had Graphite on them.
Paint is protected with Lacquer - a varnish.
I allowed the paint to cure for a few hours, then applied a thinned coat of Annie Sloan Lacquer -- a floor varnish without a great deal of shine. Thin with water for first coat. Let it dry for a day before doing a second coat. Voila! Huge savings that will last for many years! For more photos and greater explanation, please visit my blog!

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TLC Vintage Collection

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

14 questions
  • Chris Athanasopoulos
    on Feb 12, 2016

    Congrats! Great Result.. Yeah You used a thin coat of Graphite and French Linen after BUT what is Coco that you mention in the middle? Regards

  • Chocamoose
    on Mar 9, 2016

    How much water did you add to graphite color coat?

  • Tara Sal
    on Mar 13, 2016

    how much water was added to give it this washed look? Thank you

  • Jayandjamison
    on Mar 22, 2016

    I tried redoing my laminate floors like yours, I think that I need to go over mine again......do you mind sending me an email a dress so that I can email you a photo and maybe you can give me tips?

  • 5858553
    on Apr 25, 2016

    When you say "solid wood laminate" do you mean they are actual wood floors and not the laminate floors with the stamped wood look? Could I still do this technique with (the stamped wood look) laminate floors?

    • TLC Vintage Collection
      on Apr 25, 2016

      It's more like veneer. Thin layer of real wood over a composite. Multiple widths adhere to the underlying composite.

    • Nancy Flemming
      on Apr 25, 2016

      Sounds like you have engineered hardwood. For the laminate floors I would sand a little to scuff up,don't need to go overboard, just rough up so the paint will stick. I did an AS class and this was recommended for really shiny surfaces or laminate and also to use a primer such as Kilz.

    • TLC Vintage Collection
      on Sep 16, 2016

      Great idea Nancy Flemming. But if they want the original "wood look" to show through, no kilz. Just scratch up the surface a bit with some rougher sandpaper. You can even do this finish over linoleum or concrete.

  • Fel14267332
    on Nov 5, 2016

    This is awesome! I am thinking about doing this to my laminate floor as well but I would like to ask you how well is it holding up to traffic and if you would do anything differently in retrospect?

  • Joan Rivett
    on Feb 20, 2017

    Some of my laminate has water damage but I can't afford to have the floors re-done so I wanted to try chalk paint. Do you think it will work in this case?

    • TLC Vintage Collection
      on Feb 20, 2017

      Joan, what do you mean by water damage -- just staining on the surface? buckling of the laminate off the backing? Maybe send me a photo here. A little hard to know what you mean by water damage, so need a better explanation. We can deal with staining, but buckling of the laminate is not cured with paint. Let me know! I'm happy to help however I can!

    • Joan Rivett
      on Feb 20, 2017

      I would say bubbled more than buckled. I'm just trying to "disguise" it a bit.

  • Frank V
    on Mar 19, 2017

    Can you share what ratio you used for the first coat? How much did you dilute it?
  • Gerry Sipes
    on Apr 11, 2017

    I plan to chaulk vinyl flooring, I am assuming I need a primer, if so which primer is best.
    • TLC Vintage Collection
      on Apr 12, 2017

      There is no need to prime. Just clean with a very strong cleaner, wash with warm water and Dawn Dish Soap. When done, start painting. This is if you use Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan and her Floor Lacquer. If you are using some other brand, you need to ask their experts. Other paints do not have the same formulation of Annie Sloan's paint. They are often acrylic or latex based which is a different animal entirely and I am not trained in any of them.
  • Rosanne
    on May 28, 2017

    if the floor get wet from cleaning and heavy traffic well it ruin the look
    • Julieann
      on Jan 24, 2018

      I was looking to an answer on this as well. I did my floors last week and now have water marks by where by dog's water dish is. I'm concerned this floor won't last long, but I love the look of most of it for now.
    • Sarah Gombos
      on Jun 19, 2018

      Did you add a varnish to protect the paint or was there water marks even with ? Just curious hav a dog and a baby so she will soon be spilling stuff

  • Sje33216834
    on Apr 19, 2018

    I have dogs....how well does this hold up with dogs? And, can you do this on Engineered wood flooring?

  • Darlene
    on Jul 29, 2018

    steps for white washing using Annie Sloan, please.

    Do I use dilated paint or do I paint and rub some off?

    Thank you

  • Patti
    on Jan 3, 2019

    What is coco? I didn’t get that one.

  • Lynn lundgren
    on Jan 7, 2019

    have dark laminate floors in my living room and light laminate in my kitchen and bedrooms, I want them all to be a grayish color, what should I use to get that look in all the


    • Ahmeans
      on May 20, 2019

      Depends on what shade of grey you want. If you stick with Annie Sloan colors, Chicago Grey is a nice medium grey. Paris Grey is a light grey. French Linen is listed as a neutral, but I think, it is more of greige. Prime the floors (it will help with adhesion down the road) and then you have the same base to work with. Plan at least two coats of paint. Any Annie Sloan stockist will have color cards so you can see the different shades of paint. Beware some of her "Greys" are colors. For example Chateau Grey is a sage green and Country Grey is a tan.

Join the conversation

2 of 11 comments
  • Jess Sell AL
    on Sep 6, 2018

    Informative post! Thank you for sharing. I love your floors.

  • Jess Sell AL
    on Apr 29, 2019

    Excellent post. Painting would also save the backbreaking labor and expense of refinishing, not to mention the disappointment when they inevitably ended up still looking like beat up old floors. It was a winning proposition from all directions. And, it turned out beautifully.

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