Saturday, 10 February 2018

HOW TO GIVE LIFE TO YOUR LAMINATE

A few weeks ago I embarked upon a job that has literally had me itching since we moved in: the laminate floors in our guest bedroom, and Sienna's room. They were done by the previous owners, and as they had two children, I get the practicality of opting for it over carpets, but why you would go for 'the brown stuff', is beyond me. Come to think of it, in our other guest bedroom, they had gone for BLUE laminate (for the boy, obvs), which made the room resemble a hospital ward, so every time I walked in there, I was expecting to see an elderly lady sitting in the corner doing a crossword. To erase this image from my mind, I painted that a few months after we moved in with an amazing Dulux floor paint, that just went straight on the laminate with no priming.

Hello, Granny, are you there?
Bye bye blue floor! You probably recognize this room now!
Being the cheapskate that I am, I didn't want to fork out for a nicer laminate, reclaimed wood or carpet, so I had to take matters into my own hands. 'Ah ha!' I thought, 'I'll just use that amazing Dulux stuff!' Could I find it anywhere? Nope! For some reason, they'd stopped producing it, but then I thought if I can paint my melamine kitchen units, then surely I can apply the same method for my floor..? I went to my local paint shop and while they were slightly hesitant about my ideas, they didn't disagree that primer will allow floor paint to stick and will stick to laminate, and to be honest, I'd rather the mess I would potentially create over the brown stuff.

Guest bedroom before...
Sienna's room before...
So, without further ado, here's what I used and did:
Equipment I used for priming (click for links):
Priming kit
PRIME TIME:

Before you begin, make sure you empty the room as best as you can. I couldn't be bothered to dismantle the bed frame or Sienna's cot, so I painted around them, and then moved them when the primer was dry and painted the left over patch. Once the room is good to go, you need to clean the floor thoroughly. I used a hoover first, getting in all the edges, as there's nothing worse than finding a stray hair and having to do that finger swipe thingy in your wet paint. Then, I used a mop and bucket with warm water with some washing up liquid in it. Leave it to dry (fling your windows open to speed up the process).

Once dry, get priming! I used Zinsser 1-2-3, as I'd used it on my kitchen units, but it's up to you what you go for. I used the paint brush around the edges of the room, working along in sections, so that it doesn't dry too quickly, then I used my roller over it so that you end up with the same finish everywhere. When rolling the floor (make sure you wash and then dry your roller to get rid of loose fibres), make sure you follow one direction (I don't mean stalking Harry Styles and co...), and roll in the same direction your laminate planks run, and go in lines from one end of the room to the other, smoothing your paint out as you go, otherwise your floor won't have a neat finish. Oh, and plan your route out of the room as though you're doing your D of E Gold Award - you don't want to paint yourself in, and if you do, take snacks a good book, and a tent...!!!

Plan your route with boy Scout precision!
As some of you may have seen on my Instagram Stories, I'd primed both floors in half an hour, and they are touch dry in an hour. Priming was so quick and easy, and I could already see the back of the brown laminate. Now, for the waiting game to begin. You need to leave your primer to harden for 7 days. Some of you got in touch saying this isn't the case, but as I was painting an unconventional surface, I didn't want to risk it. Plus, I still hadn't found the paint I wanted to use...

Equipment I used for painting (click for links):

Painting kit.
PAINT THE TOWN... WHITE:

The lovely man in the local paint shop advised that I used Farrow and Ball floor paint. I can't for the life of me remember why he said this, but it sounded legit, as opposed to him just stitching me up to spend a fortune on something that might not work. This is when I cheated on him. I went to another local DIY store and found this Rustoleum Chalk White floor paint. I love that it has a flat matte finish (I didn't want the floor to resemble an ice rink, as much as I love Torvill and Dean), and it seemed to be the right kind of white I was looking for (who knew there were so many shades of white? E. L. James missed a trick there...). I did ask again, as the pot says it's not suitable for laminate floors, but the guy in the shop didn't see a reason why it wouldn't stick to primer. Plus, Rustoleum have a help line you can call, so if you're really worried, you can always ask. I didn't make the call, as I couldn't bear it if they said no!! Desperate times, and all that...  All it took was two coats of the paint and I am over the moon with the finish and colour. I used the small sponge roller to do the edges and skirting.

A room transformed: Sienna's room has improved a million fold.
As I'm sure you can understand, my decorating days are limited to when Sienna is at nursery, so I am yet to paint the walls in the guest bedroom, so those pics aren't the full works; that's another blog post, you're only supposed to look at the floors this time..! Sienna's room, on the other hand, is finished and I am so happy with the result in both rooms, and the paint hasn't scratched yet, but I am still in that 'don't walk; levitate!' stage. I hope this has been helpful, feel free to ask anymore questions below or on my Instagram! Ciao for now!

The walls aren't painted in here yet and the styling is incomplete, but this is about the floor!
Disclaimer: Before you undertake priming and painting your own laminate, always seek the advice from the experts. I always consult the experts, AKA the lovely people my local paint shop before making my own decisions! xxx
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