Can You Paint Engineered Wood Floors

Engineered wood floors are a popular alte ative to traditional solid wood flooring, for their durability, low cost, and sustainable composition. And though you may have fallen in love with their unbeatable look and feel, there may come a time when you want to shake up your style, without the need for a complete overhaul. In these cases, you might tu to paint. The good news is you can paint engineered wood flooring, but there are a few important things to consider before you start. In this article, we will highlight what to do and what not to do when rejuvenating and restyling your floors with paint.

Important Consideration Before You Can Start Painting

Most engineered wood flooring comes prefinished with either oil or lacquer, and this protective layer will need to be removed before you can begin painting. This is the only downside of painting engineered wood flooring, because although it can be sanded and refinished multiple times, just like solid wood, the hardwood top layer of engineered floors can only take so much. If your floors are old, they may benefit from this preparatory sanding, but if you are looking to sand newer floors then it is worth bearing in mind that their longevity will be affected.

Choose an Unfinished Engineered Wood Floor

If you are looking into painting engineered wood flooring because you want a specific look for new floors that are yet to be installed, then we have the perfect unfinished alte ative for you. Our Unfinished Oak range is made with the same click-and-lock tongue and groove fittings and quadruple bevelling, and comes in a timeless herringbone design, all without any additional finishes. This means the paint will take to the wood perfectly, without the need for pre-sanding. All of our other oak and walnut ranges will need to be sanded before painting can take place.

The Process of Painting Engineered Wood Floors


For those without unfinished engineered wood floors, you will need to start by sanding away the top layer of oil or lacquer from the floor. This can be done with an orbital sander for large areas, or a hand sander for smaller ones, and should be undertaken very carefully. You want to avoid shaving off too much of the hardwood and compromising the integrity of the floor, and also that you are maintaining an even and smooth texture across the space. Once the wood has retu ed to its original, unfinished state, you should finish off by sweeping any sanding dust from the area. Before moving on to the next step, make sure the space is clean of any remaining dirt and debris, as this can mix with the paint when it is applied and ruin the overall appearance.


Before you start painting, make sure you have the right paint for the job. We recommend opting for water-based enamels for the highest quality look that lasts. Oil-based alte atives can work well, but do risk damaging the wood unde eath.

  1. Start by readying the area with a coat of good-quality wood floor primer.
  2. Next, apply your first coat of paint. Work slowly from one co er of the room and gradually paint out towards an exit (otherwise you may become trapped and be forced to walk over your hard work).
  3. How many coats you apply after this first one will depend on the appearance you want. Thinner coats will create a more washed-out look that shows some of the natural tones of the wood grain unde eath, whereas multiple coats will accentuate colour and texture. As a general rule, we recommend a minimum of two coats, with 4 hours of drying time between each.
  4. Once you are satisfied with the look, and the whole area is dry, you should apply a coat of water-based polyurethane finish. This will lock in colour for longer and stop tinting, whilst protecting the floors from day-to-day foot traffic, changing temperatures, and messy spills.


Paint provides an additional layer of protection, especially when paired with a reliable finish, and this makes cleaning and maintaining much easier than with bare solid wood floors. With a stiff-bristled broom, sweep your floors regularly to remove any loose debris that could be trodden on and lodged into the painted surface, risking scratches and chipped areas. You can also safely vacuum your painted engineered wood floors, to really get in between the boards and guarantee a job well done. We offer a wide range of cleaners that are compatible with engineered wood flooring, but with painted floors, we do recommend spot treating to avoid degradation. Generally, when it comes to cleaning engineered wood surfaces, the cleaners will be enough. You should not add additional water to them, as this may seep into the floor and cause the boards to raise. Use wet cleaners semi-regularly, or when tricky messes occur. Sweeping and hoovering should be enough on their own to keep your floors tidy.

Alte atives to Painting Engineered Wood Floors

Painting is a brilliant way to reinvent a space and pivot towards a whole new interior style, but it is not the only way. Before making a start on your home improvement project, consider the following alte atives to paint:

  • Oil & Lacquer Finishes: A similar process to painting, as it will require some sanding and preparatory work, but there are plenty of options when it comes to oil and lacquer finishes for engineered wood flooring, each bringing its own hue and shade to the wood whilst maintaining a natural look.
  • Wood Staining: Another process that will require a sanded or unfinished surface, but hardwood stains are a fantastic alte ative to regular finishes and generally come in a wider variety of colours, some of which champion a less-natural look.
  • A Fresh New Rug: Opting for a large rug can add a whole new dimension to the space in question, with minimal risk and hassle. The right colour and fabric can really complement the existing hardwood tones of your floor.
  • Light or Heavy Polishing: Adding a coat of polish to any real wood flooring, especially engineered wood, can uplift the space and achieve a luxurious and unique aesthetic. This process does not require pre-sanding, and can be applied directly onto your finished floors. Just clean properly beforehand, and opt for a handheld or mechanical buffering tool.

Rejuvenate Your Space and Floors With a Lick of Paint

Engineered wood floors take incredibly well to the addition of paint, as long as they have been correctly primed and readied beforehand. Even so, whether you choose to paint, stain, or leave your engineered wood floors exactly as they are, their presence will be known and appreciated in any home or commercial setting.


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