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How to make laminate wood darker

Updated December 14, 2018

Laminate wood is a pressed wood composite with a plastic finish to hold the pressed layers together. Laminate wood has come a long way since its inception, mimicking the look of many types of hardwood floors. You may want to make laminate wood darker to cover any stains that have set in the finish, or to simply refinish the floor to match new room decor. When staining laminate, your only choice is to go darker since you can't sand the finish off and start from scratch.

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  1. Clear the room of furniture and rugs. Sweep and mop the floors so you have a clean surface to work with.

  2. Put gloves on to prevent the stain from irritating your skin.

  3. Apply stain on the wood with a clean rag starting at a corner farthest away from the door. Rub the stain in long strokes working along the length of the laminate planks, going with the grain of the wood. Move along the room, re-dipping the rag as necessary to apply more stain. The layer of the stain should be thin with no excess pooling on the laminate.

  4. Let the stain dry for 24 hours. Do not allow people or pets to walk across the floor during this time.

  5. Paint a layer of laminate sealer along the wood. Follow the same pattern in which you applied the stain to keep the grain consistency. Allow the sealer to dry for several hours unless otherwise indicated on the product label.

  6. Lightly sand the entire laminate wood surface, creating a very light scuff over the top. Mop the floor with a damp cloth to remove the dust from sanding.

  7. Paint a final coat of laminate sealer over the wood, once again maintaining long strokes with the wood's grain. Allow it to dry for several hours or as indicated on the product label.

  8. Tip

    If you are concerned about staining the laminate too dark, do it in stages and observe the results. It may be easier to stain the floor twice than to have the floor darker than you wanted, perhaps even requiring replacement.

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Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Mop
  • Rags
  • Rubber gloves
  • Laminate stain
  • Paintbrush
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Laminate sealer

About the Author

With more than 15 years of professional writing experience, Kimberlee finds it fun to take technical mumbo-jumbo and make it fun! Her first career was in financial services and insurance.

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