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How to Paint a Vinyl or Linoleum Floor the Right Way

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Transform your old vinyl floor with paint and a stencil

vinyl/linoleum floor painted with tile design

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How to Paint a Linoleum Floor

Are you tired of your dated vinyl or linoleum floor? Painting a linoleum or
vinyl floor can definitely be done. You just need to be sure you have the
right products and prep the floor correctly. Will it last forever? No,
but nothing does and this should last several years if done properly. So if
you can use a paint brush and roller then you can definitely do this DIY
project and give your old linoleum floor a fresh new look without any grout,
saws, or tile.

Last week I shared a tutorial for making your own stencil with a Cricut Maker and now I’m sharing a detailed supply list of the painting portion of the project. For detailed instructions to create a stencil with a Cricut Maker, go to this post:

How to use a Cricut Maker to create a custom stencil

Supplies Needed:

For Painting Portion:

For the DIY Stencil:

How to Paint a Linoleum or Vinyl Floor

1. Clean floor and tape around the edges

Cleaning the floor is one of the most important steps to this project. If the floor isn’t clean or if there is residue on it, even the best primer or paint won’t stick to it. For my floor project, I used my Shark Steam Mop over the floor twice.

If you don’t have a steam mop, I recommend cleaning it with
TSP. Follow the instructions on the bottle. Allow to dry completely.

2. Apply primer or base coat

For my project, I used an
adhesion primer
and tinted it to a gray so it could be used as the base coat for the tile
pattern. There are some newer products for floors that don’t require primer,
this floor paint from Rustoleum.  Two coats will probably be needed for this step.

3. Stencil the floor

You can skip this step if you want and simply have a solid color floor. But
every little hair or piece of dirt will probably show up on it. 

If you choose to stencil, you’ll want to tape off the edges of each section,
allow it to dry, then move on to the next section. Continue until you finish
the entire floor. Leave the edges until last and you can cut down the
stencil for those smaller areas, doing the smallest ones last. 

I made my stencil using my Cricut Maker, but you can purchase beautiful pre-cut
stencils here: 

4. Add a Clear Protective Coating to the floor

linoleum floor painted to look like tiles

After your design has dried completely, add at least 2 coats of a clear
acrylic protective coating to the floor. This will protect the floor from
water drops and make it easier to clean. I used a
Clear Dead Flat Varnish
because I had it on hand, and this room doesn’t get much use. 

In bathrooms that get daily use, I recommend this
Clear Floor Coating
for maximum protection and durability. 

Allow it to dry completely between coats and before walking on it. 

painted linoleum bathroom floor

Questions and Answers about painting a floor:

  1. How durable is it? If you prep the
    floor properly and use the correct paint and primer it will be very
    durable and could last for years.
  2. Can I use chalk paint on my floor? Chalk paint is great for accent furniture pieces and decor items, but I
    don’t recommend it for floors, cabinets, or exterior surfaces. It’s soft
    and porous and is not durable, even with a wax finish. 
  3. Is it waterproof? The floor finish I
    recommend above is made for floors and will be water resistant. This
    means that it should hold up to normal, light drops of water from
    showering or washing your hands. 
  4. Is it stain resistant? It will be
    resistant to any stain that a clear floor finish would be. 
  5. How do I clean it? Test any cleaning
    method in an inconspicuous area before doing the entire floor. I would
    recommend using a damp mop and a solution of 1/2 cup vinegar and 1
    gallon of  warm water. 
  6. Can I paint over it? Yes! You’l want
    to use the same prep/cleaning methods and paint products you used for
    this project. 

Honestly, you can paint almost any surface if you use the right products and
procedures. Consult with your local paint store and they can recommend the
correct products for all of your painting projects. 

See more of my painted projects in these posts:

How to Paint Your Brick Fireplace


How to Paint a Laminate Countertop

How to Paint Paneling

How to Crackle Paint Like a Pro

Let me know if you have any questions or if you have an surface that you’re not sure how to paint. Maybe my next tutorial will be about that!

Have a great day.

before and after painted linoleum floor


  1. Great job! I did this over 15 years ago and it's still going strong. The trick is putting on 3 top coats if you want it to last and touching up with the top coat again if needed. Back then I had to hand cut my stencil. I'm still recovering – lol.

  2. Are you pinching yourself everytime you walk by? It looks so fantastic! You did a great job and I had never considered using my Cricut to make the stencil! Brilliant!



  3. Angie this bathroom floor look fabulous! Thanks for sharing at the Tuesday Turn About Link Party. I'm excited to feature your post this week and hope you will come back to join us!

  4. Angie, I absolutely love this floor! The fact you made your own stencils, you're my hero lady! xo

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