How to Paint Vinyl Floors {Yes, YOU CAN DO THAT!}

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So you want to learn how to paint vinyl floors, huh?!  Welcome!  I am here to teach you!

Many of you have already checked out my $71.00 laundry room DIY renovation.  One of my favorite parts of my laundry room renovation is the painted linoleum vinyl floor.  UPDATE: It was recently pointed out to me on Pinterest {rather rudely} that linoleum is different than vinyl.  I googled it and in fact, that is true.  But, Google also informed me that even flooring stores use the terms interchangeably.  In any event, technically, my floors are VINYL.   My painted VINYL floors are are gorgeous and are holding up beautifully.
AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors
AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors
Now, let’s review what the floor looked like BEFORE I painted it.  Ummm…yuck.
AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors
It was such a tragic brick pattern and was linoleum vinyl.  Not my cup of tea.  But, I did not want to spend much money on the floor.  I had seen the laundry room makeover by Kelly at A View Along the Way and fell in love with it.  She had painted her linoleum vinyl floors and they turned out beautifully, so I gave it a shot.   This post contains some affiliate links.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

How to paint vinyl floors:

1) Select the pattern and colors to use- I opted for a striped pattern, much like Kelly used.  Instead of going with deep black and stark white, I wanted a softer look, so I used an antique white and charcoal grey.  I purchased 1 quart of each color in Valspar at Lowe’s.  Be SURE to purchase porch floor paint, like Valspar 1534 Porch and Floor Latex Satin Enamel, 1-Gallon, Dark Gray.  It is durable and is intended for foot traffic.

2) Clear and clean the floor area- I was lucky that our laundry room was large enough to scoot the washer and dryer in and out of position to paint the floor underneath it.  But, if you are not so lucky, you will have to move those bad boys somewhere else for a few days.  After you clear the floor, you need to clean the floor.  Make sure it is clear of dust and dirt.  Some people recommend using TSP (a heavy duty cleaner), but I did not have any on hand, so I used my normal floor cleaner (I use Mrs. Meyer’s).

3) Prime the floor- I used regular old KILZ General Purpose Interior Primer to prime the entire floor.  I poured the primer directly on the floor and used a small paint roller to spread it.  I only used one coat of primer and that worked just fine.  I did it around 9pm one night and let it dry overnight.

AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors

4) Paint the floor- This steps has several “sub-steps”:

  • After letting the primer dry overnight, I painted the entire floor with the antique white color, which I considered my “base” color, twice.  That’s right, two coats.  Fortunately, this paint dries pretty quickly, but I did use a large box fan to speed the process along.  I was able to get these two coats done in one day.  Then, I let the base color dry overnight.  I am not going to lie, this was kind of a messy project.  Be prepared to scrub your feet :)

AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors

  • The following night, I taped off my stripes using regular blue painter’s tape.  I used the existing brick pattern to determine the width of my stripes, which eliminated the need to measure first.  Note that my floor had some definite texture to it, so I knew bleeding would happen, but I just rolled with it.  I knew it would be an easy fix later.  However, if you absolutely want to avoid bleeding, follow this step: After taping your floors, add one more coat of your base color over the entire floor–paint OVER the tape.  That will seal the crisp lines and prevent any bleeding.  Trust me, it works on textured surfaces.

AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors

  • Next, I painted the stripes with my secondary color–dark grey.  I also painted two coats with the charcoal grey color.  I let the first coat dry overnight {mostly because it was late} and completed the second coat the next night.

AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors

  • Once your stripes are dry, remove the tape.  If you have some bleeding, do not panic.  Just grab an angled paint brush and use it to “cut in” along the stripes to make them nice and crisp.  It sounds tedious, but this step took me less than 15 minutes.

That’s it!  It sounds like a lot of steps {and it is}, but each step takes no more than 10 to 20 minutes.  I found painting my floor moved FAR more quickly than painting walls.  I think all of the steps combined took me less than 2 hours {excluding drying time}.  In other words, it was easy to knock out in the evenings after work without being too exhausted the next day.

The end result is G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S!  MOST WORTHWHILE 2 HOURS OF MY DIY LIFE!  I absolutely love, love, love this floor.  It has been painted for about 2 months already and it is holding up perfectly.  We have not “babied” it at all.  We are as rough on it as we have ever been–laundry baskets get scooted across it, etc. and there is no damage or scratching whatsoever.

What do you think?  Are you tempted to paint vinyl floors now?!  Have you already painted a vinyl floor?  If you do tackle this project {or have already}, send me photos of the results to tasha{at}designer trapped{dot}com–I would love to see!  And if you enjoyed this post, you may also love to see how I painted and stenciled our kitchen floors with awesome results!

If you want to save this tutorial for later, be sure to pin it!

AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors


AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors


  1. Jennifer says

    Am I correct that you neither sanded nor de-glossed for this project? I apologize for the waste of time if I have simply overlooked that part.

    Thank you so much I am hoping to paint the back splash in my just-purchased home that is a dated vinyl FLOORing. Ah well. Durable? Yes. Stylish ? No.
    I look forward to your reply. Thank you!! :)
    P.s. Beautiful job on yours!

    • says

      Thanks so much, Jennifer! Yes, you are correct. We did sand or de-gloss. I painted the back splash in our kitchen and it is a drastic improvement over what was there before! Would love to know how your floors and back splash turn out!

  2. Dee says

    Your floors look great! I’m so excited to do this to our bathroom and front entryway! Just wondering, did you sand the gloss off the floors first? I noticed that Kelly at View Along the Way mentioned that step, but you didn’t. If I can avoid an unnecessary step with a noisy tool, that would be great!

  3. SAGE says

    I was wondering. If I just want to paint my kitchen floor one solid color of black. Do I still need 2 coats of a base color? And if so what would that be?
    I did see to do 1 coat of primer first.
    Thanks much!

  4. marie says

    I was thinking about doing this and you convinced me. You don’t mention anything about sealing the paint… is that necessary all other sites say to put poly on it… seems like you did not. What do you wash your floor with, is bleach out of the question, something mild like soap and vinegar. It look fantastic.. can’t wait to do mine.

    • says

      Hi Marie! No top coat is necessary! We use a mild cleanser {either vinegar and water or Mrs. Meyers} to clean it. It’s holding up perfectly. We painted our kitchen floor with the same type of paint, no top coat, and it’s holding up perfectly, too! Hope that helps!

  5. says

    Hey, that’s pretty good-looking. Good for you for trying this and sharing it! I’m assuming it’s still holding up?!

    I have a worn-out vinyl floor in my rental kitchen. It’s hard to keep clean because it seems to attract dust now that the sheen has long since taken its leave. I might just try this- I love it. Seems like the perfect simple, sorta cheap solution.

    And yes, linoleum is a whole different animal and has amazing longevity, along with an ability to be shined up very nicely, even when the floor is old. It also has that cool retro look. Vinyl is generally a poor substitute and doesn’t deserve to be called linoleum, though I understand its popularity. I correct people when it’s appropriate because even though floor retailers have forgotten the difference, I just want to stick up for linoleum. I’m sorry someone was rude to you, though. That’s just not necessary.

  6. Maria says

    I love the laundry room floor!! So inspiring! I have been in my house now for 7 years and the kitchen is the last thing we have focused on. We want to replace the floor but have a some settling so the floor is uneven. It would be costly to correct the issue and level the floor. We have one sheet WHITE vinyl on the floor now and it drives me crazy!I constantly sweep the floor all day. I want to try this and do a multi size “tile” pattern with the paint.

    • says

      Thanks so much, Theresa! You should go for it. It’s such a fun project and is a high impact change on a tiny budget! If you do it, please let me know how it turns out!

  7. Kelly says

    I seriously want to do this in the kitchen! It’s a fairly large room and I’m worried about the stripes being too much? What do you think? Would it be over kill? Also I have a shark steam cleaner I love! Think it would be a bad idea to use that to clean the floors after the paint?

    • says

      Hi Kelly! I don’t think it would be too much at all–check out how I painted our kitchen floors with a stencil: I think the stripes would look lovely in a kitchen! I do not know about the use of a shark steam cleaner on it. I don’t have one and have never tried it. But, we mop both our laundry room floor and our kitchen floor with no issues. Hope that helps!!!

  8. Shannon says

    I just stumbled across this reveal, and I love it! I’m going to try it with my girls’ bathroom, which has some horrendous linoleum. Yep, I said it…linoleum! And nobody can change my mind. ;)

    • says

      Hi Stacy! Are we talking about a tile floor? If so, I honestly don’t know if this would work on tiles. I have never tried it. I do think there are special products sold for painting tiles. Petite Modern Life recently painted her tub and tiles with a special product. You should check out her blog for more info.


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