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

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 {click here for full details}.  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.
Painted Vinyl Floors: A detailed tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body {www.designertrapped.com}
Painted Vinyl Floors: A detailed tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body {www.designertrapped.com}
First, let’s review what the floor looked like BEFORE I painted it.
Learn to Paint Vinyl Floors: a detailed tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body {www.designertrapped.com}
Learn to Paint Vinyl Floors: a detailed tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body {www.designertrapped.com}

YUCK.  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.  Here’s how I did it:

1) Selected 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 (affiliate link)* 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. Myer’s).

3) Prime the floor- I used regular old Kilz water based primer to prime the entire floor.  Note that Kelly sanded her floor first.  I did not take that extra step and do not feel like it is necessary, but it certainly cannot hurt.  However, I jumped right in with the primer.  I poured it 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.

Learn to Paint Vinyl Floors: a detailed tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body {www.designertrapped.com}

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 :)
Learn to Paint Vinyl Floors: a detailed tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body {www.designertrapped.com}
Learn to Paint Vinyl Floors: a detailed tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body {www.designertrapped.com}
  • 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.
Learn to Paint Vinyl Floors: a detailed tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body {www.designertrapped.com}

Then, paint the stripes with your secondary color.  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.

Learn to Paint Vinyl Floors: a detailed tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body {www.designertrapped.com}

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 a 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!

Learn to Paint Vinyl Floors: a detailed tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body {www.designertrapped.com}

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.

Will you tackle this project yourself?  If you do, send me photos of the results!

MUST PIN!  Learn how to paint outdated vinyl floors so that they look like this!  So easy and cheap!  Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

Learn to Paint Vinyl Floors: a detailed tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body {www.designertrapped.com}* This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a (very) small commission if you click a link and purchase something.  It does NOT result in additional charges to you or cost you anything extra.  The small amount of affiliate money I earn per month is how I pay the fees to keep this site up and running. Thanks so much for your support!

I am honored that this post has been featured on the following blogs:

The DIY'ers

Life on Lakeshore Drive

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Hello there, I'm Tasha! Thanks so much for being here! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow me via social media so that you never miss a post or inspiring idea.

Comments

    • says

      Hi Kelly! Thanks so much for stopping by and for the compliment. Again, thank YOU for the inspiration behind the painted floors (and really, the entire laundry room makeover)!

  1. says

    Oh I am so thinking about doing this–took notes and everything! We redid our master bath and ran out of funds for the kids bath, so this might be the perfect solution; thanks Kim!

  2. says

    Love this! I also have linoleum in my laundry room and I contemplated living with it or painting it, but after seeing yours and Kelly’s transformations with just a little bit of paint I might have to take the plunge and paint it. Great job!

  3. says

    I simply love this! I was wondering if painting the floor could be done, and of course “on the internet” someone’s figured it out for me! Did you use the Lowe’s house brand (Valspar) porch paint? I love Valspar paint for my interior walls but I’m a little skeptical of their porch paint after reading the reviews on their site. I don’t mind paying more for another brand if I need to….

    • says

      Hi! I did use the Valspar brand of porch paint. I have used it in a prior home to paint the floor of our pantry. I have been impressed with it! Good luck. I would love to see how your project turns out!

  4. says

    I absolutely love this, Tasha! {And I love Kelly’s, too, at View Along the Way … so awesome inspiration!} I featured you today at Work It Wednesday!! Be sure to come and grab a button!

  5. says

    you absolutely MUST share this at my Trash 2 Treasure party tonight – soooo awesome! I have a friend with floors like the “before” and I’m going to post this on her facebook wall. :) Great job!!!! Way to step out and be a brave soul.

  6. Shannon says

    Love the floor! I was wondering if you purposefully didn’t put a protective top coat over it, or if you think it would hold up better with one? I have 4 kids so the foot traffic would be heavy.

    • says

      Thank you, Shannon! I elected not to put a top coat on it because I just don’t think it needs it even with heavy traffic. I have used porch paint on an actual outdoor patio before and not even moving heavy patio furniture around on it damaged it! But, if you are worried about it, a coat of polyurethane should add additional protection. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Anne-Sophie says

    Wonderful transformation! I have ugly grey linoleum in my kitchen and bathroom and if my landlord agrees I think I might tackle this project on my own. Question though: Do you think the porch paint would hold up well in a small bathroom? I’d be worried about the moisture, but then again porches are exposed to rain and snow so hopefully the paint is designed with that in mind?

    • says

      Hi Anne! I have never used porch paint in a bathroom, but I think it would hold up well. I have used it on an outdoor, uncovered patio before {that was exposed to rain, etc.} and it help us amazingly well. I have also used it on a covered porch with good results. I hope that answers your question. Good luck!

  8. Betsy W says

    Hi Tasha!
    Super creative! I especially like the letters. Did you buy those on Amazon? also, how did you hang them?
    Thanks in advance for the reply!
    Betsy

  9. Shirley says

    What a great transformation! I love this ! Oh, oh! I feel a project coming on! Ha ha! Thanks for the inspiration! x

  10. Angela says

    What a wonderful job done….Now I know I’m no longer stuck with my prefab floor in my 11 year old house thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Jane says

    My brother is a bachelor and decorating is not his thing. About 15 years ago, my sister and I painted his lineloum floor. (It really is lineloum flooring from 1969!) His floor still looks great!

    • says

      Hi Jane! You were very forward thinking! Glad to hear they are still holding up well. Our laundry room floor is holding up beautifully so far.

  12. says

    Tasha!!! This is so smart! I love it…I can totally see myself doing something like this in one of our bathrooms or laundry room! I painted a wood floor in our old house, but it never occurred to me to paint the linoleum!

    • says

      Thanks so much, April! I wish I could take credit for the idea, but Kelly at View Along the Way deserves the credit for inspiring me to do it! You should do it–it’s so much fun and looks AMAZING!

  13. Jamie says

    Shut the front door, there must have been a sale on this flooring because I have the same ugly, yukky stuff in my Kitchen and Bathroom, and now I know I can paint it it will be gone, outta here!! Thank so much for sharing, your floors look beautiful!!

    • says

      Hi Junnie! I actually plan to paint my kitchen floors in the next few months. I do plan to add a layer of polyurethane over the kitchen floors for added protection and then I think they will be fine for the additional foot traffic.

    • says

      Hi Kristey! Hmmm, I’m not sure about a bathroom. For the laundry room floor, we use Mrs. Meyer’s, which is very gentle, and our floor is still holding up beautifully. My guess is that if you coated the porch paint with some type of polyurethane, it would hold up better to more “hard core” cleaners. I hope that helps!

  14. Amanda Hoelzli says

    Ran across this on Pinterest….AWESOME!!!! Your idea is now going to save me from having to spend $100′s on putting in a new floor and best of all….I get what I WANT!!! Thanks so much for sharing this Tasha! Your floor looks amazing! Can’t wait to see what else you come up with! Have a great day!

  15. Heidi says

    I’d love to try this in my bathroom and laundry room. My husband is concerned that paint won’t stick to the vinyl. Did you have any trouble with it peeling up off the vinyl?

  16. babs says

    This looks great! I have some ugly kitchen floors that would love to look like this. I have pets, do you? I am wondering how the paint would hold up to kitty paws (claws) running over it. Any thoughts?

    • says

      Hi Babs. We have an 85-pound Boxer, but no cats. And honestly, Titan doesn’t travel into our laundry room very often. BUT, we will be painting our kitchen floor in the next month and I plan to use the same process BUT I will also add a couple of coats of polyurethane, which I think will make it more durable so that it will withstand Titan’s toenails. I hope that helps!

  17. Anna Lena says

    I love love love what you made out of that laundry room floor! I’m renting an apartment with an ugly vinyl kitchen floor. Is there any way to paint it and then get it back to its former state when we move out?

  18. Alexandra says

    Great idea…do you think this would work in a bathroom w/ all the moisture or a mud room w/ all the dirt & “whatever else” tracked in from outside?

  19. Holly says

    Love this idea! I’m moving into a mobile home and have some old lino/vinyl issues to deal with. I’m going with a shabby chic motif so I think I’ll do an antique white like you did with a robins egg blue stripe to give it that soft ‘barn floor’ feeling! Hope you’re leaving these instructions up so we can all refer to them again! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Debbie says

    My concern is that my 25 year old vinyl floor has cracks and small indentations. I could change the color but they would still have the pits etc. any ideas? Money has been tight and this would be perfect.

  21. China says

    I may have missed my answer but does it have to be a certain type of paint to use on the floor? I am thinking of doing this with my kitchen and bath is why I ask.

    I love this ideal very much! Thanks for sharing with us

    • says

      Hi China! It needs to be porch or floor paint. There is a link in the post that you can click on to see exactly what I am referring to. I just did it in my kitchen as well and love it!

  22. Lari Franklin says

    This is fabulous! I want to do this in my laundry/mud room….just wondering how you clean it? Do you mop like a regular floor?

    • says

      Thank you, Lari! Yes, we just mop it light a regular floor. We have also done it in our kitchen, which gets TONS more traffic and it is holding up beautifully! Have fun! Let me know how yours turns out.

  23. Rhonda says

    Love the floors! We want to do this in our bathroom. My question is……does the floor clean up nicely (mopping)? Also is there some sort of shine to it, or does it have a dull finish?

    • says

      The floor cleans up fabulously with mopping. There is not much of a shine to it. It’s a fairly dull finish {like a satin or eggshell finish}. Hope that helps!

  24. says

    LOVE it!!! Our bathroom floors are vinyl…I might have to consider this when we go to re-do them, instead of all new flooring! Thanks for sharing!!! It’s great to know this works! :) {And happy SITS day!}

    • says

      It works and they are holding up beautifully! We have since painted our kitchen floors and love them, too. Thanks for stopping by, Kristen!

  25. says

    Love it! Pinned it! You did an awesome job – it looks great! So chic! Love your blog, btw. Very clean and easy to navigate! Hope you had an awesome SITS day :)

    • says

      Thanks so much, Jen! I really appreciate your compliment on my blog design! Thanks so much for stopping by from SITS. I did have an awesome SITS day!

    • says

      Hi Rose! Thanks so much for sharing! One of my favorite blogger (Kelly at View Along the Way) inspired this project and her floors were somewhat damaged. You may want to check her blog out. As I recall, she repaired some of the damage with caulk with great success!

  26. Katie says

    Your floors look great! How are they holding up? I just embarked on painting my kitchen floor – did you put a polyurethane or gloss on top to seal the floor?

    Thanks!

    • says

      Thanks so much, Katie! We just painted our kitchen floors as well. Both the kitchen floors and the laundry room floors are holding up perfectly. We did put a coat of poly over the kitchen floors and they YELLOWED {even though the poly we purchased specifically said it would not yellow}. We had to start over from scratch which with 7 hours of stenciling in the kitchen was not fun. Long store short…do not use poly! The porch and floor paint holds up well on its own!

    • says

      Hi Kristy! I have not personally tried it on linoleum, but have done it on vinyl and wood with great success, so I can’t think of any reason it would not work on linoleum, but I just can’t answer definitively.

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