Last Updated on May 18, 2022
Painting vinyl floors is an affordable way to give your room a fun fresh update. This tutorial produces durable and long-lasting results and is amazingly simple.
Do you have old, outdated vinyl floors but no budget to replace them? FEAR NOT! You can totally transform them on a tiny budget. Read on to learn how to paint vinyl floors. And don't worry–painting vinyl floors is a super durable option if you use the right supplies. Mine still looked perfect after SEVEN years! This post was originally published in November 2013 and was fully updated in August 2020.
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 gorgeous and have been held up beautifully for 7 years now! No chipping or peeling. I'm amazed!
Table of Contents
Now, let's review what the floor looked like BEFORE I painted it. Ummm…yuck.
It was such an outdated brick pattern and was vinyl. Not my cup of tea. But, I did not want to spend much money on the floor. I had seen painted vinyl floors that had turned out beautifully, so I gave it a shot.
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How to Paint Vinyl Floors: A Step-by-Step Tutorial
- Porch and Floor Latex Satin Enamel Paint
- I used dark gray and creamy white colors. You can have the paint custom mixed to any color at Lowe's.
- KILZ General Purpose Interior Primer
- Paint rollers
- Paint trays
- Painter's tape
- The width of painter's tape that you select will depend on how wide you would like your stripes to be.
- Floor cleaning solution
- I recommend TSP, but if you don't have any on hand a more mild cleaner should work.
Steps to Painting Vinyl Floors
Select the pattern and colors to use
I opted for a striped pattern for painting vinyl floors, 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 and floor paint. It is durable and is intended for foot traffic.
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 All Purpose Cleaner).
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.
Painting the vinyl floor
This step 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 :)
- 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.
- 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.
- Once your stripes are dry, remove the tape. If you have some bleeding, do not panic. Just grab an angled paintbrush 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! Now you know how to paint vinyl floors. 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! Painting our vinyl floors is the MOST WORTHWHILE 2 HOURS OF MY DIY LIFE! I absolutely love, love, love this floor.
Frequently asked questions
How has your painted vinyl floor held up over time?
2020 Update: I painted this floor in October of 2013. This floor was painted for over SEVEN years and it still looked absolutely perfect before we covered it up as part of this laundry room refresh to put our house on the market. We had not “babied” it at all. We were as rough on it as you might expect–laundry baskets get scooted across it, etc. There was no damage or scratching whatsoever from daily use. We did have to remove and replace the water heater a couple of years ago at one point and the floor did get scraped in one area when the plumber dragged the old water heater out, but that was understandable and easy to touch up.
How do you clean the painted floor?
We never used anything special–mostly Swiffer we pads :)
Doesn't the painted floor need a top coat to make it more durable?
No, no, no, no, no. I cannot overstate this. Porch and floor paint contains everything the paint needs for durability built into it. And if you put a top coat on it, it is very likely to yellow which is probably not the look you want. We had no issues with durability. We also painted and stenciled our wood kitchen floors with this same paint. It endured FAR more foot traffic and abuse than this laundry room floor and held up just as well without a top coat. Trust the product!
If you want to tackle this project yourself, why not make it easier by being able to print the instructions?! Just fill out the form below to grab your free printable instructions :)
What do you think? Are you tempted to paint vinyl floors now?!
Other posts you may enjoy:
- $71 Laundry Room Makeover
- Gorgeous But Cheap Flooring Ideas
- Laundry Room Art: Top Designer Picks
- See the Laundry Room in Our New Home
- The Trick to Painting Ikea Furniture (and how NOT to do it)
- How to Paint Countertops to Look Like Marble
- How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding or Priming!
- How to Paint Your Tile Backsplash in 5 Simple Steps
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