Painting Vinyl (or Linoleum) Flooring

March 30, 2005

A can of blue paint.If you have linoleum that is old and dull you can try to freshen it up by giving it 2 or 3 coats of acrylic paint. After it dries you top it with several coats of polyurethane.


By Robin

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8 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

April 16, 2006

My apartment is done out in beige-brown 12"x12" 60's-ish linoleum rec. room style tiles. Obviously *not* my choice. They're in pretty good repair (aside from one or two in the bathroom that have come up from a recent leaking toilet) but I hate the colour.

The landlord is happy to let me paint them over and I'd be willing to do that. But I'm not sure what kind of paint or treatment I should use. The kitchen and bathroom get quite a lot of traffic from me - and water splashing. The bedroom I would love to get all white and shiny.

Suggestion would be very helpful. Thanks.

Betty from Vancouver, BC


April 17, 20061 found this helpful

I would think that garage floor / cement paint would be able to handle that kind of wear and tear. I'd ask the people wherever you buy your paint. It comes in many colors.

By carol in pa (Guest Post)
April 19, 20060 found this helpful

I'm thinking of painting mine a dark grey color to resemble slate flooring. I was thinking of the paint used for porch flooring, but ask where you buy the paint.

By Sheila (Guest Post)
April 25, 20060 found this helpful

Clean the floor - Lightly Sand the floor - Vacuum - Use wood filler in any places that need it, let dry, sand, and clean - Use an oil base primer (have it tinted if you plan to apply dark color) - Paint on just as you would a wall - Apply oil based top coat (could take 4 to 5 days to dry. - Apply second coat - Wait 4 to five days and add a urethane finish (be sure it is a floor urethane finish). Good Luck

By V from Vancouver BC (Guest Post)
June 2, 20060 found this helpful

What a small world, i'm googling 'painting old linoleum floor', your dilemma is so similar! I too live in a 60s old apt, thankfully it's hardwood flooring except for the galley kitchen and bathroom which have hideous boring beige/brown lino (same stuff in both, must've been on sale), hate it, so I am going to paint it as a cheap solution for a renter.


Good luck Betty

April 21, 20130 found this helpful

Make sure you buy your floor paint from a traditional paint store. The big box stores do not even carry the correct type of paint you should use. If you buy the correct type of paint you never need to put a clear "protective" coat on your floors.

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June 29, 2010

Can I paint the linoleum on my kitchen floor to match my new paint job? The floor stuff is ugly in my modular and I can't afford to lay new stuff.


By Daley Jean from Kingman, AZ


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June 29, 20101 found this helpful

When I was a kid and my parents couldn't afford to paint the linoleum in any room of the house, that includes the living room and dining room too, my Mother would get down on her hands and knees and paint the linoleum (back then, where we lived, there wasn't long handled paint rollers and she probably wouldn't have spent the money on one, anyway). Then when the base coat was dry, she would take old rags and dip them in different colors of paint and dab them over the base coat, giving it kind of a stippled effect. Most people now would sneer at it, but it served the purpose at the time.


My Mother never put a clear sealing coat over the paint, but it seems like I have heard lately that a person should. Have you priced the peel and stick vinyl tiles? There have been times that I have seen them advertised for 99 cents each, and they are 12" square. With a little planning, you should be able to install them yourself, instead of hiring somebody to install other flooring. Of course when I was a kid and we did get linoleum my Dad just laid it, cutting around the stove, sink, etc. And we never had trouble with it curling up on the edges. I don't know what he did to prevent that, but I know he never used any type of glue.

July 1, 20100 found this helpful

How large is your kitchen? I see Big Lots has $15 pieces that my friends put in their rental bathroom and front porch. You could also go to your local furniture store if they sell flooring, sometimes they had remnants or rolls they got on discount that they keep in the back for customers that can't afford the regular vinyl.


You can paint the vinyl but I would use poly over it with about 3 coats. Good luck.


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July 1, 20100 found this helpful

I've painted linoleum floors before and they held up really well without sealing but that's probably because I don't allow shoes in my home, just bare feet, socks or soft bottom slippers. Be sure and ask the store which type paint would be the best to use. I am sorry I can't remember what kind I used for sure but I think it might have been the outdoor porch paint.


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July 1, 20100 found this helpful

I have seen this before, we used this when needing a black/white floor for a play production. Use oil based and make a design by masking off areas and good luck.

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August 2, 2008

How do I paint an old linoleum floor? What kind of paint do I use?

Faye from Norton, Ohio


By Sheryl (Guest Post)
January 10, 20060 found this helpful

Yes, it is possible to paint linoleum. You need to prepare if for paint by getting rid of all the shine, by sanding, sanding and sanding some more. Then was with TSP (Tri Sodium Phosphate) available at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Then prime floor and paint. You'll want to seal it with several coats of polyurethene after.


Remember, several coats of polyurethene, dry well in between coats - - and don't shake the can. Just gently stir it after opening or you'll have bubbles in your floor that you'll never get out. Good Luck

By Guest (Guest Post)
January 10, 20060 found this helpful

I also painted linoleum in my bathroom, but I just wanted it for a quick fix, so I didn't go through all the steps the previous poster described. I went to my local hardware store and got a can of Kilz and had them tint it a cream color. I came home and did one coat, let it dry for about 30 minutes and did another coat and it looked fabulous. I then sponged blue and green swirls on it to match my walls. I didn't put any kind of finish on it or anything because I didn't need it to last long...I had planned to replace it within the year, and that bathroom didn't get that much traffic anyway.


Well, fast forward several months and in moved daughter and her 2 toddlers, so the bathroom gets constant use and it has not chipped or faded a bit. I think that by using the Kilz it kind of melts into the flooring and it's almost impossible for it to chip. Good luck!

By peaches (Guest Post)
January 10, 20060 found this helpful

Dear Cheryl
I too painted a floor but used cement paint and it didn't work so good.I used Marine paint another time and it stayed on for about 8 years. I used the
polyurethane [3 coats] and it was a beautiful floor.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 288 Posts
January 10, 20060 found this helpful

Call an Amway dealer in your area. They had a great cleaner once, I have forgotten the name though. Good Luck.

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October 25, 2013

I want to freshen my bathroom, but the floor lino is off white with clusters of green leaves and pink flowers. I don't want more pink. I'd like to go with browns and taupes. How can I get rid of the pink without redoing the floor? Paint just the flowers? It is sheet lino and while it wouldn't be expensive to buy another piece, installation would not be fun. :(

By Maureen


October 27, 20130 found this helpful

Pink goes very well with taupes and browns, so you might not have to change the floor. Go ahead and redecorate, then take a look at how everything looks together, then maybe plan to change the floor in the future if you decide you can't live with it.


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October 27, 20130 found this helpful

I know there are people who have done this, but I'd think that it would wear off in no time at all. Lino is not meant to be painted, and most paint is not meant to be walked on. I would think that it would wear off and look terrible in a very short time.


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October 27, 20130 found this helpful

I don't think it would last very long if you painted it and eventually it would look terrible. Go to Home Depot and buy the $1.00/ea. vinyl floor tile that you just peel & stick down on top of the floor you now have. It's a no brainer-so easy to do & will look a lot better.

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August 5, 2009

I would like advice on painting a vinyl floor.

By sheila from IL


August 6, 20090 found this helpful

try going to the benjamin moore website they are great and have products for any project.

August 6, 20090 found this helpful

I would think that using Zinsser B I N primer would work great as a base and I believe it can be tinted. We were just reading reviews on it for painting our cabinets, and it sticks to anything! People said to be careful not to get it on yourself or floor or etc. as it won't come up. Tough stuff and make a nice finish. At Menards, a staff member told us that they were replacing their Kilz with it as it was superior. Just be sure to ventilate during this step and the epoxy coverings.
Also, the hints on counter top refinishing on this site would probably give you ideas about your floor. Hope this helps and your floor is beautiful!

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August 11, 2007

Can linoleum floors be painted?

TJ from Montgomery, AL


By Happydee (Guest Post)
August 12, 20070 found this helpful

Yes, it can be. First clean floor with a dish washing scouring sponge pad using a floor product that says don't use on linoleum, to rough floor a little. paint on a primer paint to cover over current design, then paint your design with your color choices, then paint 4 or 5 coats of polyurethane on top. Make sure it drys between coats and after final coat, don't use floor for 48 hrs.

August 12, 20070 found this helpful

Check out a web site and look under the topic faux decoration. She has a picture where her neice painted her kitchen floors that were laminate to look like stone. I thought they looked great.
As long as you really clean your floors and then use I good primer for slick surfaces, you could paint over them just fine. You will then need to use a good sealer like those from Minwax.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 2, 2008

I have very old linoleum kitchen flooring. I have had a rug under my kitchen table and the floor beneath it is much lighter than the rest of my floor.

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