Sunday, February 21, 2010

How to paint vinyl floors...

When we moved into our 1980's house 9 years ago, the vinyl floors were hideous and in terrible shape.

Apparently, the former ranch hand chopped kindling with a hatchet on the kitchen floor. (We found the kindling but not the hatchet.)

Since we don't own the house, we didn't want to spend the money to replace them. So, I decided to paint them. The project cost $80 and it took me 11 days to complete the kitchen, laundry room, entry and bathroom. As you will see in a minute, they turned out great.

I found a paint that worked on floors and on vinyl siding so I thought it would be a good choice for vinyl floors. (The paint was McCloskey's All-in-One and I can't find it anymore.) I was right. Nearly 9 years after painting them, they are still in decent shape. And, let me tell you, our floors are used and abused.

Here's what I did...

Step 1) I gave the floors a very thorough cleaning by first sweeping, then vacuuming, then scrubbing them clean on my hands and knees with warm water.

Step 2) I rolled on three coats of off-white, letting the coats dry in between.

Step 3) Because there was already a square pattern stamped into the old vinyl, this step was much easier than if I'd had to measure. I taped off the inside of every other square with blue painter's tape then painted each with two coats of taupe, letting the coats dry in between.

Step 4) I carefully removed the tape.

Step 5) I applied five coats of water-based, satin Minwax Polycrylic with a brush, letting the coats dry in between.

POST UPDATE: I don't think the paint I used on my floors is available anymore. However, I saw a show on HGTV where they painted a vinyl bathroom floor. They used a high-adhesion primer first, followed by floor paint. I think a really important step with my floor was the Minwax Polycrylic on top, however, the paint I used was a matte finish. If you used a glossy floor paint, maybe you wouldn't need the shiny top coat.

When the homeowner saw my painted floors, he gasped because he thought I was going to hand him a bill for new vinyl. He was happy to reimburse me the $80 I spent on the project.

Here's the bathroom floor, 9 years later. This is the lowest-traffic area of all the areas I painted. I would have posted the kitchen but it's covered in muddy paw prints because we took a walk in the melting snow.

We're going for another walk tomorrow and the snow will be melting for awhile so I see no reason to clean it any time soon.

Linked to Make it for Monday, Metamorphosis Monday, Make Your Monday,
Motivate Me Monday, Transformation Thursday
, Show and Share Day


  1. Wow! I'm impressed- those look great! Just visiting form the Texas Blogging Gals- some visit anytime!


  2. Hi, This is my first time at your blog. I came over via Brenda at Cozy Little House...I have a vinyl floor in my laundry room that also has squares in it and has seem bette days....I am going to give this a try, but I have to find a paint that to Home Depot I go! Thanks for this great idea! I am going to paint mine red and white checks! Sandy

  3. Goodness...amazing job. I so wish that paint was still around. I have a work room screaming for it!!

  4. Wow, I never even knew it was possible to paint vinyl flooring! It looks amazing!

  5. That is just awesome!! I love your blog. BTW, I can't keep hydrangeas alive and yet I love them so much. :( Have any tips on that?

  6. I can't tell you how excited I was to see this. I had some friends over last week and took them up to the third floor where I am redoing the boys bedrooms. Next will be the bath. The floor is in decent shape but it is ugly. The problem is there is a huge cast iron footed tub in there. I don't want to replace it and the thought of moving it makes me tired. One of my friends suggested painting the floor. I had never heard of such a thing but I guess I am just out of the loop. Yours is fabulous. Want to come to Iowa and do mine? I didn't think so. I am definitely going to give this a try this spring and I will link back to you. Thanks for sharing. Pam

  7. Wow! That looks great! I never thought to paint a floor. Thanks for the great idea!

  8. Wow! I am so glad I found this! My kitchen floor is pretty shabby and I have been wondering for a while if you could paint vinyl floors and have it look decent. Your floors look great! Thanks for sharing! :)

  9. Good for you for having the guts to go for it! I would be scared to death... even tho I paint for a living! Kudos to you! Stop by my blog sometime and say hello!

    Blessings, jennifer

  10. Wow! That looks so great! Especially after NINE years! I never would have thought of that either. Thanks for the inspiration! Adding you to my blogroll!

  11. I never knew this could be done. Yours looks amazing. I love the idea of this. To bad the paint doesn't exist now I would love to do it.

  12. Oh, I love your painted vinyl flooring! It looks amazing, and I can't believe it's been nine years! You could have just painted them, it looks that good! I just painted our kitchen vinyl floor this past December, so I know it is a lot of work! :)

    You have a beautiful blog, and I just love the name of it, too! I will be back for a visit soon! :)


  13. I am not ready to do the work involved in replacing old vinyl. This gives me inspiration!

  14. I wanted to do this where I use to live. I was too chicken!
    Looks great@!
    Following you over from Shabby Chic Cottage!
    I am a follower!
    Please stop by!

  15. OMG! I don't own my home but I have been doing improvements that I can afford..I have been wanting to paint the vinyl floors in the kitchen but every one keeps telling me it can't be done! Now I am all motivated to find a paint that will work! Thank for sharing this!
    ~Bridgette {allthingzrealted}