Painted Linoleum Floor

3 Materials
7 Days

Are you like me with several rooms in your home that have linoleum in them that is old and yellowed, but otherwise still in good shape? Here is what I did about it!

Begin by painting the entire surface of the floor in chalk paint. You want to use whatever color you want as the accent or grout color. Make sure to thoroughly clean the floor before painting.

Two coats is all it takes for most of the floors I've done but make sure that it's solid with no colors showing through from the linoleum itself. It can depend on the chalk paint you are using as some are thinner than others and take more coats to cover. I make my own chalk paint and it has excellent coverage.

Choose a place to start that has a straight edge and needs to be lined up well. For example, I started in this small bathroom by laying the stencil along the edge of the bathtub. This is the main thing you face when you enter the bathroom and would look terrible if the stencil was crooked along here. You do NOT want to start in the middle of the room.

If the colors you are using for your floor has very little contrast between the pattern and your base color, you can get by with holding the stencil in place with painters tape. If there is high contrast like my black and white floor, it is extremely important that the stencil does not move at all and that there is NO bleeding. In this case the stencil NEEDS to be held down with spray adhesive.

Again, if there is little contrast, I typically apply the stencil paint with a small sponge roller and use light coats of the paint. In the case of high contrast, I find that using a very small sponge and dabbing it by hand works much better. I like to use a makeup sponge.

Stenciling around the base of a toilet is very tricky. I like to get as close as I can initially and then go back later and add little bits of the pattern. If possible (perhaps by buying more than one of your stencil) cut your stencil into small pieces to fit around places like this.

Once the stencil pattern is finished, I use a tiny artists brush and touch up any places that need it. Then I let the entire floor sit for a couple days, if possible, to cure really well.

Finally, finish the painted floor with several coats (2-3) of a clear floor sealer. It's best not to use a general poly on this as that can yellow and also doesn't hold up as well as one intended for floors. Let it dry well between coats and afterwards before traffic is introduced to the floor.

Just like that you have a "new" floor that cost barely anything. I initially painted the linoleum in my powder room several years ago and it is still in perfect condition. If the floor is allowed to cure well before it is used, they hold up unbelievably well.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Janet Vance
    Janet Vance
    on Nov 16, 2020

    How do you make your chalk paint

    • Deb
      on Nov 18, 2020

      You can buy already made chalk paint at your local Home Depot/Lowes/ or local Hardware store.

  • Martha Anne Horning
    Martha Anne Horning
    on Nov 18, 2020

    Have you tackled a ceramic tile floor? Just wondering if the process would be about the same other than being sure your stencil fits on the tile square size you have.

    • I haven’t personally done a ceramic tile floor because I didn’t have any ceramic tile floors in my house. I have painted and stenciled the tiles (ceramic floor tiles) around my fireplace and it has held up very well for several years now. Obviously nobody is walking on it though so I can’t testify to that. I did paint it with chalk paint, though.

  • Mary Jo
    Mary Jo
    on Dec 9, 2020

    Ok, this looks fantastic, BUT, do you go over the stencil again to get the color darker? My nursery bathroom has a boring floor and I’d like to do this, but I’m a little nervous 😩 about messing up. Well, maybe very nervous. Any suggestions?

    • On any of the floors I’ve painted, including the black and white one, I only painted the stencil once. You make sure the color is as solid as you want it on the first application.

Join the conversation

2 of 24 comments
  • Christina
    8 days ago

    It would have been nice to see the actual stencil to actually see the process of painting using the stencil

  • I’ve got several stenciled floor blog posts with more details, tips and pics on my website if you want to check them out.

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