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.

Resources for this project:
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Tara @ Stilettos and Shiplap
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 6 questions
  • Mary Jo Mary Jo on Dec 09, 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?

  • M M on Nov 16, 2021

    Your floor is beautiful! What did you use to throughly clean your floor? Did you have scrub it?

  • Bry Bry on Nov 17, 2021

    Wow, what an amazing transformation. Congratulations on a job well done. You mentioned that you make your own chalk paint and that it has excellent coverage. What's your recipe?

Join the conversation
2 of 29 comments
  • Katen Katen on Nov 15, 2022

    I like this approach as I need all new bathroom floors and you can experiment with colors and styles before you update to tile

  • Chris Chris on Nov 15, 2022

    dramatic and beautiful and well explained.Thanks!