Disguise dated vinyl flooring with these tricks from the pros.

By Brian Santos and Hannah Bruneman
Updated June 29, 2020
Adam Albright

Ordinarily, painting vinyl or linoleum flooring isn't recommended. The surfaces don't accept paint well and are likely to be dirty, stained, or waxed, which further inhibits paint bonding. And painting floors won't hide holes or dents. If at all possible, tear up old flooring and replace it. But if you absolutely have to have a quick flooring fix for a single event, for instance, and aren't worried about long-term durability, you can dramatically change a room's look by painting vinyl. Learn how you can get the best results with our step-by-step instructions for painting vinyl flooring.

  • Working time 5 hrs
  • Start to finish 2 days
  • Difficulty Kind of hard
  • Involves Sanding, Painting
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What you need

Tools
Materials
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How to do it

Step 1

Prep Floor

Before painting vinyl that's in sound condition, test the paint on an inconspicuous spot to make sure it will look okay when complete. Let the paint dry completely to get the best idea of what it will look like. 

If you're happy with the color, sand the vinyl with 220-grit sandpaper to dull the shine. To avoid sanding on your hands and knees, consider using a sanding pole. This tool looks and is easy to use like a floor duster, but has sandpaper on the end of the pole. Apply a good amount of pressure to buff your floors until smooth. 

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Step 2

Apply Deglosser

Once the floor is sanded, wipe clean. Use a paint roller with an extra-long adjustable handle to apply a liquid deglosser to the floor's surface. This layer will improve bonding with the paint. As you paint the flooring, begin at a corner or wall opposite the entrance to the room and work your way back. This will make sure you don't paint your way into a corner with no way out. Let dry.

Step 3

Prime and Paint Vinyl Floor

Before painting vinyl flooring, prep the room. If you're planning to paint the trim of the room, line the walls with painters tape

First, prime vinyl flooring with one layer of primer. Use the extended roller brush that you used to apply the deglosser, as well as the same technique. Once the primer is dry, brush on one or two coats of your paint. You might find it easier to use a hand brush for painting the edges of the room for better control. Allow time in-between coats to dry. Carefully remove painters tape from the trim. 

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