How to Paint Vinyl Floors {Yes, YOU CAN DO THAT!}

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AWESOME! Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial. #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors

So you want to learn how to paint vinyl floors, huh?!  Welcome!  I am here to teach you!

Many of you have already checked out my $71.00 laundry room DIY renovation.  One of my favorite parts of my laundry room renovation is the painted linoleum vinyl floor.  UPDATE: It was recently pointed out to me on Pinterest {rather rudely} that linoleum is different than vinyl.  I googled it and in fact, that is true.  But, Google also informed me that even flooring stores use the terms interchangeably.  In any event, technically, my floors are VINYL.   My painted VINYL floors are are gorgeous and are holding up beautifully.
AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors
AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors
Now, let’s review what the floor looked like BEFORE I painted it.  Ummm…yuck.
AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors
It was such a tragic brick pattern and was linoleum vinyl.  Not my cup of tea.  But, I did not want to spend much money on the floor.  I had seen the laundry room makeover by Kelly at A View Along the Way and fell in love with it.  She had painted her linoleum vinyl floors and they turned out beautifully, so I gave it a shot.   This post contains some affiliate links.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

How to paint vinyl floors:

1) Select the pattern and colors to use- I opted for a striped pattern, much like Kelly used.  Instead of going with deep black and stark white, I wanted a softer look, so I used an antique white and charcoal grey.  I purchased 1 quart of each color in Valspar at Lowe’s.  Be SURE to purchase porch floor paint, like Valspar 1534 Porch and Floor Latex Satin Enamel, 1-Gallon, Dark Gray.  It is durable and is intended for foot traffic.

2) Clear and clean the floor area- I was lucky that our laundry room was large enough to scoot the washer and dryer in and out of position to paint the floor underneath it.  But, if you are not so lucky, you will have to move those bad boys somewhere else for a few days.  After you clear the floor, you need to clean the floor.  Make sure it is clear of dust and dirt.  Some people recommend using TSP (a heavy duty cleaner), but I did not have any on hand, so I used my normal floor cleaner (I use Mrs. Meyer’s).

3) Prime the floor- I used regular old KILZ General Purpose Interior Primer to prime the entire floor.  I poured the primer directly on the floor and used a small paint roller to spread it.  I only used one coat of primer and that worked just fine.  I did it around 9pm one night and let it dry overnight.

AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors

4) Paint the floor– This steps has several “sub-steps”:

  • After letting the primer dry overnight, I painted the entire floor with the antique white color, which I considered my “base” color, twice.  That’s right, two coats.  Fortunately, this paint dries pretty quickly, but I did use a large box fan to speed the process along.  I was able to get these two coats done in one day.  Then, I let the base color dry overnight.  I am not going to lie, this was kind of a messy project.  Be prepared to scrub your feet :)

AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors

  • The following night, I taped off my stripes using regular blue painter’s tape.  I used the existing brick pattern to determine the width of my stripes, which eliminated the need to measure first.  Note that my floor had some definite texture to it, so I knew bleeding would happen, but I just rolled with it.  I knew it would be an easy fix later.  However, if you absolutely want to avoid bleeding, follow this step: After taping your floors, add one more coat of your base color over the entire floor–paint OVER the tape.  That will seal the crisp lines and prevent any bleeding.  Trust me, it works on textured surfaces.

AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors

  • Next, I painted the stripes with my secondary color–dark grey.  I also painted two coats with the charcoal grey color.  I let the first coat dry overnight {mostly because it was late} and completed the second coat the next night.

AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors

  • Once your stripes are dry, remove the tape.  If you have some bleeding, do not panic.  Just grab an angled paint brush and use it to “cut in” along the stripes to make them nice and crisp.  It sounds tedious, but this step took me less than 15 minutes.

That’s it!  It sounds like a lot of steps {and it is}, but each step takes no more than 10 to 20 minutes.  I found painting my floor moved FAR more quickly than painting walls.  I think all of the steps combined took me less than 2 hours {excluding drying time}.  In other words, it was easy to knock out in the evenings after work without being too exhausted the next day.

The end result is G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S!  MOST WORTHWHILE 2 HOURS OF MY DIY LIFE!  I absolutely love, love, love this floor.  It has been painted for about 2 months already and it is holding up perfectly.  We have not “babied” it at all.  We are as rough on it as we have ever been–laundry baskets get scooted across it, etc. and there is no damage or scratching whatsoever.

What do you think?  Are you tempted to paint vinyl floors now?!  Have you already painted a vinyl floor?  If you do tackle this project {or have already}, send me photos of the results to tasha{at}designer trapped{dot}com–I would love to see!  And if you enjoyed this post, you may also love to see how I painted and stenciled our kitchen floors with awesome results!

If you want to save this tutorial for later, be sure to pin it!


AWESOME! Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial. #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors

AWESOME!  Learn how to paint vinyl floors with this full tutorial.  #paintvinylfloors #paintedfloors


  1. says

    The indestructible tiles are generally referred to as VA tiles (in OH) or VCT which I believe is “Varible Composite Tile” we called them VA because they met the building standards (minimum) for VA Loans. Often used in schools and institutional applications as well – needing waxed and buffed. fyi” part of the variable was “asbestos”

  2. Rebecca says

    just wondering what the dry time is (do you need to wait overnight?) I’m trying to get this project done before I leave for Chicago in a day! And, is there a reason you did two coats of the white before painting the stripes? Is that completely necessary even if you are using white on white (same color as primer)?

  3. Ketutar Jensen says


    I’m curious to know how the painting has lasted? It’s now about 1 1/2 years later. Has there been any disturbing wear or peeling or anything such or is it as nice as it was as you painted it, just with some normally acceptable marks of usage?

    I want to paint our “puke” colored floors, too, and would appreciate a ton to know :-)

    • says

      Hi Ketutar! The paint is holding up PERFECTLY to normal wear and tear. We did have to have our hot water heater in the laundry room replaced and removing the old one scraped some of the paint off, but it weighed about 100 pounds and we had to scoot it, so that is understandable. Nothing a little touch up can’t fix :) But the rest of the floor looks like I just painted it yesterday. AMAZING!

  4. Julie H. says

    The floor looks wonderful! You’ve certainly inspired me to try this. We are looking at purchasing a log cabin second home that needs some love. We will be on a very tight budget. The bathroom flooring is horrible. Do you have any suggestions how to make the floors look like stone, brick, or slate? After researching Pinterest, I think that would be the best look for a cabin bathroom. Thank you in advance for your help!!

    • says

      Hmmm, I’m not sure, Julie, but I bet you could play around with porch and floor paint and think painter’s tape to mimic the look of grout and tile :) Good luck!

    • says

      Hi Amy! If you use latex paint, YES, the paint will pull up. But if you use the porch and floor paint that I used, it shouldn’t be a problem at all. Hope that helps!

  5. shellie says

    Looks amazing! We have the ugliest puke brown tile in our entry way… I am wondering, do you think I could do this to tile??

  6. Lynn says

    Love how this turned out! I’m definitely going to try this myself. Also, I absolutely LOVE the green paint in the laundry room and the blue in the hallway. Can you tell me the brand and color names?

    • says

      Hi Lynn! Thank you :) The green in the laundry room is Soothing Aloe by Valspar and the hallway is Babbling Brook by Olympic. Both brands are sold at Lowe’s!

  7. SpringLily says

    Can I ask what color you used for the yellow on your walls? I love how light it is! Great job on your floor too!!! :)

  8. Reagan says

    Linoleum is quite rare nowadays, since people found in its heyday that it didn’t hold up well over time and is sensitive to chemicals. I’m an interior designer and I’ve spec’d it once, for a project that wanted to get a “green” tax benefit from a LEED rating (linoleum is made from linseed oil). Chances are your readers had vinyl anyway and this tutorial would have worked fine :) Thanks for the inspiration! Looks like it turned out great.

    • Margi says

      My husband and I purchased an older home (built in the 70’s) and have done nothing with the kitchen floor. Never liked it mainly because it is a light color and is super hard to keep clean. Love the painting idea but am curious if you think we have linoleum or vinyl and if it makes a difference in painting.

      • Julia says

        Just wanted to check – it looks like you didn’t sand? And it’s held up ok?
        (My husband and I are currently debating whether to get some kind of power sander to do our floor.)

          • jill says

            I cannot believe that I have the EXACT same vinyl flooring!!! I redid my kitchen and replaced it with porcelain slate tiles, but the bathrooms have that vinyl too, and I always hated it. So good to see someone who had success with painting MY vinyl and can’t wait to do the bathrooms as we are selling the home soon, and want to cover them. Cheaply!!!! And so easy, don’t mind getting dirty, the daughter of a painting contractor, used to it lol!!! Thank you so much for the push to get ‘er done, will send you some b4 and after pics to use on your blog too. Thanks again! Jill

          • Christy L says

            Tasha- Thank you so much for sharing your DIY project! Your floor looks FANTASTIC and I am now seriously considering this makeover project in the KITCHEN of a rental house I own! My question for you is about cleaning the floor / maintenance: Since the floor I plan to paint is a kitchen, where it is more likely to experience food spills/splatters do you think the finish will hold up to more frequent cleaning? What specific product(s) and/or methods do you use to clean your floor? Are there any specific cleaning products/methods that can NOT be used? (ie: Steam Mopping etc…)
            Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me!

          • says

            Hi Christy! Thank you for your sweet comment! We used this same porch and floor paint on our kitchen floors and they are holding up beautiful with FREQUENTLY cleaning, and our 90 pound Boxer running around on them, AND our twin girls who aren’t exactly gentle on floors. We wet mop the floor and use Swiffer Wet Jet in between moppings. I would be nervous to use a steam mop, but it may work just fine. I hope that helps!


  1. […] Then at the end of 2012, we purchased our current home, which was built in 1986.  The only wood floors in our home were badly damaged bamboo floors, that we did not like the color or the grain of….AT ALL.  The rest of the floors were either tile, vinyl, or carpet.  Sigh.  (Be sure to check out how we painted the bamboo floors in our kitchen and dining room, and how we painted the vinyl floor in our laundry room). […]

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