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Home » Can You Paint Vinyl Floors? All Questions Answered

Can You Paint Vinyl Floors? All Questions Answered

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Sometimes you don’t have the time or the money for a complete redo, but you need a change. You simply can’t look at that horrible vinyl floor one more time!

What can you do to change the look of your vinyl floor, whether it’s outdated, worn, or just plain ugly, without ripping out the entire floor?

Can You Paint Vinyl Floors

The short answer is: paint it!  You can paint vinyl floors to achieve the new look you always wanted. 

Can you paint over vinyl flooring?  

Vinyl is a common type of flooring that is widely used in bathroom floor, kitchens, and laundry rooms.  Some advantages of vinyl flooring are that it is budget-friendly and easy to clean. However, over time, they can look dated and worn. 

How can you give vinyl flooring a fresh and modern look without ripping the old floor out and replacing it? DIY and give it a fresh coat ofpaint!  

You can paint over your vinyl floors and this is a great solution for several reasons:

  • The biggest benefit is that it saves you the trouble of having to pull up your existing floors, which can be a time-consuming and frustrating ordeal. 
  • It’s a versatile solution—not only is it relatively easy and fairly quick, but you can repaint your vinyl floor whenever you want to change the look of your room!
  • It’s less expensive than new flooring. 

What kind of paint do you use on a vinyl floor?

It’s vital that you choose the proper paint for the job, as with any project, but particularly here.

The best paint to use over your existing vinyl floor is a porch and floor paint.  It is designed for people to walk on, so it’s going to adhere to your vinyl floor and be durable, which is very important, especially in a high traffic area.  

A good floor and porch paint is highly durable, easy to clean, and resistant to scuffing, fading, cracking, and peeling in various conditions. KILZ makes a one that fills these needs and is also easy to apply and covers well.

Again purchasing paint that is specifically meant for floors is imperative as regular latex enamel might look great at first, but it’s not going to stand up to the wear and tear of people walking across it. You’ll end up having to repaint your floor much sooner than you’d like.  

Tip:   Porch and floor paint doesn’t require a top coat! That will save you a step, and, therefore, time. You can absolutely apply a top coat, though, if you want. It may be beneficial to include the extra step of a top coat in high-traffic areas, such as the kitchen.

How to Paint Over Vinyl Floors?

The steps you take for your vinyl floors repainting project will depend on the condition and texture of your current floors. 

If your floor has some texture and is in good condition with no stains or tears, sanding may be unnecessary. A glossy finish, however, will need sanding and a deglosser. Small imperfections will need to be addressed before sanding.  Fill in cracks or holes with wood filler, smooth, and let dry before sanding.

The basic steps to obtaining a professional, long-wearing finish are: 

  1. Preparing the surface with sandpaper and a liquid deglosser (if needed). 
  2. Applying two coats of primer. 
  3. Painting floors with one or two (preferable) coats of paint. 

Let’s get started!

Supplies needed:

  • Floor cleaning solution 
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Liquid deglosser
  • Primer
  • Porch and Floor paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Roller brush with an extension pole
  • Mixing stick
  • Cloth
  • Paint rollers
  • Paint trays

Step 1:  Clean your floors! 

Cleaning vinyl floors is so important for a couple of reasons.

  • The paint will adhere better to a floor that is not dirty or greasy.
  • You don’t want any little pieces of debris on the floor that will get stuck in the paint.

Vacuum first and then use a degreasing cleaner such as TSP to thoroughly deep clean prior to painting.

Step 2:  Sand your floors

Use 220 grit sandpaper, and, especially for larger areas (to save time and your back), use an orbital sander. Vacuum after sanding and wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any excess dust.

Step 3:  Apply a deglosser

This step is needed if your floor has a glossy finish. Using a deglosser removes the vinyl floor’s gloss and allows the paint to more readily adhere to the surface.

Even if you don’t have a glossy finish, you can perform this step for extra assurance your paint will stick to the vinyl flooring. It’s up to you.

NOTE: If you decide to use a deglosser, make sure you have adequate ventilation during this step. Allow floor to dry.

Step 4:  Taping Baseboads

Use painter’s tape to tape off the baseboards in your room.

Step 5:  Apply two coats of primer

Use a small brush to cut in primer along the baseboards, and then use your roller with the extension pole to apply the primer to the rest of the floor in a thin coat.

Allow time for drying (consult the instructions on your primer can) and then apply the second coat and allow it to dry. 

Tip: Before you start painting the vinyl floor with a roller, remove the lint from the roller!!  If you don’t you will end up with tiny pieces of lint that will dry in the paint, causing little bumps all over your beautiful new floor. Use a vacuum attachment and/or painter’s tape to remove any excess fuzz.

Step 6: Painting vinyl flooring

After the primer is dry, repeat cutting in along the baseboards with a brush and then paint the floor with your porch and floor paint. (Remember the tip to de-fuzz your roller!) 

Allow to dry, and then paint a second coat (I strongly recommend letting coats dry overnight). When the second coat is dry to the touch, remove the painter’s tape, but then allow the second coat to fully dry before walking on it.

Step 7: Optional

At this point, you can apply a top coat, if desired. You can also have some fun and make a design pattern on your new floor using a stencil or painter’s tape!  Get another color (or more) of paint and let yourself get creative. Once you’re happy with your design, then apply a top coat.

Problems that can happen when you paint vinyl floors

Painting over your vinyl floors is preferred for small spaces like a bathroom or laundry room, not so much for high-traffic areas such as kitchens though it can be done. Larger areas will take more prep time and a top coat should be applied in order to prolong the life of your floor paint. 

NOTE: After you paint your vinyl floors, use gentle floor cleaners and be careful of scraping appliances across the paint job in order to keep it looking fresh and new. Small scratches and chips can be easily filled in with a small brush and some leftover paint. 

While you can fix small imperfections before painting, you won’t hide big holes or dents on vinyl flooring when they are painted. Large problems like these will require you to tear up and replace your old flooring.

If you take shortcuts and do not properly prep your floors, this can lead to chipping and peeling paint, scrapes and premature wearing. Take the time to prep your vinyl floors and your new paint job will last for years.

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