How to Get a High-Gloss Finish on a Vinyl Floor

Updated February 21, 2017

When installed, vinyl flooring comes with one of two finish types. The first consists of a low-gloss matt finish that has a dull shine but tends to have extensive surface texturing to add visual impact to the material. The second, a high-gloss finish that contains a wet-looking surface, maintains its shine but appears completely smooth texturally. Because high gloss is difficult to maintain, dulling quickly with traffic and magnifying any scratches, it's not as common. If you want a high-gloss finish, it's not difficult to apply yourself. With the proper materials, the new finish mops right on, and dries to a high gloss that can last for years in low-traffic areas as long as you keep the surface clear of scratches.

Sweep and mop the floor clean using a cleanser formulated for use on vinyl floors. Remove all traces of dirt or debris from the floor. Use a scrub brush to remove stains or ingrained dirt. Allow the floor to dry completely.

Remove any existing finish from the vinyl using a chemical floor finish stripper. Spread the stripper over the floor's surface in an even, thin layer using a mop. Allow it to sit for the manufacturer recommend amount of time and then wipe the stripper up along with the old finish using a clean cloth. Rinse the floor with clean water and spray with a solution consisting of 1/2 pt. vinegar to 2 gallons water, to neutralise any stripper remaining. Rinse again and allow the floor to dry.

Pour a small amount of the gloss vinyl floor finish into a shallow pan. Dip a rayon mop into the pan and use the mop to apply the floor finish to the floor in a thin, even coat.

Wait for the finish to dry for 30 minutes, until it is no longer sticky to the touch, and apply a second coat. Wait an additional 30 minutes before applying the third and final coat. Allow the third coat to dry overnight before walking on the floor's surface.


Make sure the area is well-ventilated when using the floor stripper and finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Mop
  • Vinyl floor cleaner
  • Scrub brush
  • Vinyl floor finish stripper
  • Rags
  • Vinegar
  • High-gloss vinyl floor finish
  • Shallow pan
  • Rayon mop
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About the Author

Larry Simmons is a freelance writer and expert in the fusion of computer technology and business. He has a B.S. in economics, an M.S. in information systems, an M.S. in communications technology, as well as significant work towards an M.B.A. in finance. He's published several hundred articles with Demand Studios.