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Painting Linoleum Flooring

Updated February 21, 2017

Don't despair if your linoleum flooring has become dull, dingy and unsightly. If tearing it up and installing new flooring isn't in your present budget, you can paint over the linoleum. It's quick, easy and inexpensive.

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  1. Thoroughly wash and dry your linoleum floor with an ammonia-based cleaner. Traces of oils or sticky residue won't allow the paint to adhere properly and will result in an uneven finish.

  2. Rough up the floor's linoleum surface with steel wool or rough sandpaper. Do this in an even motion. The marks made by this process may show through the paint onto the surface, and it looks best when the marks appear to have been made in a like manner. Sweep or vacuum thoroughly after completing this step.

  3. Using a medium-sized paintbrush, paint around the floor's perimeter using a neutral-coloured primer for floors. Once the perimeter is defined with primer, roll primer onto the remainder of the floor. Allow this coat to dry for about an hour before applying a second coat. Once the second coat has dried, let the paint dry for several hours before applying the chosen paint colour.

  4. Repeat the process around the perimeter of the floor, applying the top coat colour of floor paint. Floor paint is designed for use on floors and can withstand the traffic. Once the first coat is applied, paint the second coat of floor paint.

  5. Caulk around the edges of the floor once all of the paint has thoroughly dried. Some people opt for a clear acrylic top coat to seal the painted finish. This isn't always necessary, since most floor paint is designed to withstand quite a bit of wear and tear.

  6. Tip

    When purchasing your floor paint, tell the paint store clerk what kind of flooring you are painting.


    Paint in a well-ventilated area. Open windows or use fans for ventilation and to speed drying time.

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Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper
  • Caulking
  • Paint
  • Roller
  • Paintbrushes

About the Author

Kimberly Ripley

Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, N.H. She has authored five books and hundreds of articles and short stories. Her work has appeared various publications, including "Parenting," "Writer’s Digest," "Vacations" and "Discovery Travel." She studied at the University of Maine and later pursued her writing studies through numerous classes and workshops.

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