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How to Paint Linoleum Floors

By Jim Dugan
Professional Contractor & DIY Expert

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  • Ordinarily, I wouldn't recommend painting linoleum floors, because poor adhesion typically leads to peeling. If you are dead set on performing this type of do-it-yourself project, there are ways you can encourage adhesion to provide you with the best chance at success.

    Before you do anything else . . .

    Clean the floor with a tri-sodium phosphate cleanser. Scrub well, especially if you are working in the kitchen or bathroom, or adhesion will prove difficult. If the linoleum is sealed with wax, you'll need to use a stripping agent to remove this sealer. Once the flooring is clean and dry, scour it with sandpaper until the floor feels rough to your fingertips.

    Before you apply a painted finish . . .

    After the flooring is clean and sanded, you must apply a bonding primer base. Choose an acrylic primer specifically engineered for surfaces that sit underfoot. Use a roller to apply both primer and paint. Be sure to work in reverse, moving toward the room's exit point.

    Choosing linoleum floor paint

    Once you've prepared your floors, you should add either an acrylic floor paint or epoxy coating. Don't paint linoleum floors with ordinary latex paint, or fading, chipping and staining will follow. Some people recommend adding a clear polyurethane sealer; however, if you choose a durable, glossy paint or epoxy, this isnít necessary, and you'll probably have trouble getting the sealer to stick anyway.