Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Can I paint an old linoleum floor? Yes. Yes, you can.

The only room in our entire house that is exactly as it was when we moved in, other than the basement/laundry room (which I am beginning work on this week), is the powder room on the main floor. I rather like the kitschy red voile wallpaper, contained in this space anyhow (this wallpaper, in blue, also covered every square inch of our rather large bedroom, which was really UNrelaxing).

The floor, however, was another story.

We have removed almost all of the other carpet/linoleum offenders and refinished the original oak floors (I really do not understand why one would cover beautiful red oak floors in excellent condition with LINOLEUM). But the floor in the powder room remains. And it is awful.

The former owners were very thorough. They even wallpapered doors and cabinets to provide just the right accent.

I imagine at some point that the stripes in this floor were probably white. Which is just soooo gross.
So, I had the bright idea to paint the floor. I originally considered deck paint, especially after researching the process online (this site in particular provides a really good overview of how to go about painting linoleum in a laundry room, which I am going to try a version of in our laundry room at some point this year). But then I found a can of black enamel paint laying around and I thought, if this doesn't work, it will be the perfect excuse to rip that damned floor out.

I followed the other steps of sanding, cleaning, etc. in the post above.

Hurrah for palm sanders. And tiny sanding jobs.
But when it came time to prime/paint, I just painted the floor with the enamel paint. And waited to see just what would happen. And waited. And waited. Enamel paint takes fooooooreeeeeeveeeer to dry. And climbing the stairs every time your three-year-old has to go to the bathroom is not fun.

What happened? Well, let's just say I was very happy with the results.

Forgive me, the towel isn't straight. BUT, the floor looks so fresh and so clean post-painting.

I had to share my little $4 Dollar General rug that I think is super-cute too.
This floor isn't in a high-traffic area, but the paint has now been down over a month and there is not a chip or scratch to be seen. My final two cents: If it's a linoleum floor that has you at your wits end, is super-ugly, and will at some point be ripped out anyway, experiment and paint the hell out of that thing. What is there to lose? And enamel? It works just great. A/J
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