DIY: Painting Vinyl Flooring

One of the first DIY projects I wanted to tackle when I moved into my new apartment was to paint the awful vinyl flooring in the back half of the apartment.  The flooring was “faux stone” and it was dirty from many years of wear and tear.  My landlord offered to replace it before I moved in, but one look at the new vinyl “faux stone” flooring made me want to work with the existing flooring.

I knew if the flooring was replaced (no matter how awful) I would have to live with it.  The old flooring I could neutralize and seal out the dirt with a little elbow grease and paint.

I have read mixed reviews online about painting vinyl, but I was willing to try it.  It worked well for me, I love it!

Unfortunately, I was in a hurry to finish this project.  My furniture was arriving soon and I wanted to allow it to cure before the furniture arrived.  I do not have photos of the process, but here are a couple of


The vinyl stretches from the office, through the kitchen and into the bathroom at the back of the apartment.


1. Sand

Vinyl floors are glossy.  Before you start painting de-gloss your floors by roughing them with a 220 grit sandpaper.   Roughing up your floors will allow your paint to adhere better to the vinyl.

2. Degloss

Many sites on the web recommend deglossing your floors after sanding.  Deglossing will remove the gloss where sandpaper does not.  I did not take the time to degloss my floors (remember I was in a hurry).

3.  Clean

Thoroughly clean your floors before you start priming.  I vacuumed, broom swept and mopped the floors to ensure they were clean.

4.  Prime

I started by trimming the edges of my floor with a trimmer and a thick coat of primer.   A thick coat will help level out your floor, smoothing the texture/pattern of the vinyl, making it less noticeable.  Once the edges were trimmed I rolled the floor with primer.  Allow the primer to thoroughly dry.  I waited 24 hours after the floors were primed to apply the finished coat.

5. Paint

*Important- use a floor paint for a more durable surface. 

Once your primed floor has dried, it is time to paint the finish coat.  I used a floor paint from Home Depot and had it tinted to Sherwin Williams, SW7068 Grizzle Gray.

Once again, I started by trimming the edges of the office, kitchen and bathroom with a thick coat of my paint.  After the edges were trimmed in, I applied the remaining paint with a roller.  Slowly working my way through each room.  My paint covered the floor well, I only applied one coat.  After the furniture was moved in, I went through the rooms and touched up.


Painting them really made all of the difference!  I have not really had a problem with the paint scratching off after touch up.  They did get pretty scratched when the movers were moving in my furniture, but that is to be expected.

If you’re looking for an easy, inexpensive fix for your ugly worn out floors, I recommend painting.  It adds new life!



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  1. says

    This is incredibly timely, Elizabeth! I’m moving my antique booth into a new space next week, and was thinking about painting the floor (old linoleum tiles). I’m sold! Thanks for sharing!
    xo Heidi

  2. says

    It’s night and day the difference! Looks soooo much better – as I always say, never under estimate the power of paint!! You did a fantastic job on this one, Elizabeth! M.

  3. says

    I love what a go-getter you are, Elizabeth. You take something most people would see as a huge hurdle and you turn it into something wonderful. Great work!

  4. says

    Thanks for the tutorial. I’ve been considering painting my bathroom floor tiles, so this will be helpful. Love the way your floors turned out!

  5. says

    I love that you did that! What landlord WOULDn’t say YES to letting you play with it–it just defers his having to replace it until later! Win-win!
    Great job! Hey Elizabeth–you should play a little more with it, and paint a “rug” while you’re at it! Think of the fun designs you could consider!

  6. says

    Wanting to change the theme or appeal of one’s home can be challenging. Others focus on replacing existing fixtures such as furniture while others repaint the walls and floor. This post provides a fresh perspective for those who want to have their floors painted.

  7. says

    I have never seen this done before with vinyl flooring. What a great fix – the before and afters are incredible. (I also noted that you painted over the wallpaper/vertical stripes in the kitchen).