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Ok, so the product isn’t technically meant to stick to vinyl or linoleum floors, but over the weekend, I decided that I was so sick of staring at the hideous floor in my primary bathroom that I simply couldn’t take it anymore. I needed a quick fix.

How to paint linoleum floors

Since I had the paint around anyway for my plans to paint the laminate countertops in both the primary and guest bathrooms (to complete the cabinet painting project I started two weeks ago), I figured hey, why stop there?

vinyl linoleum floors

You’ve heard me talk about the products before when I painted my kitchen’s laminate countertops last month, but Rustoleum makes two completely different countertop painting “kits” – one is an actual kit which contains about sixteen different components to turn a laminate countertop into a painted laminate countertop with flecks of some kind of material on top – I am guessing, but it’s probably confetti. And the kit’s cost (roughly $250) seems to be just short of what it would cost to actually replace the countertop with butcher block from IKEA. In other words, I’d rather spend my two hundred plus bones on an actual new counter rather than just slop paint on the old one and toss confetti on top. The alternative, also made by Rustoleum, is a simple $20 can of paint that is supposed to stick to laminate and I’ve already tested it out in my kitchen. So far, it seems to be bonding pretty well, so I spent another twenty bucks on a new color to try out in the bathroom (the original gray was a little too blue, so I wanted to test out a muddier, darker color in the bathrooms in hopes it would be a more tolerable color during the months I’ll be saving up for full countertop replacement).

Let’s face it; bathrooms are places where you clean yourself, but when it comes to cleaning the room itself, it’s nothing short of total ick. But, it must be done. So, after getting down on my hands and knees and scrubbing behind a thirty-year-old toilet (one that I plan to replace ultimately during the big bathroom reno TBD), I decided it was the perfect time to test out the paint’s abilities on the floor. If the paint sticks to laminate, I figured it might have a similar bonding experience with the newly cleaned, albeit hideous vinyl/linoleum.

painted floors

When it comes to painted surfaces, you want the paint and the surface to bond like gum to hot asphalt. So, after giving the floor a good general cleaning, I did a once-over with TSP substitute (which is what I’d recommend you do before painting any surface – it degreases and deglosses to help the paint stick better, and doesn’t require pre-rinsing before applying paint).

vinyl painted floors

Next up was putting painter’s tape where I didn’t want the paint to stick, such as on the bedroom carpet transition strip and around the ol’ toilet. Even though all of it (minus the carpet) is going to be replaced later this year (I hope), I didn’t want it looking too sloppy in the interim.

painted linoleum floors
painting floors

Next, it was time to don the safety gear and prep for paint application. And while I usually don’t bother when it comes to the usual low-VOC latex (I use BEHR for just about everything), this stuff is super strong-smelling and requires both gloves and a breathing mask. I had a simple breathing mask on hand, but if I had to do it over again, I recommend something a little heavier such as a charcoal filtered mask. Seriously folks, these fumes aren’t kidding around (and of course be sure to protect yourself as much as possible when handling any kind of harmful chemicals).

how to paint floors

The paint separates rather easliy in the can, so stirring the paint prior to application is key. It only takes a few minutes to get a smooth color consistency, so taking the extra time here will save you a lot of re-application time (and the added frustration) later.

Whether you choose a foam brush or foam roller (I used both for cutting in and the larger areas), you want a smooth finish and a thick application (so you don’t have to do a second coat and wait a week to start using the bathroom again). And remember to start in the corner furthest away from the door and work your way out of the room! I have the luxury (ironic?) of having a small enough bathroom that I didn’t have to worry too much about trapping myself in, but take your time when planning your brush strokes. And get everything you need out of the room before you ever dip the brush into the can – trust me, it’s much easier to get to your toothpaste when you don’t have to do the splits at cabinet level.

painted linoleum floors

Once the last of the floor was covered, I made sure the window was open and closed the bathroom door. Since it’s right next to the primary bedroom (where we sleep of course), I wanted to make sure that the night would be warm enough to leave the windows open and let the paint properly dry without destroying our brain cells as we slept. The open windows aired out the fumes rapidly and we were able to sleep normally. We still had to shower and get ready for bed in the guest bathroom, which I didn’t realize until now how much it bothered Scott – I guess he has a thing for the extra large showerhead we have in the primary and hates the low-flow one in the guest room.

diy painted floors

In my opinion, three days of guest bathroom use is a small price to pay for a much-improved floor. While the honeycomb pattern is still visible due the texture (see above), I am contemplating adding a pattern like chevron stripes or a stencil print just for funsies.

The photos in these pics are still as the paint was wet (and as usual, at night), but I’ll take more later this week to show you the finished look and sheen. For only $20 though, this product is quickly climbing the charts as one of my faves. If only it weren’t so toxic, I’d use it for just about everything.


Months later, I reviewed the condition to see how the paint held up, and compared it to the countertop paint job too. Want to see how they both held up? Click here.

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  1. Good idea! I also have totally bogus bathroom floors. I might just try this next time we're planning a weekend away. We Just have one bathroom, so three days without it just won't do :)

  2. Sarah, this is such a great idea! I love the color, and I can't wait to see how the whole rooms turns out. So glad I came across your blog. I'm a new follower.

  3. Thanks for linking up at the Antique Texan! I really like the neutral color(not to mention the price) and I totally agree that a stencil could be super cute in such a small room.
    Have a great weekend!


  4. I didn't even know you could do that. Very cool. Thanks so much for linking up to my Swing into Spring party.

  5. What a difference! It looks great! I painted a floor once, I think. Waaay before Rustoleum got into specialty products. I swore I'd never do it again. But that was before I moved into this new/old house. (built in 1930's) We could swap stories, I think. But it is a lot of material to blog about! Thanks for sharing. I'll add it to my ginormous To Do list!

  6. What a great idea- and it makes such a difference in the look of your room already! Well done! Thanks for sharing at FNF! :)

  7. Very nice! I never thought to paint linoleum! Adding a pattern would be very “funsies.” That word made my day. ;)

  8. WOW! That is pretty inpresssive.
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!

  9. This is the second risk related post that took on his Rustoleum product and I'm super intrigued now. I've seen it used on counters but not the floor – so clever! You'll have to let us know how it holds up. P.S. I think this looks fabulous with or without and added pattern.

  10. hi. this is my first visit to your blog. i'm very curious how the floor is bearing up? i will copy your example *with gratitude* if you still like your floor! ( i am not planning on a reno, so it will have to hold up well to daily use)jkj

  11. this is awesome! i have very ugly linoleum floors throughout my house (pretty sure they are original to the home to.. circa 1970 ick!) and i would have never thought to try this! and the color is perfect! :) thanks for sharing!

  12. This came out great!!

    We replaced out laminate counter top last year for $50 – got the laminate form a surplus store. It's not perfect, but it's a great quick fix until I can redo the entire kitchen. I can't quite imagine paying $250 for the kit of paint and confetti either!

  13. So I'm dying to know how it's holding up? I would never have thought to just paint over it. How long did you let it dry too? Thanks:) Love your blog and ideas

    1. I was wondering how it was holding up, too. I just moved in to an ANCIENT house (rental) and I have to do something about the hideous linoleum and this seems to be my only option.

      1. Sure, the link for how they held up is included in the post (look toward the bottom where it says “Months later, I reviewed the condition…” and it will take you directly to the review post.

      2. I went ahead and updated the post so that the link is a little bit easier to distinguish (the Update section). I’ve also included the link here. Good luck on your “ancient” house! :)

  14. I love the way you painted and designed your comfort room. I'm planning to copy this steps. Thanks!

  15. I am very curious on how the floor is holding up also. I desperately want to do on my kitchen floor. Please update us.

  16. So clever and creative and love that budget! It looks amazing. I'd swear it was slate! Great job! Thanks so much for sharing.

  17. has anyone else tried this? I would like to try it on my kitchen floor. My husband is very hesitant because a painter friend told him “It's a BAD idea”. I can't do the project by myself…….looking for support.

  18. @dstormy11Well, I did it as an experiment to see what would happen. I wasn't planning on it being a permanent solution to my floors, but so far, it's held up great. Maybe he's hesitant because of the cure time (3 days)? It reeks, so not only should you use a heavy duty mask (the kind that filters fumes), but I would recommend being out of the house during that 3 day cure time as well. But it stuck wonderfully to the linoleum, and a solid color looks a heck of a lot better than the original pattern. Why does the painter friend say it's a bad idea?

  19. sorry but which paint product did you use and where to buy it from? I live in london, england. Thanks.

  20. @creation26 There is a picture of the product at the top of the post. Rustoleum makes it, so I would use their site to see if they sell in a store near you. Or you could possibly order it online :)

  21. unfortunately the VOC’s in the flooring stay with it for years and you are breathing it. I use to work at a green building supply store and we also did a lot of training. To stay away from harmful things I used paint on linolem and laminate – I have done this on floors and countertops and they have held up for years. If the floor is really worn it will take the paint without flaking, if not old and worn lightly sand it. I used American Pride/Mystic primer – works great for anything and then however you want it to look after that – (always no VOC paint) – sponge painting with natural colors works real well for a stone look. Then I used Acrisoy from Eco Safety Products or the ones from Safecoat – both work great and are easy to use. Never a problem since and no dangerous fumes or chemicals.

  22. Was wondering if you applied an epoxy or some type of sealant after painting? Im wanting to do my countertops and have read both good and bad about it.

    1. The paint itself is an epoxy-like paint. I didn’t seal it since it was a temporary experiment and I wanted to see how the paint by itself held up (the flooring has since been ripped out entirely and will be replaced with tile). Most people who have followed up and painted their countertops after I experimented with mine mentioned adding a sealant afterward.

  23. When you applied the paint to the bathroom floor, how long did it take for the smell to go away?

    1. It said on the package that it needed to cure for three days, so that’s how long I left the windows open. That seemed to do the trick (there was a small lingering smell for a week or two after that, but the cure time took care of most of the smell).

  24. Maybe this will be my go to instead of tiling our laundry room. I’m very new to the home improvement scene and intimidated by tiling.