I hated my floor in the side room (a.k.a. family/computer/wood stove room), and it seems that ripping it out of my life for good is another winter away. So, what’s a girl to do? Paint that linoleum, of course! That’s what this girl did, anyway!
Clear the area.
This started Saturday morning. Yes, I had a party planned for the following Saturday. That’s just the motivation I needed to stick it out and get it done. It wasn’t a problem until Friday when I was just then putting everything back in that had been stored between the living room and kitchen. I got it done…but looking back I should’ve given myself at least a week and a half for this project.
Clean the floor really really well. I bought a cleaner called TSP-PF. PF stands for phospate free. I don’t know if it made much of a difference but I would try the REGULAR TSP next time, because I wasn’t impressed. Maybe the floor was just brutally dirty. I don’t give this room a lot of attention so that’s surely a possibility. But I used it to try to clean the siding on my house and ended up using Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner with much better results. Anyway, clean your floor.
Remove the shiny layer that seals your linoleum. I’ve read different ways from sanding to acid…what worked for me was liquid sander. Follow the directions on the bottle, but for mine I just rubbed it on in a circular motion, then let it dry (10-15 minutes was all I gave it). By the time I was finishing my room all the dirt that the cleaner didn’t get was being swirled by my rag…I just painted over it…I didn’t notice the primer look dirty or anything, so I guess it was good enough!
Prime the floor:
I used leftover primer from my kitchen walls. It was just latex KILZ, nothing fancy. It took about half a gallon for my 13 ft. x 14 ft. room.
Cue the kids: When I started painting I gave a big announcement and until this point nobody had tried to enter the room. Well…I got almost all the way through the first coat before my youngest son came running full blast, all kinds of upset about something. Who knows what, though, cause when he hit that wet paint he went down!!
My husband picked him up out of the floor and set him on the hardwood in the hallway, all the while hollering at me for not gating the doorway. I found my way around, grabbed my son and put him in the bathtub, cleaned him up as fast as I could (head to toe white paint), set him on the couch in his towel and started trying to clean the paint up from the hardwood (it had only dried in a few tiny spots) before returning to repaint the messed up part and finish the last of the room. I got the last of the first coat on then just as I put down my paint roller…bear in mind it’s been all of five minutes and I’m in the kitchen now…no reason for anyone to go through the side room…here my youngest came AGAIN through the other door and slipped in the same spot!!! Apparently he was upset this time because he wasn’t dressed. Back to the bathtub… repainted the same section for the third time…then stuck a baby swing in front of the doorway so that maybe we could move on. (Side note: is it clear enough that my husband wanted no part of this? He didn’t care what I did….)
I painted the second coat as soon as the first was dry, then waited a full 24 hours to start the real paint.
Paint your floor. Paint just like you would a wall. Tape the baseboard or edge like you do. (My linoleum is about 1/2 inch from the wall, so I opted out.) Allow a full 24 hours for the first coat to dry before applying your second coat. Then wait a full 24 hours again, (I waited closer to 30 because it was just a touch tacky still) and make sure that it is dry dry dry before moving on. I used regular latex wall paint from Wal-Mart. It was actually a grab and go color because I had picked out a grey that I loved, and they were out of a pigment and couldn’t mix it until the next day. Then the next day I waited 20 minutes for someone to do it and finally just grabbed this ‘Walnut Bark’. Glad I did.
This is the point I text my mother a pic and said, “Have you ever done something and thought…Oh. Sh*t)
She immediately called me and said, “What did you mean by that?”
I replied, “Oh sh*t. It looks like sh*t. Literally like….sh*t! !”
We had a good laugh but my heart didn’t stop thumping until after the second coat. Then it looked much more intentional! Of course I didn’t take another picture but it was a flat color and looked great but I can’t say that I was convinced yet !
Okay, so yours won’t come with leaves and a paper plate… I forgot to take a picture and it’s been on the back deck for a week…oops.
But, you do have some choices here. You can use oil-based or water-based. You will need six to eight coats of the traditional varieties of either. Oil-based may show a yellow tint over your color (my color is incredibly dark and doesn’t make a difference) and will dry harder. Water-based can be purchased crystal clear, but is more expensive. Most of the water-based I saw were fixed with oil…and the one that wasn’t would have cost me over fifty dollars for my space. My choice was this high pile variety that only took two coats. The drying time was longer (4-6 hours versus closer to two hours between coats for traditional. This gallon cost $35 at Lowe’s and I used all but a cup maybe. The biggest drawback was that it stunk really bad for a day or two, but I assume any oil-based would have.
Apply with a foam roller and/or foam brush. At first I was rolling it on then using a foam brush to smooth out the tiny bubbles, but realized it dried the same just rolling it. Work quickly because it starts to set quickly!! The first coat was dry to tacky at the end of six hours. It was closer to nine hours before I was comfortable applying the second. I did that at 11:00 Wednesday night. At bed Thursday night it was dry, but you really do need to wait a full 24-48 hours before moving things back in your room. That was hard. We went party shopping Friday morning and by Friday afternoon it was ready!! We moved the room back in (just in time cause I still needed to clean the house for the party! We had paths between everything and my aunt joked that being it was a harvest party we could tell everyone the house was a “corny” maze rather than a corn maze…haha.) I noticed a few small spots sort of smooze when my kids pulled a chair, so we left it at anything we could pick up and move. That left the deep freeze on the back deck where it still is. I would do anything to never have to bring it back in, but I’m going to have to before it rains!!
I know where there’s a two-inch spot where I apparently missed both coats. I used my nail to scrape at it and the paint didn’t chip, so I’m not worrying about it. If this floor was going to stay I would go back with some poly, but it’s not so I’m done. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be happier about this project. It’s one of those, “Why didn’t I do this 10 years ago,” sort of things. But…footprints show up on the poly. And if you wipe it you have to dry it or you can see water spots. I’m thinking a lighter color wouldn’t show so bad, but I have no proof of that. Also, I think a satin finish poly instead of gloss would alleviate the foot prints. All I know is that I love my kids little feet. I don’t love dirty looking floors that won’t come clean riddled with ten thousand different colors of paint splotches. That was mostly my own fault. I always hated how dirty this floor looked even right after a mop, and there was already paint on the floor, so I just used it as our floor we didn’t care about room and did all sorts of painting in there. That’s not the case now. It is such an improvement and once we got the furniture in I couldn’t believe the difference! All in all it cost me $65 + $15 for the small tan rug. A large rug would’ve cost much more and not covered it all. And the things I notice are because I’m really looking at it…ALL the time! I love it so much!
There’s still a few things (like a new ceiling fan) that I want to do in this room, but I’m done for a minute! My son asked me if all the stuff in there was the same or if I bought new furniture….It’s amazing what a difference a floor can make!