How to Paint Linoleum

What You'll Need
Sanding sponge
Paint roller
Vacuum cleaner
Broom and dustpan
Marine or water-based paint
Bonding primer
Breathing mask
Safety goggles
Commercial linoleum cleaner

If you're looking for a great way to spruce up the linoleum flooring in your kitchen, bathroom, or any other area of your home, you may be curious about how to paint linoleum. If so, you'll be pleased to learn that applying a fresh coat of paint to a linoleum surface can be a relatively simply undertaking.

Step 1 - Clean Your Linoleum Surface

Before proceeding to paint linoleum, you will need to give the surface with which you're working a thorough cleaning. Begin the process by purging the surface of dust with the aid of a vacuum cleaner and/or a broom and dustpan. When using a vacuum cleaner in conjunction with linoleum, make sure to run the device at a relatively low setting. For crevices and difficult-to-reach areas, you may need to use a feather duster.

Once you've completely rid your linoleum surface of dust, vigorously spray the floor with a commercial linoleum cleaner, then allow the cleaner to set in for the amount of time specified on the product's packaging. After giving the cleaner ample time to sit, proceed to scrub the surface with a sponge or washcloth, taking care to pay special attention to any exceptionally filthy areas and stubborn stains. Upon successfully cleaning the surface, use a spray bottle filled with warm water to rinse off any remaining traces of your cleaner, then use a dry cloth or absorbent paper towels to fully dry the surface.

Step 2 - Sand Your Linoleum Surface

Now that your linoleum surface has been thoroughly cleaned, you'll need to sand it in preparation for your bonding primer. Begin this step by using a sanding sponge to vigorously sand the surface in broad back-and-forth motions. If this strikes you as too time consuming and tedious, this step can also be carried out with the aid of a palm sander. Even if you don't own a palm sander, you can rent one at virtually any home improvement specialty shop if you're interested in saving yourself some time. Once you've sanded the entire surface, use a vacuum cleaner and/or a broom and dustpan to pick up any debris, then wipe the surface down with a damp sponge, washcloth or paper towel.

Step 3 - Apply Your Bonding Primer

Having sanded down the surface, you're almost ready to paint your linoleum flooring. As one final preparatory measure, you will need to apply a coat of bonding primer to the surface. Begin this step by using a small paintbrush to carefully apply primer to the edges and hard-to-reach areas of the surface, then allow the primer to fully dry. Once it has dried, use a paint roller or a large paintbrush to apply primer to the rest of the surface in broad, even strokes.

When working with primer and paint, make sure your work area is well-ventilated and take care to wear a pair of safety goggles and a paper breathing mask.

Step 4 - Paint Your Linoleum Surface

Now that your bonding primer has had ample time to dry, it's time to paint your linoleum surface. In much the same fashion as your primer, use a small paintbrush to apply paint to areas that are not easily accessible, then use a large paintbrush or roller to apply paint to the rest of the floor. After you've applied the initial coat of paint, allow the paint to fully dry, then apply at least one more coat.