Home » Can You Paint Vinyl Flooring? (Prepare & Painting Tips)

Can You Paint Vinyl Flooring? (Prepare & Painting Tips)

Can you paint vinyl flooring? Yes, you can. Why would you do such a thing? Because it is an affordable and easy-to-do way to renew a floor in your bathroom or basement. Once that flooring becomes really ugly and in bad shape, you should do something.

However, no one wants to spend much money on these rooms, so you need a convenient and inexpensive way to solve the problem. If you know that you should pay $150 for painting 1,200 sq ft and at least $600 for new flooring, there is no reason to think too much. Let’s go!


Can You Paint Over Vinyl Flooring?

Can You Paint Vinyl Flooring?

Nowadays, vinyl is an affordable flooring type many people install in their bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and kitchens. It is a favorite option because you can clean it effortlessly, but it is worn out over time, looking pretty ugly.

The best solution is to replace it with new flooring, but it can be an expensive, time-consuming, and tiring job. For instance, you need to pay at least $600 for 1,200 sq ft (110 m2) for the new vinyl flooring, while you should set aside only about $150 to paint the same surface. Plus, painting vinyl is relatively quick and easy, and you can do it yourself as a DIY project.

However, you should be aware that you can’t apply any paint type on this surface type to avoid stains and damaging appearance. For instance, latex enamel is not durable enough for this purpose. There is one more thing! It is impossible to cover up existing holes and dents with paint.


Ways to Prepare Vinyl Floor for Painting

Never start painting before cleaning and preparing the vinyl surface thoroughly. It is the only way for the primer and the paint to adhere well to vinyl.

1. Check for water leaks

If you want to paint vinyl flooring in the basement or bathroom, the first thing to check is for possible dampness and leaking. It is vital to solving the existing problem before painting. Otherwise, you will spend time and money, but the result won’t last.

2. Replace damaged vinyl tiles

Painting can’t hide existing dents, cuts, and scratches, so you should replace damaged tiles before starting the project. Take care to find replacement tiles of the same thickness.

Another solution is to fill cracks and holes with wood filler to patch them as precisely as possible. Let it dry, smooth the area with medium-grit sandpaper, and remove dust with a vacuum cleaner.

Keep in mind that some damage is not too visible on the worn vinyl, but you will notice them on the freshly painted surface.

3. Paint only half of the floor at a time

Removing all the stuff from the basement can be challenging and too complicated. Therefore, you can try an excellent trick and clear up one half, paint it, let it dry, and transfer all things to the painted half. Then, it is time to paint the other flooring half.

4. Cleaning

Preparation is crucial for most DIY projects, including vinyl flooring painting. It is impossible to get the desired result without thorough scrubbing with a recommended cleaner and stiff bristle brush, rinsing, scuff sanding the surface, and final washing.


  • Bucket and warm water
  • Liquid Deglosser
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Stiff bristle brush
  • Soft microfiber cloths
  • Sponge
  • Paper towels and scrap cardboard
  • Vacuum cleaner

This procedure is essential for a few reasons, including:

  • The primer and paint adhere better to a clean vinyl flooring
  • Paint applied over the dirty vinyl will result in an uneven and splotchy finish layer
  • Without adequate cleaning, tiny pieces of dust and debris will get stuck in the paint

The procedure is not complicated, and you only need a bucket with a detergent dissolved in water to clean the floor. Wash the surface thoroughly and remove stubborn stains with a sponge. Then, let the flooring dry.

5. Sand the floor with a pole sander

You need a hand-held pole sander, several hours, and some patience to sand vinyl flooring before painting. That is a way to create an adequate surface for better primer and paint adherence.

You will need an orbital sander or a sanding pole with 180 to 220 grit sandpaper to finish the job. Then, it is vital to get rid of dust by wiping the flooring down with a damp cloth.

6. Apply a flooring Deglosser

Applying a flooring Deglosser will magnify the sanding effects. Pick out the preferred product and pour some into the area you want to clean. Spread it over the surface using a sponge mop and repeat the procedure at least twice to three times.

Let it dry thoroughly for approximately 12 hours before applying the primer. This step will remove a glossy finish to your vinyl and make it easier for the primer to adhere to the flooring surface.

Be careful during this step, ensure good ventilation, and protect your eyes and nose while applying the product. Plus, always start from the corner placed opposite the room entrance. The backward movements will prevent treading on the prepared floor.

7. Apply primer

You can find a few excellent primers for vinyl on the current market. Most have extreme adhesion properties, making them a perfect option for painting flooring made of this material.

Plan ahead and check the ventilation in the room where you need to work. If it is not good enough, you should purchase a LOW VOC product with less volatile organic compounds.

Use a small brush to apply primer along the baseboards. It will be enough to prime 2 to 3 inches (5 – 7.6 cm) of the surface from the wall and then finish the job over the entire surface with an extended paint roller.

It is crucial to apply two primer layers, but it is necessary to let each coat dry before continuing work. That way, you will get a smooth surface over the Deglosser, allowing the paint adheres properly, prolonging its lifetime.

Most primers require about 12 hours to dry, but the exact time depends on the region where you live and the season. It will dry faster on a hot summer day and need more time when it is cold or while raining.

Always try to find a primer in line with the existing vinyl color. Never dilute it since you need its potent bonding agents to get full strength and maximum effect.


How to Paint Vinyl Flooring?

Pick out the right paint type

The first thing to know is that there is no specific paint for vinyl flooring, so you should look for the one recommended for painting over wood floors.

For instance, you can pick out a durable and easy-to-clean porch paint resistant to fading, peeling, scuffing, and cracking. Plus, this paint type doesn’t require applying a top coat, saving your time and money for additional material.

Paints formulated explicitly for vinyl are 100% acrylic, but you can find a combination of acrylic and urethane resin. On the other hand, latex enamel will look lovely at the beginning, but it can’t withstand heavy use.

There is a list of the necessary material for vinyl flooring painting, but you may not need all of them. It is on you to determine what you need for your DIY project.


  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Sanding block and 180 to 220 grit sandpaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Roller brush and paintbrush
  • Paint 3/8 inches (9.5 mm) nap roller
  • Paint 5 inches (12.7 cm) dense foam roller
  • Roller paint trays
  • Mixing stick
  • Putty knife
  • Wood filler
  • Primer
  • Enamel floor paint
  • Tile stencil and stencil paint

It is crucial to take care of your safety, so you need to provide good ventilation in your workplace room. The next step is to purchase the necessary protective gear.

Safety considerations

  • Protective goggles
  • Face-protective mask
  • Safety rubber gloves


You can start painting as soon as the primer dries thoroughly. Clean the surface when necessary and apply paint along the baseboards like the first time. Then, paint all the surfaces with the extended paint roller.

Repeat the procedure after the first layer completely dries overnight. Then, remove the protective painter’s tape from the edges as soon as the second layer is dry to the touch. However, you shouldn’t use the floor while it becomes fully dry.

Stencil the vinyl flooring

If you are a fan of stenciling the flooring, you can apply different paint colors to each vinyl square to get the desired pattern. Besides this quick and easy way, there is a possibility of making a pattern that doesn’t match the existing vinyl edges.

Basically, you can do it in two ways. If you are skillful and have an idea, the original option is to create your own pattern and paint the vinyl according to it. Another possibility is to buy Cutting Edge Stencils to finish the job.



Painting is an excellent option when you have no time or don’t want to spend money on expensive vinyl flooring replacement. That way, you can renew a floor in your bathroom or basement in an inexpensive way and get a fantastic result.

Leave a Comment