Can You Paint Vinyl Flooring? A Comprehensive How-To Guide

Bob Thomas


Vinyl flooring is a popular and affordable choice for many homeowners, but what if you want to change the look of your floors without replacing them?

The good news is that you can paint vinyl flooring with the right tools, materials, and techniques. 

However, it is important to note that vinyl flooring is known as being very difficult to paint without alot of prep work first, and because of it's relatively cheap price most of the time you may just be better off getting new vinyl flooring. 

In this article, we'll explore the process of painting vinyl floors, including the steps you need to take to ensure a successful and long-lasting finish.

So, let's dive in and learn how to transform your vinyl floors with a fresh coat of paint.

Quick Summary

To paint vinyl flooring, follow these steps: 1) Clean the surface, 2) Lightly sand the floor, 3) Apply a bonding primer, 4) Paint the floor with latex paint, 5) Apply a protective topcoat. By using the right tools and techniques, you can achieve a durable and attractive finish on your vinyl floors.

Clean the Surface

To ensure proper adhesion of the paint, it's essential to start with a clean surface.

Sweep and vacuum the floor to remove dirt and debris.

Then, use a mild detergent mixed with water to clean the surface, removing any stains or grease.

Make sure to rinse the floor thoroughly with clean water and allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Lightly Sand the Floor

Sanding the vinyl floor will help the primer and paint adhere better.

Use a 180-grit sandpaper to lightly scuff the surface.

Don't sand too aggressively, as you want to avoid damaging the vinyl. After sanding, vacuum the floor again to remove any dust.

Pro Tip: If your vinyl flooring has a glossy finish, sanding is especially important to ensure proper paint adhesion.

Use A Deglosser (Optional)

Using a deglosser on your vinyl floor before painting can help to ensure better adhesion of the primer and paint, providing a more durable and long-lasting finish.

Here are the instructions for using a deglosser on your vinyl floor:

  1. Apply the deglosser: Put on protective gloves and safety goggles, and follow the manufacturer's instructions for using the deglosser. Generally, you will need to apply the deglosser to a lint-free cloth or sponge and then wipe it onto the vinyl floor in a circular motion. Make sure to cover the entire surface of the floor evenly.
  2. Allow the deglosser to work: Let the deglosser sit on the vinyl floor for the recommended amount of time, as specified by the manufacturer. This usually ranges from 5 to 15 minutes.
  3. Wipe off the residue: After the recommended time has elapsed, use a clean, lint-free cloth to wipe off the deglosser residue from the vinyl floor. Make sure to remove all of the residue, as any remaining deglosser can interfere with the adhesion of the primer and paint.
  4. Rinse the floor: Use a damp mop to rinse the floor with clean water, ensuring all traces of the deglosser have been removed. Allow the floor to dry completely before proceeding with the primer and paint application.

Apply a Bonding Primer

A bonding primer is essential for painting vinyl flooring, as it helps the paint adhere to the surface and provides a durable base for the topcoat.

Look for a primer specifically designed for use on vinyl or other hard-to-paint surfaces.

Apply the primer using a paint roller or brush, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Allow the primer to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Paint the Floor with Latex Paint

Choose a latex paint that's suitable for floors and has a low-sheen or satin finish.

This type of paint is more durable and less prone to scuffing than high-gloss paints.

Using a paint roller or brush, apply the paint in thin, even coats, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.

Two to three coats of paint should be sufficient for full coverage.

Apply a Protective Topcoat

To protect your newly painted vinyl floor and ensure its durability, apply a clear, water-based polyurethane topcoat.

Choose a product with a low-sheen or satin finish to maintain the desired appearance.

Apply two to three coats, following the manufacturer's instructions for drying times between coats.

Personal Experiences

A few years ago, I helped a friend update their kitchen by painting their old vinyl flooring.

We followed a similar process to the one outlined in this article, and the results were fantastic.

Not only did the painted floor look great, but it also held up well to everyday wear and tear.

It's a project I'm proud to have been a part of and one that I would recommend to anyone looking to refresh their vinyl floors on a budget.

Frequently Asked Questions Section (FAQs)

Q. How long does it take for the paint to dry on vinyl flooring?

  A: The drying time for paint on vinyl flooring can vary depending on factors like humidity, temperature, and the type of paint used.

In general, you should allow at least 24 hours for the paint to dry between coats. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for specific drying times.

Q. Can I use any type of paint to paint vinyl floors?

  A: It's best to use latex paint specifically designed for floors.

This type of paint is more durable and less prone to scuffing than other types of paint.

Look for a paint with a low-sheen or satin finish for the best results.

Q. Is it necessary to apply a topcoat?

  A: Applying a protective topcoat is essential for ensuring the durability of your painted vinyl floor.

A clear, water-based polyurethane topcoat will protect the paint from wear and tear, making it more resistant to scuffing, scratches, and stains.

Q. How long will the painted vinyl floor last?

  A: The lifespan of a painted vinyl floor can vary depending on factors like the quality of the paint and topcoat used, as well as the amount of foot traffic the floor receives.

With proper care and maintenance, a painted vinyl floor can last several years before needing a touch-up or repainting.

Q. How do I maintain my painted vinyl floor?

  A: To keep your painted vinyl floor looking its best, sweep and vacuum regularly to remove dirt and debris. Use a damp mop with a mild detergent to clean the surface as needed.

Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads, as they may damage the painted surface.

Consider placing doormats at entryways to help prevent dirt and debris from being tracked onto the floor.


Painting vinyl flooring can be an affordable and effective way to update the look of your floors.

By following these steps and using the right tools and materials, you can achieve a professional-looking, long-lasting finish that will breathe new life into your space.

Just remember to be patient, take your time, and enjoy the transformation!

Suggested Products:

  1. Primer: Bonding Primer - A high-quality bonding primer designed for challenging surfaces will provide excellent adhesion to vinyl flooring and ensure a long-lasting paint job.
  2. Paint: Floor-Specific Latex Paint - A latex paint formulated specifically for use on floors will offer the best durability and long-lasting finish on vinyl flooring. Make sure the paint is suitable for vinyl surfaces.
  3. Clear Sealer: Water-Based Floor Sealer - A water-based clear sealer designed for use on various floor surfaces, including vinyl, will help protect the paint and add durability to your vinyl floor.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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