I’m not going to lie…I wish I had started this blog about two years ago. This is primarily because I have attempted so many pain staking do-it-yourself home projects and never documented them! If you are anything like me, you have all the enthusiasm in the world when you start a project, and then by the time you are done you swear up and down you will never do it again. So I will attempt to dig up photos and do what I can to document some of the projects I have completed.
We have been hosting AirBnB guests for almost two years now, and decided we wanted to move the guest quarters to the basement, where we would both have more privacy, and guests would have their own bathroom (instead of sharing ours with us). But the basement had been originally finished at some point mid-century…so it was a little rough. Over the winter we had a new floor installed in our basement, repainted the spare room, re-grouted the basement shower, and last but not least…I painted over the vinyl floor in the basement bathroom.
The bathroom had some pretty horrible vinyl flooring which I had previously been very careless about getting paint on when used as a staging room for other projects. I had been dying to try painting a floor, and this was the first opportunity I had…and all-in-all it was a success!
Here is what you will need:
- Vinyl Floor Paint – I used white, but it can be tinted to any color you like.
- Brushes and rollers you don’t mind throwing out after one use.
- TSP Cleaner
- Painters Tape
- Crystal clear shellac paint
- Disposable mask
Step 1: Give the floor a good sanding. This will allow the vinyl paint to adhere better to the floor.
Step 2: Clean the floor really well. I used TSP cleaner, but if you have sanded, you can get away with a normal household cleaner.
Step 3: Once the floor is clean and dry (and free of rouge basement spiders!), you will want to apply your first layer of paint. I didn’t use a primer since this vinyl paint is very thick and acts like a self-primer for the most part. It also puts off a lot of fumes, so I suggest wearing a mask.
Step 4: Start by edging the room with a brush. Once I started applying the stark white paint, the old rubber baseboards started looking pretty dingy so I painted them as well. This paint is very thick and sticky, so unless you have the patience to clean the brush out, I suggest throwing the brush away once you have finished your first layer. Then use a roller and paint the remainder of the floor. Let it dry overnight and apply a second layer. If you aren’t planning on adding any sort of design or other colors to the floor…then you’re done! Otherwise move onto the next step.
Step 5: My house is a sweet little 1940’s Cape Cod, so I wanted to emulate a floor that was similar in color and tile shape to that of real bathroom tile work from that era. Stenciling is never easy, but Ed Roth has some wonderful decor stencils which help make the planning process a bit easier. I used a hex tile stencil from his Stencil 101 Decor book. After mapping out the whole floor, I started painting! I tested out a few different shades of green and decided I liked the look of keeping a few of the tiles in a different color as is seen sometimes on real tile work. For the tiles I used a regular latex semi-gloss interior paint.
Step 6: A Painstaking week later, the stenciling was done! The latex paint on the stenciling is delicate, so I topped it off with a couple coats of the crystal clear shellac. I tried a water based polyurethane sealant first, but it wasn’t strong enough to protect the paint underneath.
This was a fun project, it took much longer than I had anticipated, and I don’t know if I will ever stencil a floor again, but it looks great, and was much cheaper than laying a new floor down! Here are some other great ideas for floor painting if you think you might give it a go.