Linoleum floors can last for many, many years if cared for properly. Sometimes the linoleum begins to show wear in high traffic areas and the finish becomes dull and worn. No matter what you try, the finish will not come back. That's because the finish is only a top layer and the shiny quality does not permeate throughout the linoleum. Not only does the finish wear off, but the color or pattern wears down too, leaving a trail where it has been walked on the most. Or maybe you have a linoleum floor that is absolutely fine in every way except you do not like the color or pattern. The color or pattern may have been all the rage in 1986, but today it no longer fits your home. Old patterns and colors such as avacado green or mustard yellow may have been fine when you were growing up with the Brady Bunch, but the colors just don't match your decorating tastes and style. Whatever the reason, you can give linoleum flooring a whole new life and change it to a color or pattern that suits your decorating choices.Many do it yourself type homeowners can accomplish this relatively easy project fairly quickly.
Preparing the Linoleum
Puton safety glasses or goggles and a dust mask.
Equip an electric sander with 120-grit sandpaper.
Sand the surface of the linoleum to remove the shiny surface.
After you have sanded the floor, sweep and vacuum all of the dust, then wait a few hours for the dust to settle and vacuum again.
Wipe the floor with a tack cloth it corners and hard to reach areas to pick up any remaining dust and bits of linoleum.
Check the floor for any damage especially lifting seams or depressions in the floor.
Fix the lifting seams with linoleum seam sealer.
Repair the damage with a linoleum repair paste or putty. If you don't make repairs, they will be very apparent on the finished floor.
Priming the Linoleum
Pour an epoxy based primer into a painter's tray.
Twist a 1/4 inch nap roller onto a long handle.
Use the long handled roller to apply a coat of epoxy primer over the surface of the linoleum floor. Begin in the corner of the room fartherest from the room's exit so you do not paint yourself into teh corner of the room.
Allow the primer to dry completely. Typically, drying takes between two and four hours.
Wash the roller and painter's tray while waiting for the primer to dry.
Painting the Linoleum
Pour epoxy based paint in the color of your choice into the painter's tray.
Roll the paint roller through the paint and roll it onto the floor.
Roll the first coat up and down the room. Let the paint dry for three to four hours.
Roll the second coat across the lines of the first coat so you will end up with even coverage.
Allow the wet paint to dry for three to four hours.
After the second coat of paint dries, consider laying a stencil on the floor and paint over the stencil with epoxy paint.
If you have an artistic side, paint the design onto the floor free hand.
This is optional, you can leave the floor one solid color if you choose.
Finishing the Floor
Pour non-yellowing polyurethane into a painter's tray.
Roll the polyurethane over the floor and let it dry for two to three hours.
Roll on two to three additional coats of polyurethane, allowing each coat to dry for two three hours between applications.
Painting a linoleum floor is much less expensive than removing an existing one and replacing it a new one.
Typically, an epoxy coating will last for a few years before it requires a new coat.
Adding a coat of polyurethane to a very clean painted linoleum floor will extend the life of the paint.
If you are adding a fresh coat of polyurethane, make sure you remove all wax, oil and grease or the protective coating will peel because wax and oils interrupt adhesion.