Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Nitty Gritty: Painting the floor

As promised, here is the play by play on how we painted the linoleum flooring. Even though we had a couple nay-sayers (ahem, Dad), and at one point thought we would need the floor scraped and sanded clean by professionals, we trudged along and completed this project in about 10 days.

Step 1. After the carpet was ripped up, along with nails/staples removed, we cleaned the floor using a TSP substitute solution from Home Depot. This is a heavy duty cleaner that removes grease and dirt. The floor needs to really be clean so scrubbing this solution in with a brush is necessary. Rinse this with water and dry the area (we used large towels).

Step 2. Next step is to prime the floors. After researching on the internet and also asking the Home Depot staff, we were advised to use Kilz Oil Based Primer.
Step 3. WAIT. and wait and wait and wait. We had no idea that the primer would take so long to dry. And by long, I mean a week. By the third day, the paint was still sticky and wet, and it took another four days to dry completely. Our week long project thus became our two week long project.
*it was at this point that we thought the floors needed to be scraped clean and replaced with carpet. Luckilly we waited long enough and the paint did infact dry completly.

Step 4. We decided to switch to water based paint so that it would take only a day for each coat to dry. We used Behr paint in flat since a couple coats of poly would give it a nice shine anyway. The light color was used to cover the entire surface and allowed to dry about a day before giving it a second coat.
Step 5. Using painters tape, we marked off the diamonds. The linoleum design was actually perfect squares so making our pattern was next to effortless. It is best to do diamonds that are not touching either other and then to fill in the gaps once everything is dry. Also, make sure to rip up the tape when the paint is still a little wet so that no peeling occurs.
Step 6. To make them shiny and durable, the floors were coated with 2-3 coats of Pro Finisher by Parks - Water Based Fast Drying Polyurethane in Crystal Clear Satin. This product was very easy to work with and went on like water. To apply use and long handled polyurethane brush (looks sort of like a Swiffer). Allow to dry and before applying subsequent coats.

The lines you see are the pattern within the linoleum. I think it adds texture and interest.
Before replacing your flooring with expensive hardwoods or boring carpet, maybe consider painting them first!

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