Friday, March 30, 2018

Creating a trendy statement tile look on old linoleum

Happy Easter weekend dear ones.  I hadn't planned on getting this post up before next week, but then sweet Ava and I got a bad head cold, which turned into a contagious lung infection and our whole Easter weekend is now cancelled.  That said, I have plenty of time on my hands for resting... and blogging! I couldn't be more pleased to share this post, and you have my permission to wholeheartedly flip out over this post about painting old linoleum and creating something beautiful and on-trend, with a statement tile look.  It's even better in person if you can imagine!  

A few weeks ago, my friend Kristin and I went for coffee at our friend Becca's house.  She is one of our uber-creative DIY friends who inspires us constantly with just plain, good ideas.  We three all worked together at  our previous organizing job and honestly both of those girls just keep me going in life. Becca also introduced us to the Madame Chic books, which I still say changed my LIFE.  Anyway, she shared a bathroom floor that she had painted with me, while I was there and I couldn't believe my eyes!  She used a different stencil, but talked me through the process she had used and my creative wheels began to turn.  Becca had previously been an Annie Sloan chalk paint instructor so she gave me the low-down on using chalk paint, and I knew I had to try this! 

We have lived in this sweet little house for nearly fifteen years and there are a few places that haven't been touched.  They are also the places we are seeing wear and tear, but as we plan to downsize into a condo in about two years, my husband is sticking pretty firmly to not putting any big amounts of money into this home for changes other than upkeep and simple cosmetic beautification for potential buyers.  I get that.  I presented him with this idea and promised to do all the sweat equity.  He finally agreed because my enthusiasm is contagious apparently. (grin) And also, because there were a lot of dings and scratches on the laundry room floor and I think he figured that I couldn't make it too much worse.  Our laundry room connects us with the garage, where we enter the home, so the door stays open much of the time. (You can read a post I wrote about how we stay organized in this space, here.) I'm happy to report, that after this project, I may never close our laundry room door again!

(No, seriously. I mean that.  I can't stop looking at it.) 
(Keeping hoodlums out...) 
(With the coats of the white paint...)
(Starting the stenciling part... following the natural lines of lino and beginning with whole blocks- horrible lighting, but in-process...) 
This project is the perfect solution if you've got an old floor that you don't have a budget for updating.  The only downside that I can see, is that it takes days to get it done right. 

Here's the schedule I used; 
Day one: Remove everything from room that can be moved. We opted not to move the washer and dryer out.) Sweep floor.  Clean tile with a mixture of TSP and water. (TSP can be purchased at a paint store.) Let dry.  Wipe floor with clean, warm water.  Let dry again. Tape off entire floor, wrap appliances in paper and tape off. Paint very thin coat of chalk paint.  Let dry overnight.

Day two: paint second, thin coat of chalk paint. Let dry overnight.

Day three: paint third coat of chalk paint. Let dry overnight.

Day four: Stencil design.  I used the grid pattern of my existing lino, to keep the pattern straight.  I also chose a stencil that was the same size as the existing "tile" pattern. I used a small, foam roller and rolled every whole block that I could.  Once that was dry, about six hours later, I went back and began working my way around the edges, cutting the stencil where I needed to.  If I hadn't followed the grid, this would have been easier but I was worried the original grid might show. (It wouldn't have so don't make it more work than you have to... just begin in a far corner and work your way out.) Let all dry, use a small brush for any touchups... and let all dry over night.

Day five: Roll coat of "one coat polyurethane" over all.  Let dry overnight. (I just went with one coat like it said, because I had tipped the can over in my car on accident in transit somehow, and had just enough left for the one coat. Gah!)

Day six: Remove tape and move things back in... enjoy!!

Some Sasha Tips to keep you sane: 
*I did watch some Youtubes on how to stencil a floor. They helped so I recommend that.  A "dry" roller that's been offloaded onto paper towels is KEY.  Minimal paint on the roller, keeps bleed through at bay. (You may still have an occasional smear or mistake to either fix or live with...  This isn't an exact science, but it's a heck of a lot less expensive than new tile, so there is that.)

*I tested my stencil on cardboard using both a stencil brush and a roller and the roller was the hands down winner for clarity, lack of bleed, and time-saving.

*I used a little masking tape on the bottom of my stencil to keep it in place each time.

*I washed it completely, in hot water, and dried it thoroughly, about every six blocks. This kept the pattern crisp which is important for this project.  You want nice, clean lines, not blurred messy edges.

*I did cut the stencil apart in many places and did use scotch tape to tape some of those sections back together, for other necessary cuts and it worked surprisingly well. It was tedious but worth it.  Actually it was a bit of a relaxing project on the whole, as I was alone, with nice music on.  It's a mostly mindless project.

*I used a mini-foam roller and tray from Lowe's (about $5) for the whole thing, washing out the cover and tray after each color was used.  In between coats, I zipped the whole batch of materials into a project keeper (Sherwin Williams) that kept the roller and tray from drying out.  I highly recommend this!  Especially for those first overnight dry coats.

*I did tape off all of the doors to keep people from accidentally walking in.

 (Real life key situation.) (I may be a blogger, but we still have to LIVE here and this is what it looks like. Ha!)

(I do have an idea for these spare keys and making them cute eventually... stay tuned!)

Here are the project links! 

*I used this "Augusta" patterned stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils.
*I used this Valspar Chalky paint from Lowe's. I chose the color "kid gloves" for the base, and "opera gown" for the pattern.  (Love these color choices!) I think I only used half of each of the quarts, for the whole project. 
*I used this one-coat polyurethane from Lowe's.
*I used this mini foam roller/tray for the whole project.

Okay dear ones... you know I'll do my best to answer any questions in the comments that you may have.  I hope this project gives you as much hope for loving what you have, as it did me.  Just some tweaking can freshen things up again and it doesn't have to be expensive to be lovely.  If you're dubious about how this would look in real life, I want to reassure you that it is fabulous.  It's even prettier in person, than in these photos.  If you can commit to six days of chaos while this project is under way, remember that each coat only takes about fifteen minutes to apply, the majority of those days is drying time.  That's not bad for a low-commitment project with a massive payoff.  One final thing to note... because the base color was so close to my trim color, there was zero bleed through with the taped off edges, in fact, that created a perfectly crisp edged line. 

We're going to have a super relaxed Easter weekend now, since we're all so sick... but since this is my very favorite holiday I suggested that we at least have family communion set up.  I wanted to share in case you wanted a simple idea for this as well. Just some juice, and/or seder wine in carafes, a bowl of crackers or matzah bread and candles if you like.  Add some goblets and people can gather or just go to the table on their own...  I sprinkled these decorative nails that I found a couple of years ago on Amazon (sorry, the link is goneon the bread board as well for a reminder of what we are celebrating this weekend.  



  1. Fabulous idea if you have knees that would work! Mine are not too great anymore! Love the stencil pattern...super idea for saving a lot of mo ey!
    I wanted to know what brand your drinking glasses are? Would love some like those? ,
    Thanks for the post..get well soon.

  2. Amazing! Just wow.

  3. Looks inCREDible! Well done, mama! Makes me wish I had linoleum!

  4. It looks great! I love that tile look and to see such great style on a sensible budget.

  5. LOVE the floor! Wow! We've lived in our house for 16 years (with a dozen children, and now a dozen grandchildren). We put in brand new linoleum when we moved in. Needless to say, it needs to be replaced . . . or painted.

    Any idea how well this type of paint job holds up in a high traffic area? I know you just did yours, but has your friend's floor held up well?

    1. Hi Laurel,
      THank you so much. I'm not sure how it holds up long-term yet. I'll have to let ya know after a few months.