Painting Linoleum Floors

Painted Linoleum or Tile Floors with a Stencil

Painting Linoleum Floors with a Stencil

Painting Linoleum floors are fairly simple and can be completed in a weekend.  As we are in the process of updating our home we have two bathrooms upstairs that are about two years out from being completely gutted and remodeled.  I have visions and design boards of exactly how I picture the end results using a patterned tile, but not on the floor.  I plan to use tile on the wall behind the vanity.

Patterned tile is incredibly trendy right now, especially if you are trying to achieve a Modern Farmhouse look.  However, tile is a huge commitment!  I figured I would give it a go and update our boring builder grade linoleum floor and if I still loved it two years from now then I would use it for our remodel.  I have also seen this stencil painted on tile, cement patios, and concrete floors.

See how boring this is? For around $100 I was able to transform this into a space that I no longer have to keep the door closed.



I found the Augusta Tile Stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils.  The stencil comes in S (6″), M (8″) and L (12″).  Since this is a smaller bathroom I went with the medium stencil in the 8″.  I purchased two of them so I could work faster. The linoleum tiles as you see in the bathroom pic are 9″, but I knew that once it was all said and done you would not be able to tell.  Notice the “L” shapes on the end of the stencil?  That is so you can line it up correctly when you are ready to do your next square. (I did not need to use the Grout Line Stencil.  Using this will be dependent on the type of flooring you have)


Painting Linoleum Floors Supply List

I first cleaned the floor with TSP, you will need to wear gloves.


Then you will need to prime the floors.  I had Bin Shellac primer left over from when I painted out kitchen cabinets that you can read about here. It is more expensive than your generic primer, however, I truly believe in the product and it’s worth the extra investment.




For the base, I used General Finishes Snow White Milk Paint.  I have seen a lot of people use Chalk Paint also. Whatever you do, do not use any paint that has a sheen.   The reason behind this is the sheen makes it too slippery when painting the stencil (that was my experience when I first tried it with paint I already had)



While researching I found that some used paint brushes for the stencil and others used rollers.  I tried both techniques and found I preferred using a foam roller. YOU WILL WANT TO BUILD ON YOUR COLOR TO PREVENT BLEEDING!  Do a light first coat and when that dries do another coat.  Having a fan going will help the paint dry faster.









For the stencil color, I went with General Finishes Lamp Black.



I then sealed it with 4 coats of Minwax Polyacrylic in Clear Satin.  I wanted a slight sheen, but not overwhelming that a gloss would yield.  You DO NOT want to use Polyurethane.  Polyurethane will “yellow” the white paint over time.



I am HORRIBLE about taking progress pics, mostly because I have paint all over me, but I did manage to get some when I did this same technique in my boy’s bathroom using a black base and white stencil color.

You will want to analyze your floor and play around with placement in order to find a good starting place.  I purchased two stencils so I could work faster.  I painted my first stencil on the left and let it dry, then my second stencil right underneath it and let it dry.  From there I was able to use two stencils at a time.  I used painter tape to hold it to the floor, but you can also use spray adhesive.  If you notice the “L” shapes that is how you are able to line up your stencils. Even though the stencil was not the same size as the squares on the floor, once it was all painted you can’t even tell the difference.




This was the one and only progress picture I managed to take for this bathroom.  For this layout, I needed to start on the back wall.  See all the bleeding?  That is because I went too heavy with the roller and did not build on my color like I mentioned above is important to do. I just wiped it up and started over.



The toilet area can be a little tricky, but once you have painted the stencil it becomes pliable and you are able to tape part of it to the floor and the other part to the toilet.  This is where you may want to use a brush instead of a roller.


I did have some other areas that bled and I went back with a fine paintbrush to fix it before I applied the Polycrylic.


The Mirror I found at Lowe’s for $20.  The Olive Bucket and Chicken Wire Vase are from Hobby Lobby. The wire bin is from Home Goods.  Shower Curtain is the White Lilith from World Market Paint color is Sherwin Williams Repose Gray.

I highly recommend painting Linoleum Floors to change the appearance of a room.  Once you get the hang of it, it’s fairly easy to do and the end result is worth it!


Recap of Steps Painting Linoleum Floors

Step 1

Clean Floor

Step 2


Step 3

Paint Base Coat

Step 4

Paint Stencil

Step 5

Roll on 4 coat of Polyacrylic



  • Rene

    Your floors are beautiful! I’m thinking of doing this on a concrete floor, we had some water damage in the bathroom and ripped everything out to the concrete. I’m wondering how your floor is holding up. Are you having any issues with it yet? I use GF Milk Paint on furniture for my business, but never thought about it for a floor!

    • thefauxfarmhouse

      Hello! Yes they are holding up great! I’ve seen many people do them on concrete and it looks fantastic. Since you are doing this on concrete I would research if it might be best to use a floor/porch paint and I would prime first with BIN Bonding Primer. Cutting Edge Stencils also has a lot of video tutorials and may even have some FAQ’s regarding concrete. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Keisha

    Hi, there! I’m loving this look and i’m planning to do this in our home soon. Was curious what color you actually painted the base color and if it made a difference? I noticed in most of your pictures it looks like you painted the base coat the darker color and the stencil white…but it appears reversed in your one other photo? Are my eyes playing tricks on me? LOL. Thank you!!!

    • Karen Price

      The floors look amazing!! I am wondering how you handled the transition out of the bathroom. Did you just stop the stenciling our did you create some tyoe of transition strip that leads to the hallway?

      • Cristina

        Thank you! There is a metal transition. I’m actually redoing this bathroom so stay tuned! The painted floors help up amazing, but we have 3 different floors in our bathroom/vanity area and it’s time to update and have 1 floor!

    • Cristina

      The black base you see with the white stencil is in my boys bathroom that I have since remodeled, but when doing my bathroom I forgot to take pictures of the process to show who the stencils connect to eachother

      In my bathroom the base is white with a black stencil

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