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Consistency is a quality that’s definitely considered by all of us as positive. Sometimes, however, changes are for the best. For example, sometimes you want to change something in your apartment.
As always, however, not all of us have the required funds to buy expensive new items and make a major overhaul of the apartment. In that case, it would be good to either go with the bare minimum and just rearrange the furniture and purchase new draping or afford something more. Painted linoleum often gets a new life. It would look as good as the new one. This idea is among the rare ones and may even sound a little bit crazy, but why shouldn’t you give it a try and give your old unpresentable linoleum a new look? You’ll be surprised by how would it transform the interior of your room or even the entire apartment! But how could you do this and what tools should you use for the best possible results, especially if you’re doing this at home without professional assistance? If you’re here to figure that out and get some useful step-by-step tips, let’s begin with reviewing the linoleum itself. What is linoleum and what are its pros and cons? Find out below.
Linoleum: Composition and Features
Despite all the new technologies and overall progress, linoleum remains as one of the most demanded floorings. It’s actually a predictable situation, as purchasing linoleum is still an advantageous solution from the cost/quality standpoint. Of course, more expensive options are always available, such as parquet, laminate or even the high-quality wooden floor. However, if you cannot afford any other options, your gaze will settle on this affordable flooring. It meets all the necessary requirements. Here are some of the best benefits of the linoleum that made it such a popular choice:
- Convenience and ease of use: Linoleum doesn’t require any special care and can be washed with any detergents or even water;
- High moisture resistance: Humid environment or even the pools of water won’t affect its functionality;
- Versatility: Linoleum can be used anywhere, ranging from living rooms to production rooms;
- Low thermal conductivity: With linoleum, you’ll always have warm floors;
- High noise insulation: Your neighbors will never hear from your noisy children again;
- Flexibility: It will be pleasant to walk barefoot on the linoleum, as it can absorb the pressure created by walking;
- Anti-slip surface;
- Long lifetime;
- Easy to mount and disassemble;
- Lots of colors and images available.
Everybody should know about the linoleum’s advantages firsthand. It’s very hard to find somebody who has never lived in a building with linoleum flooring. However, linoleum has some disadvantages, but even them can be turned to advantages with a correct approach.
Every painting works begin with identifying the surface to be painted. You’ll have to pick specific paintwork material and tools depending on each surface. If you don’t know the material of the surface, you could not only waste your time and money but ruin the surface altogether. Those who disregard this advice will find that their shiny new paint peels off very soon. It would be better to come up with this thoroughly and sort the situation out by yourself.
The linoleum consists of several layers:
- The protective layer (also known as wear layer) is a thin layer of transparent polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The thicker it is, the more durable and mechanically resistant the linoleum will be;
- Drawing layer. It is quite diverse and available in many colors, so you could easily pick the color you need;
- Face layer is a PVC layer that serves as a base for image;
- Fiberglass layer. It is a base of linoleum. All other layers are assembled here. This layer defines the durability of linoleum;
- The substrate is the last layer of linoleum. It consists of foamed PVC.
It is true that the thicker each layer of the linoleum, the better it is. However, you won’t be able to paint thick and soft material. The paint isn’t as elastic as the linoleum, and it will peel off in a short period of time. In fact, it’s even better that you’ll have to paint packed, close fitting to the floor linoleum.
You should also take some properties of the linoleum into consideration. The protective layer is often covered with wax that would not let the paint dry up if it is not removed. This is why you will need to carry out the preliminary processing of the surface.
Choosing the Paint and Tools
Now that we know what material we’re working for, it’s time to pick the correct paint. What paint will be the best to paint the linoleum? Oil, alkyd and acrylic paints are the most widespread types of paint used to work with linoleum. Let’s talk about every one of them in detail.
Oil paint is the most budget-friendly option. It is quite outdated compared to the modern technologies. It’s hight adhesive and creates a uniform layer on any surface. However, there are a few drawbacks. Oil paint is very smelly, and the stench may remain for days, if not weeks, after painting. It won’t dry up quickly, you’ll need a day or two to let it get dry. In addition, it peels off pretty fast, so you’ll have to re-paint the linoleum every once in a while. Although it is a viable option, it is recommended that you avoid oil paint if you have the possibility.
Alkyd paint is much better and advanced compared to the oil paint. It is based on alkyd polish. It is highly elastic, durable and resistant to water, light and temperature change. It needs only a couple hours to dry up, retains its true color for a long time, and its color is much more saturated. The only drawback is the smell, but luckily, it would be gone after you finish the painting process. Alkyd paint is better suited for linoleum, more resistant to mechanical damage and abrasion.
Acrylic paint is the best option if you want to paint your linoleum. Reliable, highly adhesive and abrasion-proof, it would serve you for many years. It is also resistant to chemical compounds. It easily falls on linoleum and even increases its time of life. Acrylic paint is perhaps the most practical compared to other paints. You could even use it to paint linoleum in your kitchen. It is easily washed off with water if you paint something else by accident, it does not smell and takes only a couple hours to get dry. The conclusion is simple: it is a quality paint that is worth every penny of its cost.
Of course, there are a lot of other compounds that can be used to paint linoleum, but they are not as popular due to higher price – for example, chlorinated rubber enamel.
You’ll need a standard set of tools to do the painting: some paint and a paint roller. Some additional tools are also required:
- A tray to dissolve the paint in;
- A bucket of water;
- Some clean rags;
- A brush;
- A pack of soda ash;
- Sealant or putty;
- Paint tape;
- Primer or varnish;
- Gloves and mask.
Preparing the Surface
To let your refurbished linoleum shine and prevent the paint from peeling off, you’ll need to prep the surface. Your objective is to remove all the wax from the surface and clean it from dirt and dust. It is much easier to do compared to laminate or wooden parquet treated with drying oil. Surface preparation is done in the followed order:
- Clean up the surface. You’ll have to remove the wax in addition to all the dirt and oily stains. Add a glass of soda ash to the bucket of hot water, then wash the floor with this mixture. Use a brush for the best result.
- Wash the floor with regular water without leaving any stains. Dry the floor up.
- Check the linoleum for any cracks and detachments. Close them up with putty if there are any. Close up any diverged joints with acrylic sealant.
- Prime the area. Use standard primer or varnish as priming material. This step may be skipped, but the paint will fall and mesh with the linoleum better if you do it.
After the primed area has dried up, it’s time to paint the linoleum.
Painting Tips and Advice
So, we have all we need to paint the linoleum: a tin of paint, working tools, and some creative enthusiasm. As well as preparing the surface, painting the linoleum consists of several steps:
- Place the paint tape on walls around the area to protect them from accidental painting. You could come up with your own design if you use the tape to create some stripes or even a unique picture.
- Dilute the paint with the solvent and mix it up. Pour the mixture out into a tray.
- Start painting going from the farthest wall to the door. Wait for the paint to dry up completely.
- Apply the second layer of paint. Wait for it to dry up as well.
If you follow these tips, you’ll have to paint your linoleum again only if you want to change something again. This quest may look like it’s doomed, but in the end, it turns out to be an affordable solution for the home owner on a budget. Not only it will update your old linoleum, but it will turn it into a great embellishment for your apartment. The game is worth the risk!