BEFORE...

I recently decided, on a whim, to rip up the horrible fake wood effect lino that was in my kitchen (and my bathroom – but not for long – more to come on that soon), after one of the rips in it moved past the point of no return. You’ll remember the floor from the blog post on painting my kitchen cabinets I wrote back in July. I decided it would be safer to have a bare floor than to get my foot stuck in the lino rip and trip up with a hot kettle in my hand. So I began to tear away the lino (quite easily in fact) and within thirty minutes the lot was gone (as you can see below). I used a stanley knife to trim the lino from under the washing machine and fridge.

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Not knowing what would be underneath the lino (I had suspected it would just be hardboard and a new flooring material would need to be sourced pretty quickly) I was surprised to find linoleum tiles. These are proper linoleum tiles (the brittle kind with the grain/pattern running all the way through) as opposed to lino or vinyl tiles, which have superficial patterns – find out more about the distinction here.

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After removing the lino, the glue that stuck the lino to the linoleum remained around the edgings of the floor. I coated this with HG Sticker Remover (be careful: this is pretty heavy on the solvents – make sure you open all the windows, and keep the room well ventilated for a few hours after using it as the smell hangs around for a while) using a paintbrush.

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Five minutes later I scraped off the glue easily with a stripping knife.

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After sweeping and wiping over the floor a couple of times with sugar soap, it was ready. But I didn’t like the style of the tiles; they’re an ugly brown colour, and not particularly fresh or modern. Seeing as I’d got this far using just what I had in my house, I decided to carry on and paint the linoleum tiles to suit my taste. After all, I had nothing to lose; if it all went horribly wrong, I would just have to buy a new floor covering, something which I had thought I would have to do anyway.

After a hunt around in the cupboard where I store all my paint, I came across the white primer that I had bought to prime the woodwork in my bathroom. So I thought I’d give that a go. Below is the floor after two coats on the primer, applied with a mini gloss roller.

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The following evening I popped to my local DIY store to find a colour that would suit the kitchen floor. Having researched a couple of posts of bloggers that had done something similar, I decided on a chalk paint. Rust-oleum had a great range of colours at Homebase, and I chose a can of ‘Hessian’, which I though would complement the oatmeal coloured carpet that abuts the kitchen floor in my flat.

The colour of this paint is really deep, thanks to its chalky base, and it covers really well.
IMG_2534Below: The floor after one coat of Rust-oleum in hessian. The paint came out in a colour that really complements my french gray/green kitchen cabinets, and the carpet. I cut in around the edging with a small paintbrush, then used a 4 inch mini-roller to cover the rest of the area.
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After a couple more coats of Rust-oleum, the floor was ready to be sealed. It needed something to harden the floor and protect it from wear, tear and water. After looking at a couple of blog posts, I came across some examples of people who had stencilled their lino and vinyl floors with chalk paint. They then recommended using Chalk Paint Lacquer by Annie Sloan, which is suitable for floors. I popped to the Annie Sloan shop in Oxford at lunchtime to pick up a can (£24.95).

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The lacquer is really easy to apply (I did so with a mini foam roller) and dries quite quickly. After two hours drying time I applied a second coat. Below is the finished look. The floor looks quite like a smooth poured concrete floor, which I really like, and the colour fits in so well with the other colours in the room.

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