Saturday, September 1, 2012

Halleluja, I don't hate the kitchen anymore!!! aka Painting Linoleum Floors

I love paint. Man, what you can do with paint! When we moved into our new-but-old home last year, there was A LOT of work to be done, and not the fun kind. (Here are some before and afters.) But the kitchen was not a part of that sprucing, for a couple of reasons: 1) We'd like to remodel it some day, for various reasons, but it wasn't in the budget at the time, 2) it functions and was newer and in better shape than the rest of the house, and 3) it was in constant use during the entire winter remodel for exciting things like stripping and repainting 120-year-old radiators that couldn't be done outside because of rain. (SO FUN! :-) So. Here it was when we first saw the house:

And during its sad stint as Radiator Central (much more on that here): 

It was so very, very uncute. So uninspiring. We painted the walls and cabinets white, and that was all we had time for. Not looking so bad here (yay for white paint!):

Last spring our awesome contractor Tyler Fuqua did a quick and simple countertop replacement (butcher block = way cheaper than linoleum; who knew?) with [cheap] subway tile backsplash. The orange linoleum was kind of cute, but old and crusty with some dry rot, and had to go. So then there was this ...

... but ... the floor.

There was just no getting past the floor. So old, grungy and brown, decades of dirt ground in. And we didn't want to spend $$ on new linoleum as a temporary measure, since we know we want to remodel some day, possibly in the next few years. But ugh! Yuck! Even when it was clean it didn't look clean.

Everything was dingy! On top of which the rest of the space was just a mish-mosh of furniture and colors from the old house and was so bluh.


More bluh.

And then, fatefully, Jim mused ... "I wonder if you can paint linoleum." 

And it turns out you can! And we did! And it has made all the difference. I love the kitchen now. It is a tranquil clean space, unrecognizable as the brown-tan-orange thing it once was. Happy sigh.


Can you believe this is the same floor? It looks like fresh new linoleum, even up close!


Thank you, paint. I love you.

All this whiteness may be much for some people, but the Scandinavian white-wall bug has bitten me in a big way. Back when we were house-hunting I fell in love with European design blogs, and everywhere were these tranquil, quirky white rooms, splashed with colored art, so fun and personal and unpretentious. I can barely stand decorating magazines anymore, they're so frou frou formal. I really need to go to Scandinavia and soak in the atmosphere ...

so ...
Tips on painting a linoleum floor (at least, here's what we did):

It seemed like it was going to be a big pain, but actually painting floors is way easier than painting walls and WAY easier than ceilings. The worst part was moving the furniture out. Each coat went really fast.

1) Sand the floor. We rented a drum sander from Home Depot for the day. 

2) Clean it well, then prime it. USE KILZ! Here is where we flubbed. We did not use Kilz primer but some random brand, I don't know what we were thinking. Ugh. And now we have some brown spotting seeping up through the paint from unknown old stains on that ancient dirtbag of a floor. Jerk floor. Kilz is the best primer, and it will keep all the crap sealed away. Lesson learned. Do a couple of coats. 

Use a long-handled roller so you don't have to bend over too much. Easy peasy. Also, use really low-nap rollers covers to avoid unwanted texturing in the paint.

3) Paint with porch paint. We used latex, so it dried quickly and wasn't fumey. Oil-based, I hear, is more durable for the long haul. Do a goodly number of coats. I think we did three.

4) Urethane it for a glossy finish. Several coats.

Soooooo happy with it. So so happy. We also swapped out the circular misfit table for a long narrow farm table we found at a barn sale, and it fits the space so much better. And we painted the exposed brick white, looks so much cleaner (COATS of Kilz on that thing. COATS.), painted the red hutch that pretty, calming blue. Put in base trim (still not painted, and not likely to be for some time; we are DONE with projects for a while.) And we cleared out a small cabinet for a less cluttered look.

So happy :-)

That's all. Good night!


Unknown said...

Thanks for including the painting tips. I always wonder how you have finished projects without paint-brush or texture marks. That is my only reluctance to painting, but there are SO many projects around the house that would benefit from some freshness (cabinets, old chairs, dining room table). I love all that color!!

Jillian Schmidt said...

Genius! I love the new look, and thanks so much for including instructions. I just moved into a new house, and while most of the floors are a rather nice fake wood, the bathroom linoleum... . I never even thought about paint as an option until now.

Kirsty | A Safe Mooring said...

It looks amazing now! I think you would like my friend (and design blogger) Zoe's flat, it's all white walls and colourful details:

She's actually the one who picked Daughter of Smoke and Bone for our book club, so I'm eternally grateful to her ;)

Emilie said...

Thanks for sharing! We have different tastes and homes from very different eras, but I love that I can look at what you've done in your house and it gives me ideas for how to do something with my own space. We have so much to do with our poor, abused-for-decades-by-weird-crazy-previous-owners house that our kitchen, since it was functional, has been left alone. Plus, everyone around here does the granite/stainless steel thing, and it's not our thing, but we don't know when we're going to move (if ever). So we've put it off and put it off, saving halfheartedly for granite we don't want and then spending the granite money on things we do want. But now, even though we don't have the same color scheme or Linoleum floors, I have ideas germinating that might actually HAPPEN! Thank you, Laini! Thank you bunches!

Debbie Barr said...

Looks beautiful! I love the way it makes all the other colors in the room POP!

I also love that you have your daughter's pretend kitchen inside of the big kitchen! I think having big toys like that in the main areas of the house allows for more play, and then they can play and be around the rest of the family at the same time!

Kate Robertson said...

It looks fabulous. We are stripping off our old linoleum and let me tell you it is quite the chore. Painting would not have helped our floor. I love the look of your house.

Kate said...

Looks nice! :) I didn't know you could paint linoleum! So cool! Good to know! Some floors around here might need some painting. . . hmm. . . :)

Anonymous said...

I want to re-do my kitchen... RIGHT. NOW. This looks amazing. I had no idea you could paint linoleum! We recently re-floored our kitchen, actually. But this gives me some ideas for the bathrooms in our house. :)

Q said...

My goodness, that changes EVERYTHING about the room! Lovely.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi all!
Sarah, re: texture, I've painted plenty with a brush and had no brush marks. Shouldn't be a problem as long as the brush is decent quality and the paint isn't all old and thick. But Jim did use a paint sprayer for a lot of our projects.

Jillian, do it! We did our back mud room and small bathroom linoleum dark dark grey, and they look great, and took hardly any time at all!

Kirsty, thanks for the link! I DO love her blog, and her sense of style. I've bookmarked it.

Emilie, oh good! Good luck!

Debbie, yes the little kitchen is fun :-) Also, Clementine's dollhouse is right outside the kitchen door, in the dining room, and she plays there a lot while we're cooking/doing dishes.

Kate, ugh, I don't envy you :-( When Jim did our hardwood floors last year he had to rip up some linoleum that was over them in some rooms, and there was terrible adhesive that had to be scraped off by hand. It was awful :-(

Kittyhietala, good luck! :-)

Q, thank you!

Kristi said...

I always thought I hated white, but when I see the things you do with white, how you add brilliant color and the contrast brings it all to life, I know I might be able to love white.


Catherine Denton said...

Love this!! LOOOVE! Thanks for the tips, I've always wondered if it could be done.
ivestsra 219Catherine Denton

Dreamdark girl said...

I love what you did with the white, and adding splashes of color here and there.

P.S. - when is the next Dreamdark book comeing out?

tone almhjell said...

So pretty! And I love that Clementine and Magnus have the same little kitchen with the same little basket of vegetables. Today, he was making pancakeses with onilla and cardanon. I love onilla and cardanon.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Taylor

First I want to admit, that as a guy, I did enjoy your book The Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I look forward to the next book this fall.

Next, I want to comment you on your house style. Every time you post regarding home projects, I find myself wantint to clean up my own apartment and make it more personal and more question for you is, how do you make things such as colors, unique accessories, and collected things all work together, look neat and organized, and keep it looking like a magazine shoot? I struggle with keeping books and daily life looking neat and organized..any tips?

Emily said...

All of your home improvement projects are so inspiring! I'm only 20 in college but you're making me really want to have a house I can do all this stuff to-had no idea that you could paint the floor like that!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should get employed by those people who have properties for sale in east london, so they can get more buyers?

Jerusha Aiken said...

Amazing, what a difference it made. You know you would make a good interior designer. I like the way you transform everything in your house; the renovations and the touch-ups. They're so gorgeous that they can be featured in real estate photography.

Bonnie Boglioli Randall said...

Lovely work!
I happened upon your blog (glad I did) while seeking a solution to an old linoleum floor in one of our bathrooms.
I have a question for you, as it seems you've had your 'new' kitchen floors for several months now: HOW IS THE WHITE HOLDING UP? I'd love to do our bathroom floor in white paint, but worry that perhaps dirty/grubby feet might make it less than attractive in a short time. Cheers!

Ema Hegna said...

When we moved into our new house three months ago, we renovated the kitchen and the living room immediately. Those are the two important areas that we consider renovating first.

Mattie Hess said...

You sure are good at redesigning your own kitchen. I like how you used and played with those colors and pieces in your kitchen. Compared to before, I think your kitchen looks more pleasant and alive. I'll try doing the same with my kitchen too, the ideas are helpful and much-appreciated! Kudos to you and your home!

Painting Tips said...

Great post! Been looking for info on floor painting. Thanks for sharing!

Manjo said...

Thanks so much for this post! There's a lot of really cool stuff on this blog. I'm ready to get to work now!

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