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How To Paint Vinyl Floors To Look Like Wood

So your floor is made of vinyl and you want to change the visual to that of wood.

In this article, I answered the question of how to paint a vinyl floor to look like wood, also covered in this article is a brief detail of what vinyl flooring is.

What is Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl flooring is a type of floor usually 5mm thick composed of many layers of different materials made with synthetic material like fiberglass, PVC vinyl, and plasticizer. It’s durable and has moisture resistance.

Vinyl flooring is not only water-resistant but waterproof as well, that’s why it could be used on the bathroom floor. It is also used in the kitchen, bedroom, living room, and dining room.

One of the good advantages of a vinyl floor is that it can be cleaned and cared for easily, it can be wet mopped and when necessary, it can be scrubbed with safe cleaning products. Depending on the quality, installation, and maintenance of vinyl flooring, it can last about 5 to 23 years.

Types of vinyl flooring

We will go through different types of vinyl flooring and know your job.

The vinyl plank

This type of vinyl floor gives your floor the appearance of a wood floor without spending on wood. You can get this vinyl plank in different wood colors, and textures.

The vinyl tile

This type of vinyl flooring has an individual square of various sizes when assembled, and will give your floor the appearance of a ceramic or stone tile. 

The vinyl sheet

This type of flooring is usually in a single roll and about 6 to 12 feet wide. Over time the vinyl sheet has improved over the years that it can come in different visuals like tiles, wood, and stone. 

Advantages of vinyl sheet flooring

Vinyl floor has a lot of advantages, such as:

a. Durability

The vinyl floor can be used anywhere, kitchen, bathroom, living room. There are a lot of factors that can affect the durability of your vinyl flooring such as the quality of the material. And how well it was installed. 

b. Easy maintenance and cleaning

Do you have kids and pets? Don’t worry, I know that the last thing you want is to spend every bit of your time tidying up your new floor. All you have to do is act quickly and wipe the mess up, and the floor is as clean as ever.

c. Numerous design options

With vinyl flooring, you will have unlimited floor design whether in wood flooring or ceramics and stone flooring, with color options like black, brown, grey, and much more.

Disadvantages of vinyl flooring

When exposed to sunlight for a long time, it can lead to discoloration.

Also, during installation, if the floor is not prepared well, it will make the vinyl flooring start bumping up with time. In this case, you may have to invite the services of a professional to install the vinyl flooring for you.

How to Paint your Vinyl Floor to Look Like Wood

One of the best alternatives to have a wooden floor visual is to paint your vinyl flooring to look like wood. This will not only give you the desired look but will cost you less than the price of getting a wooden floor material.

Follow the below steps to properly paint your vinyl.

  • Clean the vinyl surface
  • Sand the vinyl surface lightly with sandpaper
  • Apply primer
  • Apply the paint
  • Using the desired shades of paint, brushstroke a wood-like texture to your surface.

We have outlined our processes, let’s dive deep into his to full details of how to give our vinyl flooring a wooden look.

Step one – Clean The Vinyl Surface

For proper cleaning, use hot water and liquid soap to clean the vinyl surface. This will enhance the appearance of our finished painting.

Step two – Sand The Vinyl Surface Lightly With Sandpaper

Often people underestimate the importance, sanding the surface of the vinyl surface will make the paint adhere to the surface especially if the surface is too glossy for the paint to adhere to it.

Step three – Apply The Primer

Apply primer to the surface to be painted, this makes sure that there is better adhesion of the paint to the surface. This also increases the durability of the paint. Read more on 

To apply use a paint sprayer, after applying the first it will be very thin allowing it to dry completely. Apply it again the second time after the first spray has dried and allow the floor to dry very well.

Step four – Apply The Paint

The primer is dried completely, it’s time to apply our paint. Get our desired wooden surface, using a paintbrush start with a medium shade of brown. To make sure that your paint lasts a long time select a paint that has a good Light reflective value.

You can look at the wood you want your floor to look like and apply the color as the undertone color. Make you cover the entire surface, allow it to dry and apply the second coat of paint, and allow it to dry.

Step five – Using the Desired Shades of Paint, Brushstroke a Wood-like Texture on the surface.

Pour a darker shade of your acrylic brown into a bucket, using a wider paintbrush, dip it into the paint and remove excess paint from the brush, then run the brush from top to bottom on a straight line on the surface. Avoid brushes that are too soft like camel hair but rather a stiff coarse bristle brush like a boar bristle brush will be best for his job.

Using a single coat for each color, select a different color working from a darker color to a lighter color, dry brush each color completely all over the surface and allow to dry, this should take about 10 to 29 minutes.

If you are using a wood grain rocker, after step four, on step five use the rolling brush and apply the paint on a straight line 15 cm wide. Do not paint the whole surface at once.

With a rocking movement drag the wood grain rocker on the wet paint from the top edge of the surface down to the bottom of the surface. After each run down, wash your brushes and wood grain rocket and repeat the process until the whole surface has been painted then allow to dry completely.

While painting up the doors and windows to allow air to enter the room, will reduce the harshness of the paint smell and put on a nose mask.

By now you should have a beautiful wood-painted vinyl floor, don’t forget to wash the acrylic paint off the brush before it dries, else it won’t go off again.


Hope by now I have answered your question about how to paint your vinyl floor to look like wood. It all depends on the type of wood you want to mimic. Get the paint colors, follow the process above and you will have a very beautiful wooden floor that you desire. If not sure how to do it you can always employ the services of a professional to help you.