June 10, 2012
As someone that loves design projects and likes getting her hands dirty, I was inspired this weekend to attempt a new project for the apartment I just moved into. The predicament was the unattractive vinyl flooring in my large eat-in kitchen. In previous apartments, I have just put down new peal and stick tiles, but this kitchen has more than 200 S.F. – making anything permanent not a good solution. Here is a picture of the existing floor so you can see what I was working with…terrible.
So after some research, I stumbled across this term called floor cloth. I had no idea what this was, but after some additional research I discovered that a floor cloth is basically a stiff material that is meant to cover a hard surface. Like a rug, but much stiffer and very durable towards spills, staining, water etc. Perfect for a kitchen floor. Most floor cloths are made with a canvas drop cloth and a lot of Shelac. I decided for the size I needed this was impractical – too many steps and too hard to manage since I needed this project to take less than a day. I settled on using the back side of a remnant piece of sheet vinyl. You can get remnant sizes from Lowes or home depot. I was lucky and found a 6 x 9 piece at Lowes on my first try for $11.
Step 1: Layout the sheet vinyl on a plastic drop cloth and paint the background color. My piece of Vinyl had some stamped letters on the back. I kinda liked that you would see those, but if you want a perfect background you would want to prime the vinyl before painting your back ground.
Step 2: Choose your pattern. I LOVE a chevron pattern, so that is what I wanted. I eye-balled the pattern and made adjustments here or there. You could do almost any pattern you want and stripes or color blocks would be much simpler. I just taped out where I wanted the pattern and then painted my accent color. This pattern took almost two rolls of painters tape.
Step 3: I don’t have pictures of step three because it got a little windy outside (plus I was tired from all the squats). But step three is to peel off all the tape carefully and then apply the top coat. In most of my research everyone used shellac as the top coat, but I didn’t want a high gloss finish – so I used Poly in a satin finish. Confession time – I have never used Poly on anything! Wow does this stuff dry quick, its sticky, and very thin. I ended up just dumping poly on the vinyl and spreading it around with a brush. No need to be delicate – it dries clear.
The finished product looks great, its very durable, and easy to clean. Plus the pattern is dramatic, so you don’t really notice the old floor anymore, even though you can still see some of it. The entire project cost me about $50.