How to stain vinyl flooring

In most cases, staining a vinyl floor is the best alternative to replacing it entirely. If you want a new look for your floor yet want to avoid the cumbersome process involved in replacing it entirely, you can go for the staining option. Before staining a vinyl floor, you are supposed to prepare the floor for staining,  then apply a cover stain/ primer, and finally stain it with the appropriate stain, preferably an oil-based one. However, the vinyl stain works best on floors that are less damaged or completely damage-free and only need a lovely appearance. This is how to stain vinyl flooring and all we need to know about the process involved;

What is needed for staining vinyl flooring?

To succeed in precisely applying the stain to give your vinyl flooring a good look, you are obviously gonna need to have some equipment and material. Each of the tools mentioned below has its particular purpose that it has to perform and a different way of using it, but having each of them is equally important. They include the following;



How many/how much

Paint roller

Rolling the stain into the floor


Painting brush

Applying coat


Painters tape

Maintaining a uniform level



Bonding the stain with the floor

One can

Vinyl floor stain

Finish up the look on your vinyl floor

One can

Sanding pole and grit sandpaper (optional)

Smoothing the floor and dulling the current stain


 Once you have all those, it’s easier to do the rest of the process. Now each of them will be required at a specific point, but you need to be careful with how to use them to make the work easier. Some of them might have to be used twice, so storing them well should be a consideration. The sanding pole seems easy to use, but it needs some extra pressure to get rid of the rough bumps and make the vinyl flooring surface smooth enough for applying the paint. Before you start the job, please select a suitable part of the floor to try out the stain you are going to be using to see its outcome and leave it to dry up completely. Now let’s see what to do when staining vinyl flooring.

Prepare your floor for staining.


  • Cleaning

The first step to successfully staining the vinyl flooring is usually a detailed preparation process for staining. First, you have to make sure that the floor is immaculate. There’s a need to keep the floor very dry since the coating and the stain are oil-based, and they will need the floor to be very dry if they have to stick uniformly. Clean the floor appropriately and make sure it is dry before the process begins.


  • Sanding

After the floor is clean and dry, we can move to the next step of dulling the existing stain. This is why we need a sanding pole and 220-grit sandpaper. Sand the floor very uniformly and maintaining the level so that other parts don’t end up looking like they are scratched off. However, this step is not necessary when the existing stain is not too bright or too dark to overwhelm the shine you are about to apply now. However, if it happens to be too shiny or too dark, the sanding step is absolutely necessary. Sanding is also very important to get rid of every rough spot on the floor so that when you apply the new stain, it appears clean and smooth.

  • Deglossing/ cover coating

This is the final stage in preparing the vinyl flooring is applying a deglosser or using a cover coating with a primer. We usually use a paint roller to roll the deglosser into the floor. If you are gonna be extending a little bit into the floor, you need the painter’s tape to mark the margins and maintain a certain level. Stick the painter’s tape on a straight line along the wall to mark the margin then carefully apply the deglosser or the primer on the whole surface until it is uniformly applied. Now in the case of the primer, be sure to use a paintbrush.  

 How to apply the stain


This is the final and the most important stage of staining vinyl flooring. The good thing with our format of the process is that we have already had to roll in a diglossia or paint a cover coating primer into the floor. This makes it easy to do this final part since we have already prepared the surface for the stain. Applying your preferred vinyl flooring stain will make the floor look much better than it is. If you have already done some sanding, you do not have to worry about if the current shinies are lighter or darker than the one you are applying.

To name sure that the stain gets everywhere and that it gets uniform on the floor, you first have to mark off the edges on the wall if you consider going up a little. We have already done that in this case with the painter’s tape. With the surface clear, use a rolling brush to roll the stain into the floor until it is uniformly spread across the floor. Depending on the outcome you can either do a single layer or you can add a second one to finish off the glow.

When rolling the stain into the flooring, make sure you do not reach the edges. Leaving a uniform strip of 3-4″ from the wall. This is very important to make sure that your finishing is a little detailed. At the end of covering the other parts of the floor, you can now get back and finish off the edges with a paintbrush, making sure that the stain covers the remaining part perfectly. after applying the stain uniformly on every part of the flooring, leave it to settle for 10-24 hours to be sure that the floor is dry before getting back to use the room normally. That is basically easy it is to apply the stain itself.

Related questions

Can you restain vinyl flooring?

Restaining vinyl floors are very possible and it could be done once or twice a year. However, sometimes the floor would stay in condition longer than a year or half a year. However, there’s is bound to be a great need to restain the floor when the other stain is worn out or is getting ugly. However, restaining would need a lot more than applying a new stain over the other. We would need to do a lot of sanding and cleaning before applying the new stain.

Can you use wood stain on vinyl?  

Using a wood stain on vinyl is clearly not a very good idea. Wood stain is one of the hardest to remove, especially on vinyl flooring. It usually stains the floor almost permanently. Furthermore, the stains are manufactured differently, each with different proportions to fit different surfaces. So the stain that is meant for wood floors would most likely not work out for vinyl floors. If does, it’s gonna be a problem to deal with in the future.


Staining vinyl flooring is an easy process when you have the correct system of doing it and you have proper equipment and material. It is a matter of a few hours. We have made it even easier with our version of the process which emphasizes the details of making the process a success and satisfactory. Basically have the floor clean, make it smooth, coat it with the primer, and then apply the stain itself. Leave the floor to settle until it’s totally dry. With this in mind, it is not how to stain vinyl flooring anymore but how precisely you should stain your vinyl flooring.

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