I just put the last coat of polyurethane on my Twin Peaks Red Room inspired painted chevron linoleum floor mat. It's a fun alternative to painted floors, especially if you are a renter or change your mind frequently (I check yes to both of those!)
This project required much more time than I expected, and a well ventilated area that won't have much traffic over several days so that your coats of paint have plenty of time to dry.
- Lineolum Scrap
- Clear Polyurethane
- Paint of your choosing for your design
- Foam brush
- Paint roller
- Large bristled brush
- Drop cloth
- Painters tape, unless you're free-handing a design
I purchased a linoleum scrap at Lowe's. This was more expensive than I expected, and ended up being around $20. The scrap wasn't perfectly even, but luckily it was a grid pattern, so I had built in guidelines to trim it down to an even rectangle. Be careful not to cut through and mess up your floor! The linoleum I worked with was brittle enough that I could score it with an exacto knife, fold it, and tear.
Next, I primed the reverse side with white primer and a paint roller. I think I used Kilz, since it was cheapest. Let this dry completely.
Maybe the paint fumes made my brain slow down momentarily, but I had more trouble than I expected taping off the chevron pattern. I went for thin black stripes widely spaced so I could save time by cutting down on the amount of spaces to tape off. I put down my initial stripe, then measured a set number of inches up from each point and marked with a dot in pencil to make the next stripe. Then I would get confused as to whether I was taping down the inside or outside of the angle, whether my tape should be above or below the dot, and so on. My stripes didn't turn out perfectly spaced, but it's not very noticeable, since this is on the ground, being walked on.
I used black acrylic craft paint and a foam brush for the stripes. Let these dry completely before peeling up the tape (ie. several hours) or your lines won't look crisp.
The next day, I used a large bristled brush to put two coats of clear polyurethane on the mat. I opted to do this on my porch for plenty of ventilation. The tree next to me opted to drop tiny bits of debris into the wet polyurethane. Again, it goes on the floor, so it's okay if it's not perfect. I wish I had researched how to clean polyurethane off brushes, since I had to sacrifice the rock-hard brush after it dried.
After the supply cost and time spent, I wouldn't consider this a bargain project, but it sure looks nice in my livingroom.
I think if I make another one of these, I'll do a simple checkered pattern, or something free-hand. Measuring the precise chevron pattern took a little of the crafting fun out of it for me, and I began to get frustrated. A friend's mom made a pretty floor mat with big free-hand polka dots on a beige background for a kitchen. What pattern would you choose?
(Above: The Red Room, from the David Lynch series Twin Peaks)