Linoleum floors are among the most popular flooring options for kitchens and bathrooms because they are affordable, durable, easy to clean and come in many colours.
Waxing linoleum floors is a great way to keep them looking new while also adding protection against spills that might otherwise ruin the floor.
Knowing how to wax linoleum floors can save you time and money on repairs or replacements. Follow these steps to make your own DIY waxed linoleum floor finish at home!
Follow these steps to wax linoleum floors:
- Clean the floor before waxing to ensure that dirt and debris are not embedded in the linoleum.Sweep or vacuum the floor with a soft-bristled broom or brush to pick up loose particles, then follow up by mopping with a diluted mixture of hot water and mild detergent in a bucket.
Rinse the floor thoroughly to remove any traces of soap with clean water in your mop bucket.
- Allow the floor to dry completely. If you have large cracks between tiles, use an awl or screwdriver to poke holes along each joint, so it is easier for them to accept the new wax coating later on.This step is only necessary for older floors with larger cracks.
- Dip your soft cloth into the can of wax. If there is too much wax on the cloth, it will leave behind clumps that are difficult to remove, so be sure to work just a small section at a time.Rub the wax along about 2 feet (60 cm) of the floor at a time in long strokes left to right or right to left to avoid smearing excess wax over areas you have already covered.
- Buff out any excess wax with another clean, soft cloth after allowing it time to dry according to package directions (typically one hour).Repeat this process for each section of flooring until they are all finished and cleaned up. This should give your floors at least two coats of linoleum sealer.
- If desired, add another thin coat of wax or paint with an oil-based enamel product for added protection against spills that might damage the linoleum flooring.Allow this last coat to completely dry according to package directions before walking on it again with shoes.
Any excess wax will rub off onto your shoe, so be sure to wait until the second coat has dried enough that no more will come up when you wipe your foot across it!
What Material do I need to wax my wax linoleum floors:
- Tin of linoleum wax or paint with an oil-based enamel
- Soft cloths, dry rags, or paper towels
- Bucket for hot water and detergent solution
- A soft brush with natural bristles for small areas
- An old towel to cover large areas before applying the wax finish
- Linoleum sealer, if desired
How do I clean my linoleum floors before wax?
Use a vacuum cleaner hose attachment to clean your linoleum floors or Mop regularly to remove dirt particles that can cause cracks in the surface of the flooring over time. You can find the best spray mop for your floor here.
If desired, use diluted dishwashing liquid in warm water to hand scrub stubborn stains.
Before applying wax or oil-based enamel, be sure to rinse the floor completely with clean water after cleaning it, then allow the linoleum to dry completely.
How do I choose which type of wax to use on my linoleum floors?
The best choice is an all-inclusive wax that can be applied directly onto your linoleum floors. Natural products like lemon juice and olive oil can also provide excellent results if you want a more natural look for your home.
If you are using paint as your sealant, make sure it has good coverage over the entire surface of the flooring material, particularly in cracks between tiles where dirt might accumulate.
Most paint products include instructions about how many coats should be used.
Do you want to know how to make a linoleum floor shine ? Please read this article.
FAQs waxing linoleum floors
Q: I have older linoleum floors in my home. Can they be waxed?
A: Yes, most linoleum is compatible with both oil-based and water-based products such as paint and sealants.
However, if dirt has accumulated on your floor or there are cracks between tiles that cannot be detected when cleaning, it might be helpful to poke holes into the surface of the tiles before applying a new coat of wax.
This can sometimes give them extra grip for more even application and easier removal later on by walking on them with shoes.
Q: Does clean-up involve chemicals?
A: No, you should not need to use harsh chemicals when cleaning your linoleum floors after waxing or painting them with an oil-based enamel. If needed, use diluted dishwashing liquid because this product is gentle on most surfaces.
If desired, you can also clean the wax buildup off of your flooring by rubbing it with an all-purpose cleaner that has been diluted in hot water to avoid damage to the linoleum finish.
Q: What should I do if excess paint builds upon my linoleum floors?
A: Avoid scraping excess colour from your linoleum floors after painting them because doing so can cause cracks and other types of damage to their surface.
Instead, allow the paint sealant time to dry according to package directions before using a vacuum cleaner hose attachment or soft cloths to remove any loose pieces of dried paint.
Use caution when using a brush on your floors after painting, as doing so can cause damage if the bristles are too stiff.
Q: How long should I wait before walking on my linoleum floors again?
A: You will want to let your new linoleum wax or painted flooring sit for at least twenty-four hours before walking back and forth across it with shoes.
Remember that you should keep to this same rule when cleaning the excess paint buildup from your floors. Just be sure to use gentle methods like those described above to avoid damaging the surface of the linoleum during this process.
Q: Is there any other reason I might need to recoat my linoleum flooring after successfully waxing it?
A: If not enough coats of wax were applied to your linoleum flooring or if you used a water-based polish instead, an excess of dirt and scratches might be visible after the first coat has been removed.
In this case, follow up with one or two more applications of your chosen wax solution and wait for it to dry before walking across the surface again and using a vacuum cleaner hose attachment to remove any stubborn marks that remain on its surface.
Q: What if I do not like the colour of my linoleum floors after applying oil-based enamel?
A: Before doing anything else, read through all of the documentation included with your paint product because it may have recommendations for removing particular colours of paint from your linoleum flooring.
For example, some products have been known to use acetone or alcohol for this purpose. If you are having trouble finding the right product or if your linoleum floors are very old and not meant to be painted, it might be best just to start over with a different brand of sealant.
Q: What colour should I apply to my linoleum floors?
A: Decorative enamel paints can come in various colours but often include lighter shades that can provide good contrast without appearing too bright for most types of rooms and spaces within the home.
You will want to select a colour that is compatible with other features in your home.