Introduction: DIY Renter-friendly Old Vinyl Floor Makeover

About: Part MacGyver, part Martha, creator, host and producer of Engineer Your Space, an award winning DIY home design show dedicated to clever, affordable and stylish solutions for common challenges faced by renters…

After giving my tiny entryway (it’s only 3ft x 3ft) a makeover to brighten it up and I was liking the changes I had done except that now the old vinyl flooring was standing out like a sore thumb. It was just begging for a new look! I had always wanted to do a compass rose design and I came across this one online made by Rose Floor Inlay, I knew that's the one I wanted to replicate on my floor.

Brainstorming ideas on how I could do this in a renter friendly way, I thought about the ram board that I used to create a dramatic textured black wall in my bedroom. It’s meant to be used to protect floors during construction so it’s very sturdy. Since the rolls are three feet wide, I would be able to cover the entire entryway floor with one piece and I could add the compass rose design to that.

Step 1: Cut and Paint Ram Board

I started by cutting and painting the ram board. I did the first coat with paint that I had leftover from my office makeover (it was the type of paint that has primer combined). And because this will be on the floor in a high traffic area. I added two coats of floor paint in a light Arctic gray color. I found out the hard way that it’s very important for that first coat of paint to have some primer in it. Otherwise, putting the floor paint directly on the rim board may cause it to dent or warp in some areas.

Step 2: Cut the Triangles Out of Vinyl

After letting the paint dry overnight, it was time to tackle the compass rose design. I considered painting it but it would have taken me hours to get it just right, so I was happy to try out the Cricut Maker Machine to make this part of the project go a lot quicker and easier. Once the machine was powered and connected to my computer, it just took a few minutes to download the Cricut Design Space software and get started. I arranged all the triangles in a way that would maximize the use of the material being cut.

Step 3: Stick Vinyl Pieces to the Cardboard

I drew the middle lines so I could line up all the triangles with the center of the cardboard.

Step 4: Paint Border

Then I painted the border. This took me way longer to do because of having to tape and do several coats of the paint. Some of the edges were far from perfect and needed lots of touching up.

Step 5: Secure Cardboard to the Existing Vinyl Floor

To secure the cardboard to the vinyl flooring, I use the same removable double sided tape that I used for my bedroom project. I also placed strips of removable double sided carpet tape in the middle of the floor, and that was to make sure that the cardboard didn’t lift off the floor. I chose this tape because it’s very thin and won’t make any indentation in the cardboard. Once I had that front section secured. I moved gradually towards the back of the entryway removing the tape backing section by section, until it was all secured in place. Getting a perfect fit around the edges can be tricky but if you have gaps, molding can hide any imperfections.

Step 6: Add Some Black Accents

As I was admiring this new floor, I started thinking that having some black to the compass rose design would make it stand out a lot more. I used the cricut maker machine to cut the new triangles in black. I also made the thin line of my border black but instead of painting it, I used vinyl tape to make this part go quicker.

Step 7: Protect the Floor With Polyurethane

The last step to protect the floor was to add two coats of glossy polyurethane. It gives such a nice sheen to the floor, and it also sealed around all of the edges of the vinyl pieces, so I can Swiffer the floor without having to worry about any of the pieces coming off.

Step 8: Transformation Complete!

What a difference from the original floor! And while I did like the two color Compass Rose, I much prefer the one with the black. I find it adds a lot more life and dimension to the design.

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