Yesterday I finished painting the laundry room floor. (The laundry room as a whole is still not done. But almost.) I learned some things between last time (when I painted the bathroom floor) and now. Also, a couple of people had questions about how I got the floor to look like that, and I realized that I never did really explain how to do it. So here goes nothin'.
When I started out the laundry room floor was that peel-and-stick vinyl tile stuff. It wasn't horrible, but I didn't like it anymore and it just wasn't going to work with my plan for re-doing the laundry room. First, I cleaned up the floor really well. I mean, down on the floor on my hands and knees with a scrubby sponge. If the floor had been really shiny (like a lot of roll vinyl flooring is) I would've sanded off the shiny finish. That helps the primer to "grab" the floor so it sticks and doesn't wear off so easily. If you sand the floor, then you have to vacuum up all the sanding dust and clean the floor again before the next step.
If you want a solid-color floor, you could stop at this point. When I stenciled my bathroom floor, I put two coats of Minwax Crystal Clear over everything after I finished stenciling. I did that because I thought it would make the floor more durable. You know what? After the field testing I mentioned earlier, I really don't think the Minwax is needed. The floor seems plenty tough for normal use without putting any poly on it. I suppose if you own a dance hall or something, you might want to go ahead and poly it up. Or if you wanted the floor to be really shiny you could use the Minwax, because by itself the Valspar floor paint isn't very shiny. (The paint's still wet in the photo of the solid gray floor.)
I, however, am a stenciled-floor fan, so I soldiered on. By "soldiered on" I mean that it took me a month to stencil the floor because I am lazy and unmotivated and prone to periods of hibernation in cold weather. If I were a productive, organized person I estimate the stenciling portion of the floor would have taken me about four hours. Four hours, not four weeks. But I procrastinate.