How to Restore Marmoleum Finish?

Discussion in 'Cleaning, Maintenance & Restoration' started by AnneL, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. AnneL

    AnneL Member

    We have a 13-year-old Marmoleum floor in our bathroom. Over the years I maintained the floor using Armstrong linoleum cleaner and finish provided by the installer. A year or so ago I wondered if I should remove the buildup somehow, as there was a crackled effect near the walls where the finish had built up (I know better now!) as well as some clouding in areas that were frequently splashed, e.g. beside the sink. The local company that installed the floor no longer exists, so I contacted Forbo, and was offered a ready-to-use pH-neutral residential floor stripper, which I purchased and used.
    The stripper appears to have taken off the factory finish along with the built-up polish. I applied Forbo linoleum finish as instructed but it doesn't seem to offer the same protection. Within days the finish becomes cloudy and spotty where water gets splashed, even though the water is not left on the floor. I have investigated on-line and see that sometimes linoleum is restored after stripping using a sealer before the polish, but these examples are in commercial settings. I'm also confused about what is a "sealer" and what is a "finish", as some products are labeled both.
    So after months of living with the ugliness I've stripped the floor again. What I have is beautiful; but it is not the vibrant blue floor it was. When it is wet it looks almost like it used to look, but when it dries it has a greyish cast. The surface is porous and rough. It was well-installed and it should last years longer, if I can figure out how to protect it...I've ordered more Forbo finish but I don't have high hopes.
    Can anyone help?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    Try some boiled linseed oil on a clean white cloth in an inconspicuous area......like behind the toilet. Let it dry overnight and see if it brings back the original luster.

    Used to be lino came unfinished but more modern linoleum is being manufactured with a sprayed on urethane coating (factory finish) if I'm not mistaken.
    Linseed oil------absent the urethane coating-----has worked great for me in the past to restore old linoleum, but I've never tried that trick......in the 21rst century with modern products.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    You’re definitely in the right category and place. A sealer for this purpose would “seal” against any staining that may occur. Similar to Terrazzo sealer sealing the marble/granite and white Portland from absorbing an unwanted substance. A finish also protects the flooring. Provides luster/desired sheen. Some stone sealers “enhance” the color.

    I called SealKrete company before I painted my home(chalky paint)not understanding their product being called a “sealer” prior to painting. It is also called a primer.

    So for your situation I don’t know the characteristics of Linoleum. Will it absorb organic liquids? Then a “sealer” would absorb just like a wine would, cure, and prevent any liquids of color from absorbing into flooring.

    A finish would be a protectant for walking/light scratching.

    Of course CFR is fully informed about proper care, he gets the calls for troubleshooting.
     
  4. AnneL

    AnneL Member

    Thanks, I had wondered about linseed oil, given the composition of linoleum; I appreciate the suggestion.
     
  5. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Forbo who makes marmoleum has a floor finish in gloss and matte depending on which floor you have.

    Installation & Floor Care
     
  6. AnneL

    AnneL Member

    I do have the Forbo finish. The problem is that the finish alone does not seem to be enough to make the floor look like it used to. So I'm wondering if I should be taking an extra step before the finish, like applying a sealer, which Forbo doesn't sell (at least not for residential use).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2019
  7. AnneL

    AnneL Member

    Hello, Incognito! I did exactly what you suggested and the boiled linseed oil has really enhanced the colour. The test area behind the toilet is now the best looking part of the floor! The BLO also seems to have smoothed the surface.
    In your experience, did you find that one coat of the BLO was sufficient? Would you put a finish on top, once the linseed oil has dried?
    I'm optimistic but not sure how to proceed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    Not sure how this brand of linoleum wants to be finish coated, especially after treating with linseed oil. When I've done it I didn't do any more than wipe over with a light application or three with clean white cloths and allow to thoroughly dry between coats.

    I'm an installer working for a company that either excludes wash/wax/finish from the contracts or subcontracts that out to professional cleaning operations. My little test projects have been on a very small scale for friends or as a favor to a helpful customer. My experience was similar to what you describe------improvent in the color/luster bringing back the original quality.
     
  9. AnneL

    AnneL Member

    Thank you for your reply. I'm finding, as you said, that only a very light application is needed to make a big difference. For now I will finish up with the linseed oil and then, once it has dried completely, decide whether or not to try a small test of the Forbo finish on top.
     
  10. AnneL

    AnneL Member

    In case anyone is interested, this photo shows the contrast, with the boiled linseed oil treated marmoleum at the top.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 2
  11. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    How about throwing a coat of wax on the marmo after you’re done with the linseed oil.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Don Monfils

    Don Monfils PRO CARPET Charter Member

    4D8C4C87-20B3-4498-BA72-AE3410116BB7.jpeg Dispose of the rags properly.
    Linseed oil is extremely flammable.
    The rags can spontaneously combust if they are bunched up.
    I know first hand
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    That’s what I call a barnfire
     
  14. AnneL

    AnneL Member

    Any thoughts on what type? I think a lot of floor finishes are called "wax", when they are actually acrylic or something.
    I wonder if leaving the floor for a week or so after finishing with the BLO would mean that the oil has cured, and then any finish I choose would stick.
     
  15. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    You just want to make sure it is recommended for use on linoleum floors. I think most out there are some sort of acrylic wax blend. Forbo Floor Finish is an acrylic wax blend. Armstrong Shine Keeper is another one. You could go old school and use a paste wax. That’s a lot more work than just mopping on a product though. image.jpg
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    Like Chris says, once the linseed treatment is good and dry any typical floor wax/finish could be applied. It's best to use the recommended products if they are available AND reasonably priced.
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.