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My small kitchen's linoleum floor has many scrapes, some of which a former owner successfully filled with something grey like automotive Bondo?

I have a strong back but my knees are bad. My mobile home will probably be a tear-down in a few years when I’m gone, and I don’t have an extra $2000 to pay for new flooring + labor. Is it possible to spread a spackle type of material over the floor and smooth it, in sections? I could then sand it a bit with a wallboard swiveling pole sander, wipe up all dust, and paint with a good floor paint.

I would just leave the range and fridge in place and clean and paint around them. My underfloor seems to be pretty sound and level. The finished project wouldn’t have to be smooth, and I don't expect it to withstand dragging furniture etc. ANYTHING would be an improvement over the scraped & patched floor I have.

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  • you might be able to dig out patches from flooring hidden under a stove or fridge. We did this in an apt to fix a burn mark and once we sealed the edges with clear nail polish, it was darn next to impossible to notice.
    – dandavis
    May 5, 2022 at 20:44

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How smooth is the current flooring? Are the scrapes purely visual and ugly, or are they raised (or gouged?). If it's physically ok and just ugly, one option could be to do your sanding thing to make it all nice and smooth (and to rough up the surface a bit to remove any shine) and put down relatively inexpensive peel/stick tiles from your local big-box store. Doing a random price check at a local big-box store to me, I'm seeing several options that are under $2 per square foot for peel-n-stick tile. So depending on the size of your kitchen, it may not be out of your budget.

It could probably be done in a few hours, though would require some hands/knees work to carefully put the tiles in place, and you'd want to be careful to have a dust-free surface before you put down the new tiles.

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    Peel and stick tiles do seem to check all the boxes. Will last longer than expected life of home, cheap and easy to do, and should make the kitchen look nice. Picking out a design you like might be the hardest, with all the choices.
    – crip659
    May 5, 2022 at 14:54
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    Thanks for your fast and useful suggestions, especially Milwrdfan's. I laid the glue-down tile decades ago, around a toilet, so cutting peel-and-stick should be very doable. I'll buy the thickest ones I can find--which might be 2mm, 30 yr warranty, CHEAP!, from Home Depot, and will do careful prep. One user of this tile said she also applied a bit of glue while laying the tiles. A semi-skilled handyman could put down most of the tiles, and I can fit and lay the more demanding areas. The common marble patterns, in neutral colors, are perfect. Save me from WHITE floors! May 5, 2022 at 17:37

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