When it’s done right, I love ‘em. It creates interest and has the potential to make people say “Wow!” when they walk into the room.
But why would anyone choose to have painted wood floors instead of beautifully stained hardwood floors?
Well… to be honest… if you have beautifully stained hardwood floors, you’re not going to choose to paint them unless you’ve gone mad!
But, there are several really great reasons to have painted wood floors:
- Because your hardwood floors are in poor condition and painting them would be a huge improvement over their current condition.
- Because painted wood floors are less expensive to do than refinishing hardwood floors.
- Because you want to create a particular design or style in your home and painted wood floors naturally lends itself to that task.
- Because it helps defines spaces in a home. Painting a border or design in a sitting area in a master bedroom is a great example of defining a space within a room.
- Because you want a totally unique look that will make a statement.
- Because it’s cheaper than sanding and refinishing a hardwood floor. I know I said that already but it bears repeating because that is why most people will end up with painted wood floors.
Most of you reading this post found it because you’re looking for a little how-to advice before you paint your wood floors yourself. There are just a few things to remember.
Prep Work Is Key
What type of finish is currently on your wood floor?
If you are painting over an old coat of paint, you’ll need to thoroughly wash the floor and vacuum up any loose particles.
You can mop the floor with:
- All-purpose wood floor cleaner in rooms other than the bathroom or kitchen.
- For the kitchen and bathroom, use 2 cups of vinegar to a gallon of hot water to cut through the grease and grime.
- Be sure to rinse the floor thoroughly by emptying the mop bucket and filling it with clean hot water. You may have to dump it a couple of times depending on the condition of your floor.
- Let it dry thoroughly.
A bare wood floor will need to be sanded, vacuumed and primed prior to painting. A varnished floor will need to be sanded and vacuumed to remove the gloss and then painted.
How To Remove Mildew
Mix 3 parts water to 1 part household bleach and let stand for 20 minutes. Keep it wet with the bleach mixture until the 20 minutes are up. Rinse thoroughly and let dry completely. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and goggles.
Safety Tip: Use proper eye protection, gloves and a dust mask.
Bare Wood Floor Surface Prep
Dull any glossy areas of the floor with medium grit (#120) garnet paper.
Use wood filler where necessary.
Sand smooth and vacuum.
Priming The Floor
You can use either a latex or an oil-based primer if you’re going to paint it with a latex paint.
Use an oil-based primer if you’re going to use an oil-based or polyurethane paint.
In either case, be sure to use a primer recommended for interior floor use.
Painting The Floor
Use a latex floor paint for a satin finish.
Use a latex, alkyd or polyurethane paint for a semi-gloss or gloss finish.
Consult a trusted paint store professional for best results.
Be sure to use paint recommended for floor use. Wall paint won’t cut it.
Surface Prep, Priming & Painting Instructions For A Painted Floor
Basically, follow the instructions for bare wood floors — except that you want to remove any loose or cracked paint with medium grit garnet paper and/or a scraper in addition to the steps noted.
You should also feather sand the edges to allow for the paint to thoroughly adhere to the end surfaces.
Surface Prep, Priming & Painting Instructions For A Polyurethane-Coated Floor
Follow the same steps for a previously painted floor.
Here’s are some great tips on surface prep for painted wood floors for different situations. It’s a little more detailed.
Tools To Use When You’re Finally Ready To Paint
- Use a brush to cut in the edges.
- Use a ¼” nap roller with a long handle to fill in. The long handle will save your back and your knees.
- Apply at least 2 coats of paint and allow 24 hours in-between coats.
- Finish it up with a couple of coats of polyurethane to make it durable.
- Let it cure for a couple of days before you begin to replace your furniture on it. The last thing you want to do after all of your hard work is to rush the curing process. It should not be tacky. I suggest you keep your home at 70 degrees Farhenheit or higher.
What About Painting A Cool Design Or Effect?
Not content with a solid coat of paint? How about some great design ideas? Before you get started you should consider the following:
- One solid color will give you a more contemporary look.
- Painting a border on your wood floor is more traditional.
- Creating diamonds or a checkerboard leans towards a country style.
- Stenciling could be just about any style depending on the design. Think about your style of home before proceeding.
Now for some great painted wood floor design ideas:
- Decorative colors, designs, shapes and patterns
- Painted wood floors and geometric designs
- Wood floor stenciling
- Stenciling hardwood
- Stenciling, Parquet flooring and Inlays
- Design your own stencils
- A great video on how to paint a checkered floor
- More great DIY stencil designs for wood floors
- Another great DIY link showing how to paint a diamond design
More Great Resources For Painted Wood Floors
- How To Paint Your Floors and NOT Screw It Up
- Ideas for Painting Wood Floors
- How To Paint a Wood Floor Fast and Easy (good basic info)
- Wood Floor Painting Tips (best tips)
- 6 Steps to a Painted Wood Floor