Looking to make a BIG change? Ready to stir things up a bit? How about painting your wood floor?
For me, this fits the category of “I’d love to do it, but don’t think I can gain spousal consent.” Yes, it’s a bigger job than painting a wall, or even a ceiling. But if your wood floors have seen better days, a bit of creativity might just do the trick.
The look can range from warm country with classic diamonds on a wood floor to playful contemporary with a bold color and high gloss. And for the artistically bold among us, the possibilities are endless.
First, a little visual inspiration…then at the end of this post I’ll share the how-to’s, and a few helpful tips to keep you out of trouble.
Lets start with one that most of us can relate to (from Coastal Living Magazine). Yes, it’s a bold painting maneuver, but it’s done in a classic way that screams “I’m traditional, but I’ve got some unanticipated sass in me!” Imagine what this can do for your tired kitchen floor! Works well with black or brown diamonds too.
Photographer: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn
Or, if you prefer stripes over diamonds, here’s another simple design that plays safely in the background using a staining technique.
Source: Cottage Living
Angling stripes adds a bit of whimsy to an otherwise symmetrical living room. Love the punch of orange, by the way!
Here’s a simple example of infusing color into an otherwise uncomplicated room. It gives it just enough personality without being in your face.
Now if you’re of the bolder persuasion, why limit your love for color to the walls and ceilings? I love the energy in this photo (Coastal Living Magazine). Granted this may look odd in a New England colonial, but if your house has the bones for it and you’ve got the kahunas…go for it!
Photographer: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn
Here’s another one from Coastal Living magazine that turns an otherwise ho-hum floor into a work of art and adds just the right amount of beachy feel to this room. Love the chalkboard and lime green doors too!
Photographer: Richard Leo Johnson
If you’re not ready to commit to painting a floor, why not start with the stairs? This is a simple example from Real Simple magazine that shows what a nice pop of color can do to spice things up. Toys on the steps are optional (a bit of a hazard, actually).
Source: Real Simple
Ready to go one step further? (Sorry, pun intended). Paint your stairs then make them your own with a bit of verbal flair.You could also just number the stairs going up. Great way to teach kids to count!
Source/Designer: Alexandra Rowley,
Make a dramatic statement by painting a red runner down the stairs. It’s a simple yet elegant décor element that really pops against a white canvase. LOVE it.
Source: Living Etc.
Or, if you’d rather tone it down a bit, how about painting just the tops of the steps?
Source: Mary Ruffle, Tumblr
Ok, as promised, here’s a handy how-to guide – a compilation of all the advice I’ve researched (remember, I haven’t actually done this yet).
- Painters Tape
- ¼ inch rollers
- Trim brush
- Sander (can rent one for large spaces)
- Primer – Depending on the condition of your floors, you may want to first roll a coat of wood primer before you paint. Suggestion? Try Zinsser 1-2-3 Plus Primer.
- Paint – Use a Latex Enamel porch and floor paint. Suggestion? Try Benjamin Moore Floor & Patio Latex Enamel.
- Sand your floor – either just the part you will be painting, or if the whole kit and kaboodle are getting the treatment, do yourself a favor and rent an orbital sander. And please, wear protective goggles and a face mask! And so you don’t have to do it again, seal off the room as best you can.
- Now it’s time to clean like you’ve never cleaned before! Mix one part bleach with three parts water and mop your floor – that will kill any mildew that might be lurking about (especially important if you’ve ripped up carpet to do this). 20 minutes later, mop it again with warm water and detergent. Resist the urge to eat of the floor…you’ve got work to do! Let the floors dry thoroughly (about 12 hours)
- If you’re painting a design, tape your pattern and fill the areas in with a small roller. Be sure to remove the tape before the paint is completely dry.
- Trim the edges with your trim brush, then use a ¼ inch roller and apply two thin coats – and wait 24 – 35 hours between coats.
- If you used the right paint, you should not need to seal it. But if it’s a high-traffic area, you might want to finish it off with a coat of clear water-base polyurethane to protect it.
- Don’t paint on a rainy day – Set the heat (or air) to 70 degrees for ideal drying conditions
- Don’t apply thick coats
- Keep windows open while painting
There ya go! Now that is doable, right? If you could paint any floor in your home, which room would it be and what would you do? And if you HAVE done this before, any other tips we should add?