Painted Floors

Painted floors are an excellent low cost flooring option, but it may not be for every home on the block.    Consider painting the floor if...

  • It gets to the point where wood flooring can no longer be refinished, recoated or repaired.  It may happen for older homes, there’s only so much wood there to sand down, you may need to find another option to keep those floors looking good;
  • You’ve happily ripped out wall to wall carpet only to find flooring that was not quite what you were expecting; or
  • You're looking for a tempoary flooring option until you make a final flooring choice.

I wouldn’t go around painting over new hardwood floors, but do consider this option for older or inferior wood flooring.

Prep Work

As with any painting project, prepping the surface is one of the most important steps:

  • For floors that have been previously painted, vacuum and mop and remove or scrape any loose paint.
  • For bare wood floors, you will need to sand slightly – this helps raise the grain to make paint ‘stick’ better.  After sanding, make sure all dust has been removed, then use primer before painting.
  • For wood floors that have a varnish or coating, sand lightly to remove any gloss, clean thoroughly and prime before painting.
Painting Options

Any design and any color is fair game for painting floors.  A solid color is just fine, but consider other options.

Checkerboard Effect
One of the best and easiest looks for painting wood floors is to create a checkerboard look.  Black and white is the classic option, and it's an easy look to create using painter’s tape to mark off squares.

A lovely look that can be used in any room, paint the floor a solid color, then use stencils to add interest.  You can easily create the ‘look’ of an area rug or any other design – there are endless possibilities to this look.

The look of a tile floor is simple to create.  Paint the floor a base color, this color will end up being the color of your ‘grout’.  Use ¼ inch painter’s tape to tape off ‘tiles’.  Make 12 x 12 inch squares or 18 x 18 inch squares, just like real tiles.  Roll a coat of paint over the tape and base coat, this will be your tile color – you can use terra cotta color to simulate terra cotta tiles, or any other color you choose.  If you’d like to take it one step further, stencil designs on your tiles for a customized look.

Painting your floors is an excellent budget alternative to costly refinishing or replacement.  It’s an easy, low cost option for a high cost, custom look.