5 Things to Know Before Painting Your Floors
Painted floors are making quite a comeback these days, especially for those leaning into a rustic, minimalist, or Scandinavian look. Here’s what you should know about painting floors, as well as the right way to do it.
Painted floors make a great option for those with hardwood floors in rough shape. Many times paint is more affordable than refinishing. That being said, painting floors is definitely not for everyone — especially perfectionists. Among other things, chipping and other signs of wear are inevitable over time.
Here are five things you should know before you take the plunge:
1. Painted Floors Chip
In the short-term, painting floors is a great option for a budget-friendly upgrade. Paint may not be the best permanent solution, however, as painted floors will chip and flake when they see friction, regardless of the surface type or method of application. If a rustic or wabi-sabi aesthetic is your plan, then this might actually work well in the long-run.
2. Prepping the Floors is Key
When undertaking a painted floor project, taking the time to do adequate prep work is absolutely essential. In fact, it’s the most important part — the quality of your finished product depends on it. If you’re taking the plunge on painted floors, make sure you devote the necessary time to prep work before you open a can of paint.
3. Ventilation is a Must
The reason ventilation is such an important element of this project is because most types of paints contain volatile components that can be harmful. Opening windows while you paint is the natural solution, but doing so could allow dust to blow into the room. So what do you do? Having screens in your windows will stop some debris from entering, as will opening the upper windows when possible. You can also simply open windows and doors in nearby rooms and let that fresh air filter into the room you’re working on. Be sure to wear a mask to protect yourself further.
4. When in Doubt, Hire a Pro
Because ventilation can be tricky in some homes, hiring a professional might prove to be your safest option. Inside paint projects generally run in the $600 to $1,000 price range.
5. Plan Start and Finish Points
Have your floor painting plan all mapped out before you begin so that you know exactly where you’re going to start and where you’ll finish. You want to be able to walk out of the room when you finish, rather than painting yourself into a corner.
Painting Floors the Right Way:
• Sand wood floors. You want to remove any varnish or UV finish. Consider renting a floor sander to make things easy on yourself and your floors.
• Remove the dust. Once you finish sanding, it’s important to clean as much dust off the floor as possible. Vacuum, sweep and lightly mop the floor. Allow the floor to sit and dry so that the dust will settle and then vacuum one last time.
• Fill the holes. Unless the look you’re going for would benefit from imperfections, use wood filler to patch any cracks and holes. Once the spots are completely dry, prime them and let them dry again.
• Prime the floor. Use an oil-based primer to coat the entire floor. Be sure to ensure proper ventilation and wear your mask!
• Apply the paint. After the primer dries completely, you can apply your first coat of paint. Which type of paint should you use? Most brands offer a paint specifically formulated for floors, such as a “floor enamel.” Simply pick the finish you want (matte, glossy, etc.), roll it on, and let it dry. A second coat may be necessary depending on the type of paint and color you choose.
• Apply the topcoat. When the paint is dry, it’s time to add a topcoat that is compatible with the primer you applied. Do not use oil on top of latex, for example, as it will immediately begin to flake. When in doubt, consult a professional at your local paint store for a recommendation.
• Allow each coat to dry completely, then enjoy your new floor!