Thursday, February 25, 2010

Paint Them Floors

I am amazed at the amount of requests I have received asking how I painted our sub-floors. I guess that I'm not the only one who would rather live with a freshly painted floor than ugly carpet or tile. I must warn you though, if you choose to pull up your floor treatments and live on sub-floors there is a downside (at least in our house). The creaking of the floors is louder. My hubby and I joke that no one can sneak around in our house, not even the cat, without being heard. Other than that we've been happy with our cheap remedy to an ugly floor. And we've lived with them for longer than we planned---almost five years. So here's how I did it. . .
First take off the existing floor treatment and remove any
protruding staples, nails, or splinters. Fill any large holes with wood filler, then sand. If you have any really rough areas give them a good sanding too. Then clean, clean, clean your floor. Sweep, vacuum, then sweep again to get rid of all dirt and dust bunnies.
Next, use a good primer. Our home was previously a rental and there were odd stains left on the floor. Primer prevents these stains from bleeding up through the new paint and, if they're pet stains, it blocks odors too. Primer helps paint to bond better to the existing surface, not to mention, you use less paint when you use a primer.
Our sub-floors are particle board on top of plywood. They look like this sample:
As I said, they were not in the best of shape. There were some areas that "blistered" because of old spills. You can still see those areas, but you really have to look. The paint helps disguise the imperfections. Speaking of imperfections, I did not do anything with the areas where the boards butt up against each other. I looked into filling the crevasses but came to the conclusion that it would be a lot of work and may later become troublesome because floors are always moving; expanding and contracting with temperature and traffic conditions. Whatever you fill the cracks with will also have to expand or it will crack or peel. There are some caulks made to stretch but I chose not to spend the money.If you are lucky enough to have plywood or pine floors, hooray for you! If you're worried about splinters remember that paint acts as a bonding agent. As long as you sand down any worrisome areas before painting you shouldn't have any problems. Another nice thing about paint is that you can easily go back and touch up any gouges or wear spots.
I used two techniques on my floors.
On our stairs and in our bedroom I simply painted with a latex paint. I did two coats. As you can see, I laid rugs in the high traffic areas.
I'm very pleased with the way both areas look.
In my entry, hall and family room I put in more work. These areas get A LOT of wear! Plus the entry needed to stand up to wet shoes and puddles of melting snow. I primed them and then painted two coats of latex paint. I used a roller with a long handle attachment.
*HINT: Be sure that you plan out a painting strategy---you don't want to literally paint yourself into a corner.*
After the two coats dried, I used a thick tinted glaze, similar to this one: Glaze stays "wet" longer than paint so it gives you more time to work on the look you want to achieve.
I wanted the appearance of a stained concrete.(An actual close-up of our entry floor)
I did this by turning a plastic grocery store bag inside out (to prevent any chance of having the printed logo bleeding onto the paint). Crunch up the bag and dab it into the glaze. Have several bags on hand because you'll need to switch bags once it's too soggy from paint. You will want to wear protective gloves too.Then simply "pounce" the the crunched bag onto the painted surface. Twist your wrist with each pounce to get a different pattern each time. You can even "swipe" in a few areas too, just for variety. Pounce and swipe until you achieve the desired look. For my floors, I used a darker color glaze on top of a lighter color paint. The paint and glaze layers give the floor more depth and character.
After the glaze dries thoroughly, roll on a couple of layers of a good polyurethane to protect the floor from wear and moisture as well as give it a little shine and make it easier to clean and maintain.
It's a time consuming process; taking a few days. But it is a lot less expensive than carpet or any other flooring. It's also a good way to test out what it's like to live with a bare floor before you make the investment into hardwood or laminate.

22 comments:

Connie K said...

Wow your floors came out great ! I never thought to do this. Ok here is a question i have carpet that am ready to rip out like now ! (haha) ya know stains for the kids spills and all but under my carpet is hardwood am sure it looks not so good do you think i can paint it myself ? like you did ? or should i save $$ (forever) and have them redone ? Hmm if i can do it myself i will am pretty handy Just was wondering your opinion please ?

Jake and Krystal said...

This is fantastic! I may need it someday.

Jen T said...

Thanks for posting the details, Joy. I'm doing this for sure in my laundry room and maybe even the den! I don't know but I'm thinking about it.

Love the Decor! said...

I think you were very brave to give this a try!! Bravery paid off... It's beautiful!!

ritad said...

Your floors are great! I tried a similar thing for my old floors. The carpets were awful when I bought my old house. The floors were OLD pine and in terrible shape through the years they had been very mistreated (before carpet) there was paint splattered all over them and they were very nasty...I stripped them with funiture stripper, because I didn't now how to use the big sanders. Then I stained them and covered that with polyurethane. That was 6 years ago and I am still in love with them, but yes...they are very loud..

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

I wish we'd done this - our new carpet isn't looking very new any more. At least painted wood floors wouldn't flatten...

Kerin said...

I have seen A LOT of painted floors, and yours turned out every bit as cute as any that I've seen!
There are a lot of old houses where we live, and people have made the best out of beat up floors, and wonky additions. There are floors with stenciling around the edges, and checker-board patterns, brick patterns ,etc.
Making the most of a buck is always a good thing, and I think you prove that over and over with all of your clever projects. Thanks for the hints and helps!

The Barrios Family said...

Too funny you would talk about this today! I actually just saw an article about painting your floors in Do It Yourself Magazine and suggested the idea to my husband. My dogs have eaten a large hole in my kitchen vinyl, so we are going to have to do something & the budget is looking like it's not going to allow tile, so I'm thinking I'm going to be doing some painting. My one question is what do you think it does to your resale value? We are probably going to be looking to sale the house in a year or so.

rachel @ perfectly imperfect said...

pounce & swipe... i love it! you're so fun!
we painted over some really rough, previously painted yucked up hardwood floors, and i LOVE it. i used porch & floor paint for an extra bit of protection, and they still look good. well, except where my 4 year old gouged at them with a screwdriver, but really- what would withstand that??
have a great day!

Joy said...

CONNIE--
I SAY RIP UP THAT CARPET AND SEE WHAT CONDITION YOUR HARDWOOD IS IN! YOU CAN RENT A HUGE SANDER AND SAND IT YOURSELF IF IT NEEDS IT. OR IF IT'S NOT TOO BAD JUST GIVE IT A GOOD CLEANING AND THEN GO OVER IT WITH A STAIN/POLY MIX OR PAINT AND POLY. WOULDN'T YOU RATHER LIVE WITH "GGOD ENOUGH' MORE THAN WITH "UGLY"

BARRIOS FAMILY--
YOU MIGHT TAKE A BIT OF A HIT ON THE RESALE VALUE. ALTHOUGH I THINK MOST BUYERS WOULD RATHER HAVE A CLEAN PAINTED FLOOR THAT THEY CAN CHOOSE TO FINISH THAN A NASTY FLOOR THAT REQUIRES THE WORK OF TEARING OUT AND REPLACING. MANY BUYERS LIKE TO NEGOTIATE FOR A FLOORING BUDGET ANYWAY.
IN THE MEANTIME YOU'RE LIVING IN A HOME THAT YOU ENJOY AND THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR!

Shannon said...

Thank you for posting this. Just a few weeks ago, I tried to talk my husband into doing this in one room of our home. I think this might be the blog post that helps me seal the deal! :)

Formerly-Corn in My Coffee Pot said...

I painted my bathroom floor years ago and had to end up covering it up with vinyl after a plumbing disaster that caused us to tear out part of the floor.

I've often thought of painting my kitchen floor-- but have done nothing with it ..and yes! I live with the ugliness of indecision. LOL

Thanks for posting this AND! your follow up comments about living with pretty while deciding to move or coming up with the money for something more costly.

I needed this post.
Maybe now I'll paint my kitchen floor!

dobco said...

Love the look. Thanks for sharing your technique. I will try to remember it for the future...maybe I need to write it down somewhere! We live in a parsonage and were lucky enough to have hardwoods under the carpet and they did a great job of restoring them.

Becky said...

I wanted to try this in my daughter's room, but when I pulled up the carpet in a corner to see, the plywood was very rough:( Your's look beautiful!

Victoria said...

Amazing! I can't believe that is just sub-flooring! You did a wonderful job.

Loretta said...

Seven years ago I painted the old linoleum floor in our kitchen using basically the same technique you did. However, instead of using a glaze, I used a darker color as the base and then added white paint to the base paint to make it lighter. I used a grocery bag to pounce it on, but I did use the outside of the bag. I didn't realize that the paint would come off the bag, but in the few places where it did come off, it just looks like little dabs of additional color...added a little more "interest" to the floor.

It is a stop-gap measure until I can remodel the kitchen...who knows when! LOL The linoleum floor is prob. from the 50's and looked horrible, even after cleaning and scrubbing. I'm very happy with my painted floor!

Kathy said...

Your entry is georgeous! I love the front door and the molding around it-exactly what I'm looking for in my entry! Did you put it in or is it original to the house?
We pulled up the carpet in our house right after we moved in, and painted the floors a dark brown until we decided what we REALLY wanted to do. It has lasted pretty well, but during this cold weather we've been doing some projects indoors and have drips all over the place (yes, we put paper under us, but we still managed to drip on the floor). Your post has encouraged me to repaint until we are ready to do the FINAL flooring. This time we'll be more careful.

Laurie - Little Blue Chairs said...

Oh Thank you for posting this. I am going to be painting my sub floor in the dining room in the next few weeks. I love seeing others who have done this. When ever I mention my plan to others, I get the stink eye. But- I just can't live with the carpet in my dining space anymore. Hope mine turn out as nice as yours.

The Yorgason's said...

That is awesome! I think I would like to try this!

zandjmom said...

Just saw this post and have some questions. What color did you use. Is it a black or brown. Also, how do you clean this type of floor? Are there scuff marks that take off the paint?

Would love to do this to my upstairs.

Jess said...

Hi, I LOVE the floor! I have been lookng for example of this very idea with these colors to convince my husband that it will look great! Can you tell me what colors you used. There are so many variations of gray and I don't want it to look purple or brown.

Poly stick said...

Amazing! I can't believe that is just sub-flooring! You did a wonderful job.


Polystick

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