Guest Post: How to Successfully Paint Wood Floors

Today we are excited to have a guest post for your viewing pleasure!  We would like to say a big thank you to Bryan from for contributing a super informative post on PAINTING your wood floor.  How unique and fun is that?  Painting a wood floor can either add a traditional, rustic, or eclectic look to your room, depending on how you do it.  If you have any questions along the way, or just want to find out more, you can visit for yourself for help, or for more great ideas!  So, without further ado, take it away Bryan!


Get a Fresh Look: How to Successfully Paint Wood Floors


If there’s one thing I love about wood floors, it’s gotta be versatility. Refinish ‘em, stain ‘em or paint ‘em, it’s absolutely up for you to decide. Yes, you read that correctly: paint ’em.


Painting floors has been practiced in North America since the late 1700s. Styles varied from monochromatic plains to parquet-like patterns, and popular colors included white, yellow, green and red. More than just for aesthetics, painting wood floors helped protect the wide plank wood floors that were popular at that time.

How to paint floors | Home on the Range


Following rapid development and industrialization advancements, painted wood floors took a backseat and gave way to carpets, clear coats and manufactured floor covering like linoleum and vinyl. However, artistry and creativity have once again made painted wood floors very popular.


Inexpensive, vibrant, and easy are just a few of the reasons that people have turned to painted wood floors for a quick update to make their rooms look fresh and brand new.


Here are the steps to follow to successfully paint wood floors:


Be sure to know what you’re doing and gather your materials.


Read, watch, ask and research how to do it, more so if you intend to do it yourself so you get familiar with the tools you need, how to use them and how much they’ll cost. More importantly, try to find out more about the wood floor you intend to paint so that you know which paint products will work best with them.

How to paint floors | Home on the Range


Prepare and clean them up.


Preparing means removing all furnishing and fixtures together with any protective or decorative additions to the wood floors to be painted like mats and area rugs. If the wood floors have been some form of coat or finish, sand them off. You can have local contractors include it in the project or you might want to head out to Home Depot or other similar shop to rent out a machine for $50 or so a day. If you’re sanding it yourself, remember not to stay too long on a particular spot so that you don’t end up with uneven wood floors to paint. More importantly, remember to sand in the same direction as the grain.


Before you proceed with sanding, quickly but thoroughly inspect all the wood floorboards that you want to paint. This is the best time to do repairs or replacements of the floorboards if you want to make the project go as smoothly as possible.


Once you’re done sanding and there is nothing on the surface except bare wood, sweep or vacuum thoroughly to remove dust and wood residue. Finish off cleaning up by wiping the wood floors with a wet mop and a tack cloth.

How to paint floors | Home on the Range

Primp and prime


After cleaning up, apply primer to the wood floors before applying paint. Primers are important to the success of your painted wood floors so be sure to look for the appropriate priming product. Begin application at the edge of the room using a brush. Once you have covered all the edges, work inside from one end to the other. Let the primer dry according to manufacturer’s instructions.


Applying the first coat


Apply the first coat in the same manner you did the primer – brush it from the edges then work inward. In general, it is advised that you use oil-based paint for wood floors as they can appear more polished and, if you make mistakes, it’s easier to sand them off.

How to paint floors | Home on the Range

Another neat trick in successfully painting wood floors is to use a natural brush in applying paint instead of rollers to create a smoother finish.


After the first coat has been applied, allow it to dry completely then lightly sand using 220-grit sandpaper. You can also use sand screens with a drywall pole sander then clean up with a damp dust mop and tack cloth.


Apply a second and third layer of paint. Keep in mind that each layer should be as thin and even as possible. The thicker the coats are, the easier they wear out.


Dried and cured

How to paint floors | Home on the Range


Be sure to let the painted floors dry completely to ensure success. Let it dry before you start walking on it and once its dried, to be safe, allow 24 hours before bringing in the furniture. Be mindful of those stilettos too.


While drying can take 24 hours or less, complete curing of the paint can take up to four weeks. So be sure to consider that before dragging in the piano or anything.


Follow these steps and don’t be afraid to explore colors and patterns to create a fresh look for your wood floors.



About the Author:

Bryan Vu is a home improvement blogger and community outreach associate for BuildDirect, a leading flooring and building materials provider online.


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