Painting your floors

So I am crazy wild over painted floors. Long held as taboo or just for the desperate DIYer, painted floors might just be the answer to punch up a room. Stained wood floors DO go out of style, regardless of the brain-washing we have gotten over this and painting the wood floors opens up a myriad of unlimited decorating options.

Design trends in wood floors do change! Tones of wood definitely can show a home as dated. Midtone gray is popular now, however espresso was all the rage 5 years ago and then there was the period of almost yellowish natural looking wood floors.  So, If your hardwood floor isn’t compatible with the look and feel you want to project in your home, why NOT paint?

Historic Precedent
Painting a floor, particularly in an old home, may seem unusual today, but it was a common and preferred way to finish floors in the past.Farmhouses from the 1800s, Victorian mansions, English estates — you’ll find painted floors in old homes ranging from rustic to ultra posh. It added color and protection to rooms and stairways prior to the development of modern wood sealants. We bought an old Sears Kit house, had it moved and then we restored. Wanting to preserve the older wood in some areas, we chose to paint. The back inside stairs where traffic had worn niches and grooves were absolutely gorgeous when painted. This way we preserved some of the history, character and ambience of the original home while protecting the wood. It turned out gorgeous!

A Whole Lot Easier Too!
Perhaps you’re ready to concede that painted floors can give your home the look you want. Isn’t it still smarter to refinish the wood? Not necessarily! Floor refinishing is a major undertaking. Sanders throw dust everywhere, so rooms must be emptied, sealed off, and deep cleaned afterward. Plus, the subsequent staining and sealing takes days of applications and drying.

In comparison, painting a floor is a much quicker project — a light, low-dust sanding prior to priming, then one to two coats of paint that dry in mere hours.

Additionally, there are circumstances when paint offers superior performance. Old hardwood may have already been refinished multiple times, resulting in a floor too thin to survive another sanding. Because painting doesn’t require that deep sanding, you can keep your floors rather than replace or cover them.

An opaque coating can mitigate other common problems in older homes. Many older floors were patched as walls were opened up, radiators were removed, or broken planks were repaired. Paint resolves the color and grain variations from patch jobs, leaving a cleaner, more polished end product.

Of course, when it comes to painted floors, the first concern people raise is scratching. But this is less of a problem than you might think.

Use primer and a tough grade of paint, and you’ll likely prevent scratching or chipping. Porch paint works well in high-traffic settings, and higher sheens will dry harder than matte sheens.
When you do get a scratch, you can quickly and seamlessly touch it up with a brush — something you definitely can’t do with stained floors. And like stained floors, painted wood floors can be mopped and scrubbed, with no polish required!

A few tips on floor color
Lighter is better. Brighter painted floors will reflect more natural light than brown wood.
But not too light! Going with a true white floor can be a risky move. It will show every dark speck that drops onto the floor, along with

grime and stains. Go a few shades darker to a pale gray for a similar, more practical effect.
Black can be dramatic, but, like white, it will show dust. A deep charcoal is an effective compromise.
Buttery yellows are traditional favorites for kitchens, mud rooms, and hallways.
Need some interest in your formal living room or master bedroom? Try a deep green, merlot, or navy.
Mix colors. Stick with a neutral for the bulk of the floor, and offset furniture with a colorful painted area rug. Or highlight the room’s

edge with a wide stripe of color running against the baseboards.

I am all about creativity so the sky is the limit, or you are only limited by your own imagination. Just don’t rule out painted floors as a means to a absolutely perfect solution to older wood floors.

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