Thursday, November 1, 2007

How To Paint Your Floor

Part of redecorating the entryway was taking care of the ugly vinyl floor. Did I mention it was PEACH?!!!

I always try to do the least invasive rehab possible in a place and this floor, aside from being ugly and scuffed, was, essentially, solid. It was a perfect candidate for painting. Here's how to do it.

Clear everything off the floor. Sweep it thoroughly and then give it a good scrub. You don't need to use anything fancy, just make sure it's good and clean.

When the floor is dry, paint on a coat of high-adhesion primer. I especially like Zinsser 123. It's water-based and sticks to just about anything.

When that's dry, the fun begins. Paint on your background colour, using interior latex paint (this is a great way to use up scraps of paint). Depending on the effect you want, you may need a second coat of background colour.

When this has dried, you can start painting on your pattern. In this case, I painted the black squares freehand. There were grooves in the vinyl to guide me and I didn't want the end result to be perfect. If you do want perfection, you can use a stencil, or mask out the pattern with painter's tape. Be prepared to do some touching up afterwards though.

I did two coats of the black paint.

Once you're pleased with the finished effect, it's time to protect it. Water-based varnish will do this. Five coats will be plenty, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before putting on the next one.

A few hints... between each step, give the floor a quick wipe to make sure there is no grit. And if you can convince your family members to take their shoes off when walking on the work in progress, that will really help.

There is the theory in decorating circles that a painted floor isn't very sturdy. But I've painted a lot of floors in my day and they've held up well. Two of the bathrooms in our old B&B had painted floors and they lasted for years.

And even if you do end up with the occasional bit of chipped paint, is that any worse than the unfixable scuff mark on your new linoleum or a scratch in the hardwood? A few signs of wear are not such a bad thing. Especially if your initial outlay was small.

Oh! One other hint. You might want to keep a bottle of wine handy. Because, much as I enjoy doing it, painting floors can be really hard on the back!


kimmomofseven said...

It looks positively perfect!! I have a kitchen floor that could use your touch.

Janet said...

Thanks for your help. i am one step closer to figuring it out and amused that everyone does it differently.

Have you ever tried to paint a ceramic tile floor. I have those 70s "mosaic" tiles in my bathrooms and they are in good shape, but oh so ugly.

Janet said...

I agree with Kim on both counts. However, our kitchen floor would probably require several days/weeks (and bottles of wine)!

Barb McMahon said...

hmmm.... my kitchen floor needs it, too!

Janet - as long as you find what works for you, that's all that matters!