The first apartment I rented as a poor twenty-something had dirty wooden floors that were gray, a fact I never thought about until years later, when I bought my first house. was and me tear the damn green carpet off our stairs, Underneath I find potholed, torn and ugly threads on the bottom. I remembered those old painted floors, and painted our stairs, and suddenly I saw my former landlord’s decisions in a whole new light.
To many people, this seems like sacrilege—the accepted wisdom is that hardwood flooring is beautiful, durable, and should be protected at all costs. But you know what? Painting those stairs worked, and I realized that painting wood floors doesn’t always have to be crazy. In fact, there are a few reasons why you might want to consider doing it in your own home.
reasons to paint wood floors
There are basically two reasons to paint wood floors: aesthetics and more practical reasons. Let’s dig into both.
aesthetics. Maybe you like the look of painted floors. It’s less crazy than you might think; As remodelista Note, many of the charming cottages have painted floors—maybe you’ve stayed in a charming Airbnb once and liked the look.
But there are other reasons you may want to paint your floors for aesthetic effect:
- To hide flaws. Natural hardwood is attractive, but can start to show its age. Gouges, pits, nailheads, stains — after a while a hardwood floor that’s still in generally good shape can be an inconsistent color and show a lot of wear and tear. Some people find that fascinating, a record of life on that floor. Others want a cleaner, more consistent look. A smooth coat of paint can hide all kinds of problems.
- For bonding different wood types together. If you have several different floors in your home, painting all those different woods can tie everything together while giving it a patchwork feel. This can be especially powerful if you want a consistent color palette and style throughout the home, since you can tie your furniture and decor to the same floor color and look.
- To start from a clean slate. Wood floors are wood floors, and that can limit your design options. Painting them, especially a light color—or even white—can make rooms feel bigger and brighter, and give you a lot more options when it comes to decor.
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practicality. On the other hand, you might not be painting your floors because you love the look, but because of more practical considerations:
- To extend the life of the floor. If your hardwood floors have been refinished a few times, you may not be able to refinish them. Engineered flooring, for example, Has only a thin veneer of hardwood on top, making sanding very tricky. And even solid hardwood can only be sanded 2-3 times before it fails. Painting the floor gives it a fresh new finish without aggressive sanding. You’ll probably need to sand a bit to remove the finish and serious damage, but this will remove very little material if you’re sanding to refinish. Plus, a proper paint job will protect the floor from further erosion and damage.
- Cost. Simply put, refinishing hardwood floors can be expensive-anywhere from $2,400 to $6,000, depending on the size of your home and other factors. And installing new hardwood floors isn’t cheap at all, costing $12,000 to $36,000 for an entire home. paint those floors very will, excess CheapSo if you want to renovate without selling parts on the dark web, painting your floors is a great option.
What to Consider Before Painting Your Wood Floors
While there are good reasons to paint hardwood floors under the right circumstances, there are a few things to consider before you grab that half-gallon of old paint from the garage and start hauling it around.
- You need the right content. you just can’t use old paint for your floors, You’ll need to prepare the floor properly, choose the right primer, and choose a super durable porch and floor enamel paint (or even marine paint, which will stand up to almost anything). The best paint for your floors may contain very high amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can off-gas for a long time And have a negative impact on both the environment and your health.
- Think about sustainability. While you can always paint your floors a new color, if you paint your floors and hate the look it probably isn’t possible to go back to plain old wood. This is especially true if you painted them because you can’t sand them to refinish in the first place.
- How will it wear? If you prime properly and choose a high-quality paint suitable for an interior floor, you shouldn’t have too many problems with paint deterioration—and you might just love the worn-in charm of the patina. But unlike stained wood floors, paint sits on the surface and can wear away, or peel, chip and crack over time. The good news is you can repaint every few years, but it’s a consideration.
- How will it affect the value of your home? Maybe you love the look of your painted floors, and maybe painting them has given some tattered-old hardwood new life. But not everyone will see it that way. If you ever intend to sell your home, consider that many potential buyers will view painted floors as a major expense for them because they will have no choice but to tear them out and replace them.