Welcome to All in the Detail... I am so glad you are here!
I personally LOVE painted wood floors. I am a very traditionalist at heart and even though my tastes have stepped up to the present... my heart will skip a beat when I see a painted foyer/entry floor. What better way to welcome everyone to your home than to have a first impression that says "I really do care about the details of my home." Although it’s relatively uncommon to see painted wood floors today (however... they seem to be making their way back into the limelight), as
clear-coated hardwood has become the preferred option for most homeowners, they
were once a staple of interior design. From decorative patterns, some of which
mimicked parquetry, to monochromatic schemes, painted wood floors were in
widespread use in American homes by the late 1700s. Popular colors included
white, yellow, red, and green. But it wasn’t just about aesthetics—paint also
helped protect the wide-plank pine floors of the time.
When refinishing a hardwood floor isn't an option due to a limited
budget, try painting the floor, perhaps with a light checked pattern to add
character. Here This
Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers showed me how a
little measuring and a couple coats of durable floor paint can add a little
personality to a room for a small price.
Check out this great step by step instructional!
1. Prep the Base
make the paint adhere better and the finish last longer, sand and clean the
floor first. Coating the entire floor using the lighter of the two colors as a
base coat creates a clean slate for laying out the pattern and acts as a primer
for the darker pattern color.
a sanding sponge, gently rough up the floor finish and level any high spots
from previous stain or filler. Wipe the floor clean with a damp sponge and
allow it to dry thoroughly. Cover the space beneath doors with plastic to
prevent dust from blowing in and ruining the wet finish.
2. Paint the Base Coat
Paint the base color around the edges of the floor with
a 2½-inch paintbrush. Using a paint roller, coat the entire field, starting
opposite one door so that you paint yourself out of the room. Let the paint dry completely. If necessary, lightly sand the floor and
apply a second coat. Let the paint dry overnight before laying out the pattern
and applying the second color.
3. Measure and Mark the Pattern
a checker pattern on a diagonal looks dynamic and makes the room appear bigger.
But the pattern will look best if it ends in perfect half-square triangles at
the most visible walls. So figure out which wall is least visible and start
measuring on the opposite side of the room. Keep in mind that the painter's
tape outlines the box you're painting, so it will fall on alternating sides of
the pattern's lines from square to square.
the number of squares you want to fit across the center wall of the three most
visible walls. Divide the length of the wall by the number of squares. With
this measurement, mark the wall from corner to corner.
4. Make the First
the center point between the first two marks and note the distance from the
corner to the center. Using a framing square, draw a perpendicular reference
line out from the point, making it the same length as the distance from the
corner to the center point. Then connect the corner to the end of the reference
line. This is the side of the first square.
5. Complete the Pattern
a straightedge, extend the line out into the room. Mark the entire line at intervals
to match the length of the side of each pattern square. Using a framing square
as a right-angle guide, complete the squares at each mark. Double-check your
layout by making sure you connect back to the marks on the first wall.
6. Mask the Squares
all the squares drawn, use painter's tape to X out the squares you don't intend
to paint. Then tape around the outside edges of the unmarked
7. Cut the Tape with a Putty Knife
each piece of tape perfectly by tearing it against a putty knife: Hold the
blade on the tape and rip away from the knife to execute a perfect cut and make
sharp corners for each square.
8. Complete the Tape Outline
the tape to the floor by pulling the putty-knife blade over the tape to remove
air bubbles and prevent paint from bleeding underneath and onto the
lighter-colored squares. Continue taping until all the unmarked squares are
Tip: Clean up pencil marks with a damp sponge
instead of an eraser, which could damage the freshly painted base coat.
9. Paint the Pattern
tape around each square is an excellent guide for painting, but an uneven wood
floor is a difficult surface on which to tape. So to help keep paint from
bleeding under the tape, cut in the edges of each square with a brush. You can
speed up the finish with a mini roller.
a sanding sponge, lightly sand the squares to be painted and wipe them clean.
Using a 2½-inch paintbrush, apply paint around the edge of the square. Start
each stroke on the tape and pull it into the square so that the color doesn't
push under the edge. Coat the entire perimeter of the square this way. While
the edges are still wet, fill in the field using a mini roller. Roll the paint
on in the same direction as the floorboards. Continue painting the squares in
this manner until the floor is finished. Clean up any drips or mistakes by
wiping them up with a damp rag while they're still wet.
10. Remove the Tape
Remove the tape before the paint dries so that it doesn't
pull up any color with it. Peel the tape up and away from the paint at an angle
to leave a clean edge.
11. Finish Coat the Floor
and floor paint is very durable, but for high-traffic areas consider topping
the floor with a coat of polyurethane. After the paint has dried for a
full day, use a roller to apply the finish evenly across the floor. If you plan
to add a second coat of paint, lightly sand the first coat before putting the
second one down.
Tip: The higher the gloss on paint or
polyurethane, the more durable it is. If you want the resilience of high gloss
without the shine, put on a top coat of satin polyurethane to tone down the
I love painted floors. Would you like to see a little more inspiration? - here's a little something for everyone.
Welcome to All in the Detail... I am so glad you are here! I hope you saw yesterday's post. Ok, I admit, I may have gone a little overboard with the porch images... but I got in the 'groove' of things and just couldn't stop. I found so many wonderful images that I had to carry "A Place on the Porch" over to Part Two.
I love porches, and have since my childhood. When I was young, I would sit on our front porch in the evenings with my father... not much to look at there - we lived at the end of a street that only had 6 houses, but I would spend the quiet time with him... listening to him talk, listening to the glider scrape metal and enjoying the smell of his evening cigars ( ...he used to say it was to keep the mosquitoes away - he was considerate like that!) I love porches and all activity on porches: porch sitting, porch reading, porch happy hour, porch brunches, porch dining, porch music.... you name it, everything seems to be a little better with the fresh air thrown into the mix, don't you think? And now is the perfect time of year to enjoy the porch... not too hot, yet not too cool. So, come and enjoy a moment or two with me... I've saved you A Place on the Porch.
In times past, the open-air sleeping porch offered relief on hot evenings.
This sleeping porch has walls that hold long rows of windows.
Opened, they capture cool, late-summer breezes. The green paint tones and
coordinating fabrics mirror the rolling pasture just beyond the windows. ( I am a total sucker for sleeping porches.)
A mismatched table and chairs suit this outdoor dining spaces worn yet elegant
style, and no coastal porch would be complete without a woven hammock.
This cozy personal porch feels a part of nature with its combination of lush
island vegetation and vibrant green accessories. A whimsical ceiling fixture,
emerald green marble-topped table, and a patterned rug play off the natural
Kick back on this cozy, coastal porch. An overstuffed sofa in a durable fabric makes this space an easy transition from
beach to bedroom. (This is my next porch furnishings... doesn't it just scream, "Please live here"?)
Create the ultimate outdoor living area with a canopied daybed. It not only
breaks up the traditional seating arrangement but also is perfect for naps.
Never enough images of swing beds for me! When closed, louvered shutters on
windows and doors
offer privacy but allow ocean air to filter through. The natural colors and
fibers on this porch remind you that you're at the beach.
Overlooking streams and meandering pathways,
this porch is semi-enclosed for easy screening. Both
porch's walls and ceilling are covered with reclaimed pickets of a wind fence. Find rustic siding at local building-supply yards or architectural
salvage companies that
specialize in such materials.
It's a tiny cottage transformed into a serene retreat.
Oatmeal-colored spa-weave outdoor fabric and a bevy of outdoor throw pillows
cover wicker chairs and chaise lounges. A perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon.
There is hope for all the tired living room furniture out there. As an example, these homeowners
decided to take a unique approach. To give the old living room upholstery a
fresh look, they had slipcovers made from a water-resistant fabric.
I LOVE THE ABUNDANCE OF THESE SHUTTERS! The rustic texture of this wood complements the nautical red, white, and blue
accents on this porch.
Bamboo furniture creates a retro-chic dining porch in this home. Update
a vintage dining set
with a fresh coat of white paint, and pick one accent color, such as sea green,
furniture gets a makeover with sleek, contemporary shapes. A
sheer-weight curtain filters bright sunlight to create a casual, comfortable
On this porch, rocking chairs line up. A rope
hammock, still made in accordance with its century-old design, swings gently in
the constant breeze. Ceiling fans, crafted out of weather- and tarnish-resistant
materials, whir overhead with the reliability of the tide.
In outdoor living
areas, comfortable seating lures guests for a shady respite.
Black shutters and
white trim are classic colonial touches, but the crisp black-and-white striped
fabric and high-gloss red porch give this traditional porch a modern update.
A sunlit corner provides perfect over-the-shoulder reading light.
Who can resist a tall back rocking chair on a front porch? Antique seating gives this home a "new old house" look.
This conservatory looks old―to have an inviting feeling of age. To achieve the look, all antique pieces
and upholstered the chairs with worn, vintage fabrics were used. Even the mirrored wall,
which visually doubles the jewel box–size room, is made of antique blocks.
Gather in the cool shade of a white deck; a fan overhead pushes through still
air. It's a gathering space to talk about the day and take in glorious view.
I am a sun worshiper so this image really speaks to me. Accent pillows add a
punch of color and pattern to these neutral lawn chairs.
Who doesn't love a couple of secluded Adirondack chairs? These antique-looking chairs give this deck a vintage, lived-in look. (This is were you can find me!)
Check out more great porch images on yesterday's post!
Thank you to my friends at This Old House for their help with these images.