Add Pizzazz to Plain Hardwood Floors With Paint

Personalize basic hardwood floors with pattern, using proper preparation and simple painting steps.

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Materials Needed:

  • notepad
  • pencil
  • tape measure
  • paint chips
  • floor paint
  • roller handle
  • roller sleeve
  • paint pan
  • extender pole
  • drop cloth
  • painter's tape
  • wood floor sander
  • 150-grit wood-floor sanding sheets
  • 220-grit wood-floor sanding sheets
  • wet/dry vacuum
  • angled paintbrush
  • shoe covers

Clear Out Space

Before the project begins, it's important to remove all furnishings from the space.

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Take Measurements and Sketch Pattern

Determine floor dimensions with tape measure, jotting measurements down on notepad. Sketch the intended look of painted pattern, noting width and/or length of each of its parts. Keep paint chips nearby to decide which color each area of the pattern will be.

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Attach Sanding Sheets

Pick up a wood-floor sander from the rental section of a local home improvement store. Following wood-floor sander's instruction manual, attach sanding sheets. Tip: Most hardwood floors require a two-step sanding process: a deep sanding with 150-grit sheets, which removes old finishes and imperfections, then a light sanding with 220-grit sheets, which ensures a smooth surface.

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Sand Floors

Plug wood-floor sander into outlet. Moving slowly with controlled strokes, sand each section by moving from one end of the room to the other, ensuring the sander is going in the same direction as the wood grain. Start with 150-grit sanding sheets, and then repeat process with 220-grit sheets.

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Remove Sanding Dust

Plug wet/dry vacuum into outlet, adding proper attachments to remove all sanding dust from floor.

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Wash Floors

Ensure a perfectly clean wood surface by wiping the entire floor with a damp cloth. Tip: Using a cloth instead of a mop will ensure dust residue is removed from spaces between each strip of wood.

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Cut In Around Edge

Use an angled paintbrush to cut background color in around all edges of the room.

Roll Solid Color

Using roller handle and roller sleeve, add a solid coat of the background color to the floor. Once dry to the touch, repeat this step to add a second coat.

Check for Proper Coverage

With two coats of background color complete, check surface to ensure proper coverage.

Measure, Then Tape Off Pattern

Put protective booties on feet. Using tape measure to determine proper spacing for pattern, apply painter's tape as necessary. Tip: For equidistant stripes, position tape along the outside edges of the pre-painted areas. To ensure the proper areas get painted, mark the pre-painted solid areas with a small piece of painter's tape.

Paint Accent Colors

Alternating between taped-off areas, add two coats of accent colors with roller handle and roller sleeve.

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Remove Tape

Once all taped-off areas are dry to the touch, gingerly remove painter's tape by pulling it up and back at a slight angle.

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