Thinking of Painting Hardwood Floors?

Add a little pizzazz to a room in your home, put bit of your personality on display. Painting hardwood floors a vivid, interesting or natural color may be the way to go to add instant character.

While many homeowners like the warm appearance of natural or stained hardwood flooring, you can also brighten up a room by applying a color that coordinates with your décor. An older home with wood floors that are no longer to your taste could be rejuvenated with a coat of paint or a painted design to your chosen look.

Painting a hardwood floor isn’t that much different than applying stain and sealant – it may even be a little easier for most DIYers.
Ideas and Steps for Painting Hardwood Floors

Wood floors have been painted for many years and if you wonder where, look no further than the front porches of many old homes. If paint can hold up to the challenges of inclement weather out there, it should have no problem providing years of durability inside your home.

Just like some front porches stand out from the rest of the block with a sharp, distinctive color, you can let your imagination run wild with your floor painting project. Choose a bright color to elevate your mood when using the room or try a checkerboard or border design to create some interesting contrasts – all you need is a little bit of painters tape and steady hand.

Painting your floor provides the opportunity to choose from a rainbow of colors that aren’t available with stains that normally just enhance the natural shades of the wood. Red, blue, pink, or purple can be perfect choices for children’s rooms, sun porches, or even a family room designed for fun.


There are a few tradeoffs though – if you change your mind down the road, paint can be a little tougher to remove during the refinishing process and many paints cover the natural grains of the wood.

Steps to Beautifully Painted Floors

Latex enamel porch and floor paint is often the best choice for painting hardwood floors.If your floors are very old, you may want to start with a coat of primer – check with your local paint store for their suggestions and then follow these steps:

  1. Sand the floor with a drum sander just as if you were preparing for stain. Use a hand sander to get around the baseboards and other tight spots.
  2. Vacuum all dust up and clean the floor with a mixture of bleach and water. Rinse with detergent and water and allow to completely dry.
  3. Patch any imperfections or cracked boards as needed with wood filler and spot sand. Severely damaged boards should be replaced.
  4. Cut in the paint using a brush around baseboards and a roller can make quick work of the main body of the floor.
    Choose your starting point carefully so you don’t paint yourself into a corner – it’ll be a long wait for it to dry!
  5. Apply the paint in thin coats – two or even three thin coats are better than one heavy coat that may take forever to dry.
    Allow 24 hours or longer between coats so the paint is completely dry before beginning to paint again. High humidity isn’t a good thing when trying to dry paint – don’t start the project on a rainy day.
  6. Depending on the paint used and how much traffic goes across the floor, you may want to apply a sealant such as polyurethane over the paint as a protection that can keep the floor looking new. A water based sealant should be used if the floor was painted with latex paint.


Always make sure you have plenty of ventilation in the room during the sanding and painting phases of the project as the dust and fumes can be hazardous.

Painting hardwood floors is very DIY friendly – and less reaching than painting a wall.
Pros to painting hardwood floors:

  • color choices are endless
  • can match décor
  • cover up stained or tired looking flooring
  • DIY friendly


  • more difficult than finish to remove
  • takes time to dry especially in humid areas
  • natural grain of wood hidden with some types of paint


  • don’t start painting on a rainy or humid day if it can be avoided, clean the floor really well
  • apply in thin coats and allow each coat to dry completely
  • consider a sealant top coat


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