Everyone Is Painting Their Wood Floors — Here’s How You Can, Too

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If part of your plans for a renewed self in 2019 include creating a more inspired living space, there are a few things to consider, and one of the coolest and most creative ways to revamp any room is also one of the least expected: Painting your floors. And while that may seem like a pretty big undertaking, there are many reasons that giving this trend a try are totally worth it — and with the right painted wood floor ideas, it's not as tough to tackle as you might think.

As Lisa Rickert, founder and CEO of paint company Jolie Home explains, "Floors take up such a significant portion of the hard surfaces in a room, so the color or pattern has a huge impact with the overall feel." That said, if your current wood flooring situation is less-than-desirable, painting them can be a way to not only update them, but make a major statement in your home — and a cost effective one at that.

There are some ground rules if you're going the painted wood route. Firstly, you'll want to make sure you've got a good seal down. "Natural hardwoods have tannins that can seep through paint in yellow or pink blotches," Rickert says. "Brush a coat of shellac on raw woods before applying your paint to prevent this from happening." Additionally, you'll want to apply varnish after you've painted as well, to ensure staying power. "Make sure to use a topcoat specifically designed for floors. A durable, non-yellowing, water-based varnish is preferred," she adds.


In terms of design, there are a slew of different ways to utilize paint for a chic result. "One really fun and relatively easy option is to introduce a pattern," suggests Jamie Davis, co-founder and owner of Portola Paints. "This can be a great way to add some drama to a room without breaking the bank." To give this a try, you can play with stencils to create a tile effect, or use a trompe l'oeil technique to give the illusion of another surface (like a rug, for example).

And besides the "wow" factor this type of finish can have, it will also save you a ton in comparison to having them refinished professionally. "[My friend Katie Lowes and her husband Adam Shapiro] had the most horrific, green parquet wood floor," Davis explains, "Rather than demo it or sand it back, we opted to paint this really cool, two-tone gray diamond pattern on it." And while he admits this project required a fair amount of work, it offered his friends an incredible result, and a practical bonus. "Not only does it look amazing, but the pattern helps distract from dirt and scuffs," he adds.

Besides creating a pattern with paint, it can also be a way to lighten, darken, or neutralize a room. "I am a huge fan of painting floors because there is so much versatility," Rickert says. "Some of my favorite looks for a big wow factor include all-white floors and walls for a gallery or Scandinavian feel, dark sleek floors with light-colored walls, or [...] a soft neutral in spaces that have white walls, because it adds subtle contrast and has easier upkeep than really dark colors."