Painting yourself into a corner – that’s just an expression because no one really paints the floor, right? Not so, and at Matthews Painting we’ve been hearing more and more about creative homeowners who are choosing paint over stains for their interior hardwood floors. They are bringing a bold new look to rooms that historically have been in the blonde-brown register of stains. Great news for our Columbia City, Indiana and Goshen, Indiana customers.
Some owners are checking out checkerboards, and painting square blocks on the floors with protective topcoats that shine. Others are painting a more classic stripe of color to match the overall décor, much as you might see in a wood floor installation with an offset border. Kitchens are getting the popular olive treatment, some are seeing red – and the sky’s the limit if you want to try blue, especially in bathrooms or in spaces that evoke the sea-and-surf of water.
So it’s not for everyone, and painting the floor is definitely an idea that has some detractors. A recent survey of 1,200 people on home improvement website Houzz.com found that just 15 percent were ready to try paint – but the rest still preferred classic stains. There are some good reasons, in terms of proper surface preparation and the “no going back” dynamic that some warn about. It’s true that painting requires the same careful attention to sanding that staining does, while a clear sealing coat before you paint in purple gives those floors a better chance to weather the color change well. But paint can be great, and it can deliver real make-over flair.
Painting the wood is creative, but it’s also viewed as a less costly alternative that’s not as complicated as the sand-and-stain cycles of traditional refinishing. That’s probably true in some respects, but it doesn’t mean that you can just vacuum, dry-mop the floor and start painting those whimsical paw prints on it.
It’s precisely because painting the floor has been out of vogue for 100 years that you need good advice now that it’s making a comeback – and there aren’t that many people who have experience with it. So first consider sanding, because the investment in a professional with the proper equipment and experience may be wise. If you do it yourself, remember that the point is to create a surface for paint to adhere to, so most professionals suggest using 150-grit sandpaper the first time. Also remember that you’ll be doing this twice, with a protective primer coat in between.
Don’t rush this job. This layer needs to dry completely, and that means a good 24-hour window before sanding again to lightly rough up that clear coat. You’ll create a lot of dust, so be smart and wear protective gear – and be sure to clean dust up so that it doesn’t ruin the effect of all your hard work. Once you’re ready, then you can paint the surface with either a brush or roller. The most important thing is to paint thin layers, because they will perform better over time. That’s true regardless of the color you’ve chosen, and proper preparation – especially in the first steps – makes it easier to change the floor later on and avoid those paint-removal nightmares you’ve heard about!
Still, there are lots of owners who’ve lovingly restored the wood surfaces in old houses and feel they’ve rescued the natural wood beauty of a bygone era from the tacky paint that obscured it. They often have, and there are lots of passionate and conflicting opinions about the paint-your-floors controversy, ranging from whether the primer should be oil-based or not, to why don’t you just get a decent carpet for the money. But if you’re looking for a dramatic change, or have floors too old or worn to restore well even if you tried, the difference you’ll see after painting the floor is worth the investment. Just remember, last but not least – make sure you can get out of that corner OK!
Matthews Painting has now expanded our interior and exterior wall, ceiling, trim, door, window and kitchen cabinet painting and staining, wallpaper removal, drywall repair, deck staining and sealing and log Home staining and sealing into the Goshen, Indiana, Columbia City Indiana, Warsaw, Winona Lake, Leesburg, Syracuse, Indiana, North Webster, North Manchester, Lake Wawasee and Lake Tippecanoe areas.