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Should You Paint Your Hardwood Floors?

Paint Across Hardwood Floor

Painting your hardwood floors can cover up blemishes and rejuvenate old floors. If you're a homeowner who is thinking about painting your hardwood floors, you have a lot you should consider before getting started. You need to know the advantages and disadvantages, understand the process, and choose the right paint before you paint your hardwood floors.

Learn the Pros and Cons

Painting your hardwood floors come with many advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the advantages:

  • Paint fills in and covers up any irregularities in your hardwood floors, like patches, shallow scratches, stains, and so on.

  • Painting your floors enables you to match the color of your floors to the color of the room.

  • Paint can be applied in any pattern desired.

However, here are some disadvantages to painting your hardwood floors.  

  • If you decide to get rid of the paint later, removing paint may damage the hardwood.

  • In some cases, paint may never come off completely.

  • Paint will wear off in the high-traffic areas, so once the floors are painted, they must be periodically repainted.

You need to consider these factors before you decide for sure whether or not you should paint your hardwood floors.

Know the Process

Because you'll paint the floors on which you walk, the process for painting your hardwood floors is more time-consuming than painting your walls. Here is the step-by-step process:

  1. Clean the floors to remove grease and grime.

  2. Sand the top layer of the floor to rough up the shiny upper layer.

  3. Clean the floors again to remove the saw dust.

  4. Apply the oil-based or latex primer. (Pro tip: The type of primer you use should be based on the type of paint you're using.)

  5. Wait for the primer to dry.

  6. Paint the floors with a thin layer of floor paint. (Pro tip: Use a paint roller to apply paint to the center of each room and an angled paint brush to cut in along the edges.)

  7. Wait for the paint to dry. (Pro tip: Wait the manufacturer's recommended amount of time when allowing the paint to dry.)

  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 at least once and more times if necessary.  

The whole process can take several days, especially if you're using oil paint, so give yourself plenty of time to ensure that you don't rush to finish the job.  

Choose the Right Paint

The type of paint you choose to paint your floors will affect the appearance and functionality of your floors. Paints vary from matte to high-gloss.

Shiny floors will show all the imperfections in the floor's textures (scratches and gouges and such), while matte floors will be the most forgiving of these imperfections. However, matte floors are the hardest to clean and will quickly show scuffs. Many homeowners choose a paint that falls in between these two choices.

Apply Polyurethane on Top for Extra Durability

High traffic areas will wear out more quickly than other areas. You can stop the paint from wearing out so quickly by applying a coating of polyurethane over the top coat. Polyurethane comes in different finishes, just like paint, so you'll need to pick the type of finish that you want for your floors. Test the different finishes before applying them to your floors to help you make the best choice for your home.

Work With a Flooring Contractor

Painting hardwood isn't for everybody. Remember, paint will cover your hardwood floorboards so thoroughly that you may never get them back to their original state.

If you're not sure whether or not painting your hardwood floors is right for you, talk to a flooring contractor in your area to explore your options. If your floors are badly damaged and you'd like them to look like new, get a quote for refinishing.

If you'd like more information about maintaining or rejuvenating hardwood floors, contact Traditional Hardwood Floors. We're happy to answer your questions!