Fancy Painted Floors
Old House Journal|January - February 2022
Borders and checkerboard designs are DIY favorites; you might also try your hand at stenciling or faux effects.
By Patricia Poore, Illustrations by Rob Leanna; Sandy Agrafiotis (OPP)

Narrow the possibilities as you work out a design. Are you going for plain or with borders, faux stone, a checkerboard, or perhaps the look of a rug? The design for a kitchen will be different from one going under a dining-room table or a hallway. Which techniques do you prefer: striping, marbling, stenciling through a template, 3D trompe l’oeil, or even freehand painting? Work out the size of elements and repeats, eventually drawing the design to scale. Pick specific motifs first, and then select the color palette.

STEP-BY-STEP

STEP 1

Prep the floor. For the wood floor shown in this sequence, that would mean stripping it of wax if necessary, doing repairs, filling large cracks, cleaning, and caulking.

Assuming the floor is sound, go on to power-sand the wood. Then sponge-wash the floor with a degreaser such as Spic and Span or TSP; dry with absorbent towels and let the floor air-dry thoroughly. Next, use a primer if you have concerns about adhesion, or to lay down a dark undercoat for a deep-tone finish color.

STEP 2

If the ground (base) coat is not wall to wall, use painter's blue tape and a measuring tool or chalkline to mark the area; your design may have more than one ground color. Use a roller for efficiency, then immediately brush out the wet paint for a traditional finish.

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