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Ideas and tips for painted wood floors

If you are looking for ideas for painting a wood floor, we have put together a selection of images that show the many ways the a floor can be painted, whether in a solid colour or with a patterned design.


Hardwood or oregan pine floors are very common in older homes around South Africa. For many years wood floors were considered en vouge and there are still many homes that retained the original integrity of the design. But not everyone favours the look of a dark wood floor, and this is where painting a wood floor can make a huge difference.





Rather than staining, sealing and varnishing a wood floor, paint allows homeowners the alternative of lightening up a room, or adding fun detail with paint. And when done properly, paint can be just as durable as alternative finishes.

Using paint on a wood floor is an inexpensive way to updated floors in an older home, especially an older home that has low ceilings and small windows. A floor painted with light colour visually lightens up and enlarges a room.

Preparation for painting a wood floor
Any wood floor needs to be prepared before painting (or staining, sealing or applying varnish). The finishes previously applied to the surface need to be removed to ensure a good bond between the wood and new finish being applied.

- Removing layers of wax polish
You will find wax strippers at your local Builders Warehouse. These products are formulated to dissolve layers of built up wax on the surface of wood floors. After removing the wax a light sanding is done with 180-grit sandpaper to prepare the surface for painting. You don't need to hire an industrial sander for this, you can quite easily use an orbital sander, but preferably a random orbit sander.

- Removing varnish or sealer
If you plan of staining, sealing or varnishing the wood as opposed to painting you will find tips here. For painting a previously varnished floor it isn't always necessary to resort to drastic measures. Using an orbital or random orbit sander might take longer than if you used an industrial sander, but it will produce a lot less mess and not sand away as much wood. If you are working on an old floor, chances are it is already pretty thin due to repeated sanding and an industrial sander is pretty aggressive when it comes to removing a finish. Sanding by hand using 120- and then 180-grit sandpaper won't compromise the integrity of the floor and will de-gloss the surface ready for painting.

I found a very informative and practical article that outlines the various methods involved in stripping wax and sanding floors.

- Painting a wood floor
Once the prep work has been done you are ready to paint. Use a quality paint such as Plascon Wall & All for painting a wood floor if you are watering down the paint to give the wood floor a whitewash effect. When painting on a solid colour or design you can use Plascon Velvaglo waterbased enamel. Rather spend a bit more on a paint that will last and won't easily wear off. After painting you should apply a protective layer to extend the life of the painted finish and this can be a wax polish or polyurethane varnish.

- Marking out a design
Use masking tape to mark out the design to be painted onto a wood floor. For a more intricate or detailed design you can buy floor stencils online, or consider making your own stencils using acetate or vinyl sheets.