Painting Your Floors

Although some people might cringe at the thought of painting a floor, it can actually be an easy way to spruce up a worn floor and brighten up the entire room. Floor paint is specially designed to be durable, and is able to stand up to the heavy traffic and abuse that floors customarily receive. If you choose a good quality of floor paint, and clean and prepare the floor carefully, your floor painting job should be a big success.

Getting Ready

You should start by carefully measuring the floor, so that you know how many square feet of space the paint needs to cover. When shopping for good floor paint, you should consider what type of finished surface you desire.

Although a high gloss finish is easy to maintain, it can sometimes be slippery. If you do want a high gloss finish, a urethane product would be a good choice. Floor paint that has a lower sheen, such as acrylic latex, can be a little more slip-resistant. You’ll also need to choose between latex and oil-based finishes. Although an oil-based paint will take longer to dry, which can sometimes be a problem when painting a floor; it will usually provide the longest lasting and most abrasion-resistant finish.

Preparing the Floor

Once you have your paint selected, prepare the floor by making sure it is completely clean. Take special care to remove any areas of oil or grease from the floor, as this will interfere with paint adhesion. It the floor has been previously painted, it is a good idea to clean it with TSP before repainting. Remove any flaking paint from a previous paint job, and sand lightly to improve adhesion. Once all of the cleaning has been finished, let the floor dry thoroughly, and then sweep and dust mop to remove any residual debris and dust.


If you are painting a new wood floor, use either a primer designed to work with wood floors and the paint you’ve selected, or apply a thinned coat of the paint you are going to use. Let this primer coat dry completely. If you are painting a floor that has been previously painted with a glossy finish, applying a primer will help the new coat of paint adhere. If you are painting new concrete, you should wait 90 to 180 days before painting, to allow it to cure. You’ll also want to etch a new concrete floor with muriatic acid before painting, so that the paint adheres properly. Once it has been treated with the acid, allow it to dry, and apply one coat of a good quality concrete primer that is designed to work with the finish paint you have chosen, and allow to dry.

Finish Coat

Once the primer is dry, apply a coat of your finish paint, following label directions. It can be easier to paint a floor if you use an extension pole with your roller or paint pad. Let the first coat of paint dry thoroughly according to label directions, and then apply the second coat. Never be tempted to hurry the process by applying the second coat before the first is dry, because this can cause a tacky floor surface to develop, which will delay the entire drying process. Allow the floor to dry and harden thoroughly before walking on the floor or moving furniture back into the room.

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