Onni Hotelli Kuvia Picture Credit Ranskalainenpatonki.blogspot

Painted wood floors are making a come back, and we believe that painted floors will become even more popular than we see today. In the past, finer homes installed decorative parquet floors and inlaid patterns. In the 17th and 18th century paint also was the means to create these decorative patterns on the floor, many which mimicked parquetry. Painted wood floors made it possible for more light to enter into the home, as the winter season in Sweden was quite dark. Rustic unfinished wood over time, darkens, and painting the wood just seemed like a practical approach of having a brighter home without spending a bundle.

Raw wood accepts paint so much nicer, and allows the paint to distress beautifully over time. Sanding wood, allows the paint to soak into the wood, compared to painting over varathane floors which may scratch easier with foot traffic. Homeowners with existing floors often have to carefully think carefully about how they go about re-finishing their wood floors,because the process can be pretty involved.   Refinishing wood floors can seem more labourous than painting, and often times it is. Sanding wood floors can be a time-consuming task.

There are a couple steps that cannot be skipped and we list them out below:

1. Prep

This involves removing your furniture from the room. Once you start belt sanding the floors, there will be dust everywhere. It can be a bit time consuming sealing off the house with drop cloths, or plastic tarp, but it is necessary for a great finish.

2. Sanding

The most time labourous part by far is sanding. Using a belt sander will kick up a ton of saw dust, and cleaning up the dust, which ends up everywhere becomes a tedious job. Sanding an entire floor can take up to 4 hours or several days depending on the size of the room.

Renting industrial professional tools saved my husband and I a lot of time when we refinished parquet floors in a rental in Virginia. Drum sanders are large machines that can handle large floors, and are very easy to operate. Drum Sanders can be rented at around $40 to $50 per day. I would highly recommend it than using a small scale sander that you can buy from a Hardware store.

Most homeowners choose to rent the specialty equipment and then purchase the more standard tools at their local hardware stores. Edge or orbital sanders are terrific for sanding the edges of the floor that the drum sanders cannot reach. A handheld power tool lets you tackle the tight corners, and are worth purchasing outright from Home Depot or Amazon. They allow you tools for additional furniture projects in the future.

3. Staining, or Painting

While everyone in the design community has their favorite paint brands, I would highly suggest going with a oil based paint. Oil holds up longer and has a tougher finish than any water based brands.

I would highly suggest sanding your room down to its bare wood, before painting. Painting over an existing paint is always possible, but the extra work pays off when the paint naturally distresses over time, which shows the wood through rather than an unsightly under color.

Sanding down to the natural wood also allows you to pickle the floors. White washed floors in my opinion are much nicer than painting the floors, because the wood gives the room a bit of depth and natural appeal.

In this post I show a photo of the Behr Wood Stain that is highly recommended. The stain is available in a number of colors, and evens out nicer than just paint that is mixed with water. Behr has a number of colors available that are off white, gray, beige that would work nicely with the Swedish interior schemes.  Mixing paint with a bit of water or stain work rather nicely.

Many people suggest applying paint with a professional paint brush which gives a smooth finish, rather than with a roller, which creates a stippled finish. Today you can purchase smooth rollers which can be used with extension pole to apply paint. Rollers are inexpensive ranging from $4 to $7 per pack. A pole will be anywhere from $5 to $40, depending on length and material.

You can choose a variety of different approaches with your paint choices….

If you decide to work with an existing painted floor, a great oil based primer is “Coverstain by Zinsser” This paint can be tinted almost any lighter color, dries very fast, and can be mixed with most other oil paints. Coverstain is in fact a primer that will adhere to almost anything, and would be a fantastic choice for the floors.

One gals review of Coverstain -“Zinsser oiled based primer is like gold

(Please note that Kilz or Coverstain primers should never be used on concrete floors. Go to Lowes or Home Depot, and buy stain or paint made just for concrete floors. Concrete stain doesn’t flake off on concrete like paint does)

As a top coat on your wood floors, you can purchase a Water-based polyurethane clear varnish, to seal in the tinted paint, or purchase water based, or oil based paint for your top coat. I have tinted this paint many shades of gray, blue, green and yellow. It is marvelous on furniture. This primer dries flat, allowing almost any other paint to be applied to it. It serves as your primer and your base paint, allowing you to just then seal the color in with a water based sealant.

If you are working with a previous painted floor, floors need to be sanded for the paint to stick properly. The worst is when you skip sanding, and the first time you move a furniture piece only to have the paint come off in sheets, or scratch. You will have regretted not sanding.

Sand first, and then paint the floors with a paint formulated for the flooring. We had painted our deck with paint formulated for the outside, and we are so glad we spent the extra money, because rain or snow, the paint hasn’t chipped.

4. Sealing

Polyurethane is an oil based sealant, that is NOT suggested for lighter colored paints. If you use this over your floors, in a week or a matter of days, the floors will have a tinge of yellow. You might then have to consider re-painting your white floors.

Polyurethane works perfect on unpainted wood, or on darker paint colors such as red, navy, black and so forth. A water based varnish is required for lighter based floor colors such as light gray, white, or cream.

You’ll have to wait 6 hours for each coat of polyurethane sealant to dry. It is recommended that most floors require at least 3 coats to achieve best results, and many professionals suggest 24 hours in between each coat of urethane.  It also takes up to 3 days before you can move furniture back into the room and walk on the floors again.

Onni Hotelli Kuvia Picture Credit Ranskalainenpatonki.blogspot

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