Where the paint meets the floor

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I shared last week that our floors were a disaster.  The carpet was nasty and stained and after living with it for three years, the hubs and I could not stand it for one more day.  So out it went.  (Sadly, it is now languishing on the front porch until we have time to take it to the dump.  Baby steps.)  We really want to install hardwoods throughout most of our house…but that isn’t in the cards right now.  (Or maybe I should say it isn’t in the bank account.)

Beneath the nasty carpet were plywood subfloors and my current plan is to paint the plywood and use that as our floor until we can afford hardwood.   I have told a few people of this plan and I typically get one of two reactions.  Either they look at me in horror and say ‘Well you can always buy a lot of rugs to cover it’.  Or they say that they are sure it will turn out great.  (Those are the friends who understand my incessant drive to create something beautiful from nothing).  I am guessing your reactions will also be mixed, but being the creatives you are, I think more of you will see the potential.

I have actually painted plywood subfloor before – I painted a sweet checkerboard pattern on my screened-in porch and it turned out great.  It is the only floor in our home that I really love.  So I have been scouring Pinterest looking for some great painted floor inspiration.  And while painted floors aren’t exactly taking suburbia by storm, there are definitely some great examples out there.

You can check out scads of gorgeous floor inspiration on my Pinterest board Stand Out Floors.

Totally fabulous, right?  I am clearly not looking to do anything safe and boring.  Plywood or not, I want these floors to be amazing.

Anyone else out there attempt this before?  Got any advice?

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  1. says

    I just did a post on painted floors a few days ago lol, my guy wanted me to not paint the sub floor and buy hardwood floors but then he decided its not worth it if I’m going to paint it anyway so he said I can paint the sub-floor! I just finished patching the floor and started sanding today….cant wait to see what you do.

  2. says

    Oh all of those inspiration pictures are lovely! Are you going to do this throughout your entire home? Seems like a HUGE project. Can’t wait to see what you can come up with. Hey you could paint “rugs” into your design!

  3. says

    I definitely think you should do it. This is the chance to try something knowing that it may just be temporary. I love the bold stripes but some type of Subway type Art/Lettering would be really cool…something that talks about where you live or along those lines. Can’t wait to see the finished floors!

  4. says

    Hubby is a wood guy through and through… natural wood and doesn’t care for paint on floors or furniture. I personally love the painted floors and pretty much all of the ones you have pictured here.

  5. says

    Paint them! I’ve painted lots of floors over the years and with 5 children, dogs and living on a farm…they’re well used! I’ve always used oil paint…but now that I’m preparing to paint my oldest daughters floor again…I’m thinking about trying either latex or chalk paint with several coats of poly on top. My mudroom needs another makeover too…and I’m thinking some kind of geometric pattern. You will LOVE them when you’re finished! Over the years…I have TRIED whatever I wanted in this old farmhouse of ours in fixing it up…and loved every minute of the ride!

  6. says

    I painted a pine plank floor white once….LOVED IT! Be sure to use porch paint or other floor specific paints. I bet you already know that, but it is worth saying. Ours held up for the whole 10 years we owned that house.

    I would mention to prep before you paint. I had a few knots that bled through…I liked it, but you might not.

  7. says

    Hi Carrie ~ I definitely think you should go for painting the subfloors until you can afford hardwood. While I’ve never tried it myself, I’ve read somewhere that this can actually work well. I’d love to see your “after” pictures when you are done.

    We are doing our home in hardwood one room at a time, since it is expensive. So far, we’ve done the kitchen, living room, hallway, and one bedroom. We have chosen Bruce hardwood which is engineered hardwood and we love it. The flooring in our kitchen is 10 years old and has endured kids and cats and dishes breaking on it, furniture moving, etc. Sure, it has some scratches and dents, but all in all it still looks fantastic. You might want to check it out! It’s just a bit more expensive than laminate.

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