Originally, I hadn't planned on sharing with you how I went about painting our floors. But then I remember how much time I spent on the internet searching and pouring over websites that had any mention of how to do it.
I was REALLY nervous about painting the floors. I was scared that it wouldn't look the way I envisioned, or that the paint wouldn't wear well. Before I finally committed, I read a ton and talked to several people at our local Sherwin Williams store.
In the end, this is how we did it. And I'm happy with the results, so perhaps it will work for you as well!
We started the whole process by ripping out old carpet and laying down new pine flooring.
We went with a softer wood like pine because we wanted it to get beat up and worn in. So if you select to go with pine, please please please be aware of this! Also, we ordered ours from a website and then picked it up at a local store. We were not aware that it had grooves!!! The only thing I dislike about the girls floor is the grooves! It's a nice place to collect any dirt! :( But at least it all goes there and I can sort of walk over it, rather than in it, right?
Anyway, I suggest finding flooring that does not have grooves, or perhaps turning the board over. . .?? That's what I wish we had done. The next step was filling any nail or floor staple holes, quickly sanding the whole surface down with a palm sander, and vacuuming up all the dust!
Now you're ready for paint!! We started by priming the floors.
Over the years, we've really come to like Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water Base Primer/Sealer that we purchase at Home Depot.
After all my research, we opted to use Sherwin Williams' Floor & Porch Enamel, in True White. I can't remember now if I did 2 or 3 coats, but my guess is 2.
One place where I strayed from the advice given by Sherwin Williams is that they told us that we could just put down the paint and we wouldn't need to seal it with a polyurethane. They gave us a time frame in which it would need to dry. We gave it that amount of time (something around a week. . .it was a fairly long time) and the paint was still tacky and we would leave foot prints if we attempted to walk on it.
Finally, I gave up, said screw this and bought a water based polyurethane for floors and we were moved back in the next day!
To apply the poly, you'll need a special painter's pad and pole. Use long straight stokes. Though water based poly is less likely to yellow, you'll want to be especially careful not to let it get too thick or puddle, as it will still yellow in those circumstances. Apply at least 2 coats and be sure to follow the directions on the package for drying time, etc.
Pretty, shiny, *clean* white floors!!!! (they never looked quite like that again!) :)
White floors are not for everyone. If you're looking for pristine, this is probably not the route for you—unless you have hired someone to meticulously clean the floors hourly!! However, if you like your floors to look worn in, and appreciate the character of some scuffs and dings, then you may have found the perfect thing!! Also, we painted the floors in my husband & my bedroom black. We followed the exact same process as described above. I HATE them. :) Painting a dark color did not work out for us. I would paint another floor white in a heartbeat, but if I want dark, we're staining them from here on out!!!
So, I hope that answered some questions you may have. If you're considering attempting this and have questions, don't hesitate to ask!! I know I would have loved to have someone who had done it to ask questions! Painting floors is a bit scary and a big commitment! But I am SO glad I went for it!!
xoxo Lori Danelle