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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!

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We started the whole process by ripping out old carpet and laying down new pine flooring.

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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.

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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.

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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

Comments

sue:

wonderful porch paint behr;sand your wood a lot—-not tacky at all

May 22, 2016

Kim:

I have had a similar experience with SW porch and floor enamel. We live in an old house where some of the floors were painted years ago (not by us) and had started to wear through. Our preference was to sand them down and refinish them, but due to the age it was lead paint and no one would do it. We opted to repaint. In my son’s bedroom we used SW Porch and Floor and ran into the same problem with the tackiness. We waited over a month to bring the furniture back in the room and a couple of months before putting down a rug. Even after months of curing, the rubber waffle rug pad became glued to the paint! I don’t know how we will ever get it off safely (we can’t sand due to the lead) so at this point we will just have to keep it there as a permanent rug pad. In addition we have dogs who put their paws up and scraped the windowsills as they looked out and the all the white flecks of paint from the window sills adhered to the blue floor below (this was more than a year later). It has been several years now and I still feel like on a humid day the floor is not 100% hard. Due to my past experience, I just finished painting our stair treads and upstairs hall (same lead issue). This time I used SW oil based enamel and after about a month of curing, I had a professional come in and coat it with water based poly. It has only been about a week, but the finish is awesome and was harder after a few hours than the porch and floor paint ever has been. They told me at SW that the enamel is not meant for floors and suggested the porch and floor, but after my experience I decided to wing it. So far so good, and I’m hoping the poly will allow it to hold up to the foot traffic over the years even though it wasn’t technically a floor paint.

May 03, 2016

Misty:

Thanks so much for this post. I had the same problem — porch and patio paint on the floor that had dried but just stayed tacky for days. I just ran to the store to pick up some poly and a lambswool applicator, and I’m about to fix this problem once and for all. So happy I found this page, and looking forward to having the floor I thought I was going to have!

Dec 15, 2015

Nikki:

Lori, I’m in the process of painting my hallway and stairs black and will use your poly method but I was curious as to what’s he best method for cleaning? Tnx, Nikki

Aug 27, 2015

Lori Danelle:

Richard – Oh Goodness! Well, I feel the need to start with a disclaimer – I am not an expert. I can only talk about my experience. Ha!!

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, based on what I experienced & what I keep hearing in this message thread, I think you’re right not to trust the paint alone. Everyone I hear from used porch & patio paint, and despite being told sealing it was unnecessary, had horrible tackiness problems with the paint alone, often even after a week of dry time.

You didn’t specify what you used to apply the poly, but I do recommend not brushing it on and using the painter’s pad instead (search “lambskin pad with block” on a home improvement store site). Second, be VERY conscientious of how thick you apply the poly. Poly naturally yellows. So be very careful to apply thin coats. Better to do 2 or 3 thin coats than 1 thick one.

The groves you saw did have a propensity to cause puddling, but I watched it closely and was able to keep it to a minimum. In the end, I did have some yellowing there, but very little, and not enough to bother me.

Also, I don’t know if the paint dry time will affect it or not, but I’m with you & would err on the safe side. I would probably wait at least 24 hours before applying poly.

I REALLY hope everything works out for you this time! Good luck!!!!

Aug 17, 2015

richard ishak:

hello there,

i am so jealous of how your floors came out!

i just painted my floors a benjamin moore floor and patio white. i waited about 8 hours and then applied a water based poly. i got yellowing throughout my floors and especially in areas where the poly was thicker and caked up. i had to wait until it fully dried, sand, clean, prime and repaint. i am going for my second attempt and i wont give up lol this time i will give the paint a few days to dry instead of 8 hours before applying the poly. i notice you have grooves in your floors, how didnt the polyurthane puddle and yellow in those areas? did you have any yellowing at all? if so, were you able to sand them out? i was also told i wont need to seal because floor and patio paint are durable but i just dont trust it. i am honestly terrified of finding yellowing the second time, some areas did not have yellowing which was good but a lot of it did. please help, your advice is valuable!

Aug 17, 2015

Lori Danelle:

John – Not dumb at all! We had footprints too, but once we put the poly over them, they disappeared. I would say the exception would be if you have dirty foot prints. Ours were just the impression left in the tackiness of the paint, but if there had been dirt, those definitely would show up. So make sure your feet are clean before you walk on it to paint, & you should be good to go according to my experience.

Jun 15, 2015

John:

This may sound really dumb but, I have to walk on the tacky paint to apply the Poly coat. Isn’t that going to seal the footprints underneath and visible? We just painted my son’s floor black and can’t get the tackiness to diminish. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Jun 15, 2015

Gena:

I finished priming (2 coats) kids floor yesterday! But I am stuck on whether to choose regular late paint or floor/porch paint. I have been told twice (Lowes & SW) that porch paint should not be used indoors because of the chemicals in it, sorry, i can’t remember specifically which one. They stressed this especially in childrens rooms. Have you heard of this? Or am I being too paranoid? It is at our cottage so it doesn’t get that much use…
btw: White Floor looks amazing!

May 27, 2015

Lori:

Make sure you use water-based poly for floors. Poly does have a tendency to yellow, but the water-based kind is less likely. Just do your best not to let it get too thick & not puddle anywhere. A couple of light coats is better than thick ones. We did not have any trouble with it not sticking, so I’m not sure what that’s all about! :)

May 27, 2015

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