before and after

before & after: lori’s painted floor

by Grace Bonney

i’m a sucker for painted floors, so this project from lori dunbar of fin and roe and marzipan inc is right up my alley. lori completed changed the floors by ripping up old carpet (and 5 other layers of flooring!) and exposing the original (albeit rather worn) wooden floors of her home. then lori designed a stencil on foam core and used it to create this bright white pattern on top of her newly painted sunshine yellow floors. and the best part? lori shares her how-to right here! thanks lori! and thanks to jan for the tip!

[have a before & after you’d like to share on d*s? just shoot me an email right here with your pictures]


CLICK HERE for process shots of lori’s project after the jump…


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  • inspired! reminds me of mosaic floor designs – a fraction of the elbow grease/cost though.

  • Such a great idea! I’ll probably try this on my stairway landings. It sounds so much better than trying to refinish the wood stairs or carpeting over them.

  • This is amazing and gorgeous! I wish that there were wooden floors hidden underneath my flooring, but alas, there are not.

  • Lori has such an incredible flair for pattern. I love seeing it in her design work and now how she applies it to her personal space. Amazing!

  • WOW, I would have never thought to use such a bold color on a floor, it looks amazing though. I would like to see how she styles the rest of the room.

  • Holy cow! Those floors are gorgeous – what a talent! I hope everyone takes their shoes off – it’s too pretty to walk on!

  • How can someone NOT be utterly happy in that room? I’d love to see what it looks like when furnished… any pics?

  • Dang! Those are the best looking floors I’ve seen in a long time. Redoing flooring is really hard and 5 layers of old stuff?! Kudos!

  • So inspiring – and so well done. I am definitely going to do this someday… when I’m not a renter. Awesome job!

  • so beautiful, bright and cheery, but why oh why cover up hardwood floors?? In the stencil pic, the sanded floor in the background looks to be in good shape…?

  • LOVE this! Definitely going to have to find a way to incorporate this idea somewhere into my home…

  • Yellow has been really catching my eye lately. I love what you’ve done with the floors.

  • Architte – I think that’s a different room bordering on the yellow floor room. You can see in the first pic under the cut that there’s a ton of damage.

  • to answer some questions:

    sorry, no furnished photos yet. this project was just recently completed and i want to give it a full couple weeks to cure…..especially with all the humidity we’ve been having. i’ll be sure to send some on when it’s done.

    as for the floors, they were not actually hardwood. the adjoining room was beautiful maple which you can see and we just had that sanded and refinished. this room was soft wood….like pine or fir. we opted for the painted option rather than re-carpet or some other floor treatment.

    thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments and for stopping over on my blog to say hi. i really appreciate it. we love our new floors and like someone above mentioned, they do make me very happy! ;)

  • As someone who’s seen it in person – I can you it looks as good as it does in the picture! And it really cheers up the space – love it!
    Congrats Lori on completing the project!

  • oops, i just realized i missed a question!

    about the pattern: it was inspired by a photo i found from ohdeedoh of a stenciled floor. from that photo i drew my version in illustrator and edited from there. (i made the center “flower” larger, spaced things out a bit, got rid of some smaller details, etc.) then i blew it up so that each full “flower” was 24″ in diameter. printed it up in tile mode and taped the sheets together for the pattern. adhered that to foamcore and cut it out. hope that helps!

  • What an amazing job. I just love the color combination and I thought my forest in our bedroom was a lot of work.

  • FAb-oo-lious! That is such a pretty color and the stencil the perfect size. Truly impressive.

  • Wow! I love it. Almost makes me want to add, one room with messed up floors to my house hunting list!

  • To say this is incredible and I am absolutely enamored with this floor, room, color scheme and everything is a grave understatement.

  • absolutely BEAUTIFUL! i can see this idea having so many gorgeous applications…fabulous work. can’t wait to see the whole room finished!

  • wow. So lovely, love the color, design, 70’s feel. I’d be wary to even walk on it, though.

  • I’m totally sold on this stunning idea for my spare bedroom. Now, I need a fix for devilish white floor grout in my kitchen.

  • how innovative!! this is such a cute idea . but.. i wonder if a little mistake in the placement of the pattern would look very bad.. i want to try this but allitle scared!

  • I have to say, when I hear painted floors, I usually cringe. Probably because of a horrible apartment I rented years back that thought ugly brown paint was a good alternative to fixing the floors. (I dubbed the apt. “The Ghetto Chateau”) This floor, however, rocks! I love the bright, cheery feel of it, plus the fact it’s not trying to pass itself off as something else.

  • WOW-WEE! I have always regretted that I was just too pregnant to paint my kitchen floor. Someday, it will happen and I now have the perfect inspiration.


  • wow!Simple fantastic floor>never imagined Yellow to be so preety on floor.Also you are very creative in making the stencil.Thanks for sharing the idea with us.

  • This is my favorite floor EVER!!! Oh, it’s just gorgeous…the color, the stencil, the painted wood. Heaven! I want one! :)

  • Oh I wish my kitchen floors were in bad shape so I could justify this…it’s so beautiful…what a way to lighten and brighten.

  • wow. great. wondering what you topped it with to protect from furniture and general wear n’ tear?

  • heather – right now it’s not topped with anything for wear and tear because we want it to obtain the worn look a little. once it gets to the place we want it, we will seal it with several coats of poly.

  • oooooooooooh!!!! I wish I had crummy old floors I could do this to! Somehow I think my husband might not be too happy if I did it to our 2 yr. old wood floors… Awesome job!

  • oh man! this is great! so funny, i was just talking about this with another person who suggested i do this when i pull up my carpets the wood floors have stains. i love how this turned out!!

  • I know this has already been said, but “wow” your floor project is really beautiful & amazing & gorgeous!

  • I love painted floors, its so east hampton…

    But my ocd would have me looking for caulk to fill in every line between the wood boards…It looks so cute, but I would be way to afraid of dirt getting in there…

    thats why every floor in my house is either polished concrete (which i dont love the look of, but damn its easy to keep clean), or huge 3 by 3 white marble tile with no grout lines, also easy to keep clean….

    I do wish I had warm wood floors…but my house isnt old enough to have those cool antique wood floors…

  • due to all the rain the northeast has been getting this summer and all the “accidents” my little yorkie has, I went a little crazy and ripped up all the carpeting in my family room. I to love painted floors and have done one previously. This floor is gorgeous and would love to know more on how the get the stencil made. Job well done.!

  • This is gorgeous. I wonder how it’s going to look after a years’ worth of feet stomping on it…?

  • I love painted floors, too. But if I were to do mine again, I would use a primer on them. I thought because I was using an outdoor/patio paint, nothing would bleed through,…and nothing did until I put the varnish coat on top. This somehow made some color from the wood beneath leech through in patches…which is okay for my Maine Cottage look, but would NOT look good with this careful stencil pattern! So use a primer!

  • I now have the perfect floor solution for my daughter’s bathroom. The best part is that my husband liked it too! Any chance you know the yellow paint color? It is perfect! Awesome job!

  • nancy- just checking back in to see if there were any more questions and i see yours about the color. unfortunately i custom mixed it because i wasn’t happy with the initial color we picked. wish i could be of more help! if you’re really interested you can shoot me an e-mail and i can paint you a small swatch that you could take in and have color-matched. (lori @ marzipaninc . com)

  • Stunning! I would love to try this, my husband and I acquired a 3 bedroom, cottage and all the floors, and staircase could benefit from this. Did you just make one large stencil and move it around the room, or did you cover the floor in stencils…not sure how you map it out?

  • Wow! This floor looks amazing! We just bought an older home with gorgeous wood floors. The kitchen has laminate that we are going to pull up. We think its pine. I would love to know how you handled the floor before you applied the paint. Did you have to do anything to the open joints between the boards?

  • We painted our hardwood floors, which are too thin to be sanded, solid white. I was very much a Rachel Ashwell shabby chic enthusiast and painted everything in whites. The floors looked GREAT for several years, but time took its toll. I felt the desire to redesign the whole house. I wondered if we could re-paint the floors, but was uninspired; difficult to handle being an artist. I couldn’t even think of a color, then I found Design*Sponge, and was flooded with amazing ideas! Thank you SO much for featuring these incredible projects, tips, and others’ comments! I believe that with the help of a brand-new friend, a professional designer, my floors will look great once again!

  • The flooring design definitely made the room sunny and bright. Getting to the original floor was probably a challenging task but the outcome is definitely fulfilling. I’ve been wanting to do the same thing but I lack time. I instead hired a flooring Houston pro to do the job for me but hopefully I can do this with my children’s room next summer.

  • hi
    where do i find the foam board for a 12×12 room. the pattern i want t paint is intricate
    thank you

  • This is absolutely a job well done. Stencilling is really a great way to design our floors. It is just so easy and fun to do. Thank you for sharing this post.

  • Hoping someone can answer this question….
    For a high traffic hall way areas, What kind of paint was used? Latex? Acrylic? Deck? and what finish?