before and after

before & after: painted pattern floor

by Kate Pruitt

When floors are in bad condition and refinishing or renovating seems out of the question, people often try to downplay their floors by painting them a neutral color or hiding them under various rugs. However, I’m becoming increasingly convinced that if you can find a pattern or color you really love, the best cure for a mediocre floor can be a bold, eye-catching treatment instead. Take this pretty patterned-floor project by Carrie of Lovely Etc., for example.

Carrie ripped up the old, gross carpet in her living and dining rooms to find a plywood subfloor. She originally planned to paint the subfloor to tide her over until they could install hardwood flooring, but she loves the look of the paisley pattern so much that she has decided to save that money for other home projects instead. This project clearly requires patience, but the results are lovely. Instead of hiding under a rug, this floor is now the statement-maker in the room. Nice work, Carrie! — Kate

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Read the full post after the jump!

Time: 20–25 hours

Cost: $150 (floor patch, sandpaper, primer, paint, sealer)

Basic Steps: This whole project was born because I could not deal with our old stained carpet in our living and dining rooms for one more day, but I knew that hardwood flooring was not at the top of our priority list. So I took matters into my own hands. The first step was to rip out the old nasty carpet and carpet padding and remove the tack strips and staples from the subfloor. Crazy as it sounds, I hated the carpet so much, I thought the floor was already looking better when it was bare plywood. I patched the seams and holes and lightly sanded the entire floor. I primed the floor with a quality oil-based primer and then painted the base color using porch and floor paint. I love the look of painted floors, but I did not want it to be so obvious that this was just painted plywood, so I decided some visual interest was definitely needed. I taped off the border and painted it with a lighter color and then stenciled the design inside the border. The last step was to seal the floor with a non-yellowing floor sealer in satin finish to protect it and help keep it clean.

This project was pretty time-consuming, but the low cost and beautiful results made it more than worth it. I absolutely love my painted plywood floor, but keep in mind that it is still plywood — it is not going to be silky smooth like concrete. Also, I highly recommend using a detailed pattern like the paisley I chose — it really hides the dirt and dust that would otherwise be easy to see on such a dark floor. I am so happy with my floors now; I have to smile every time I see them. — Carrie

To see Carrie’s full how-to on her site, click here.

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  • I ripped up carpeting in 2 bedrooms so far, one to go and the upstairs landing. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous floor and giving me the inspiration to do one of my own. My brain is spinning with ideas for patterns and colors.

  • Your floors are stunning! One of a kind! And, so timely. I, too had nasty carpet I could not live with. I also would love wood floors, but the cost is prohibitive. As I am a decorative painter I decided I’d paint it to look like a castle stone floor. Unlike you, I have cement to work with. It is in amazingly horrible shape; cracks and hundreds of gouges where carpet tack strips were nailed down. I think I’d rather have your plywood! The prep before painting, I expect, will be a longer process than the painting itself. I can only hope my end result leaves me as happy as you are with yours!

  • amazing!! I want to re-do my kitchen floor, but it is tile. Can this process also work on tile floors???
    I am soo jealous!! I want these floors!

  • This is GORGEOUS!!! V inspirational. I’m in a similar situation – bare concrete on my hall floor, no money to lay the traditional Victorian tiles that should be in my old Scottish house. Very tempted to get the paintbrush and stencils out. First I need to find some patience – and a baby sitter or ten for the toddler…!

  • Now that is what you call a transformation! The quality of work is so good that all money and time put into it would have been worth it. Painting a floor is no easy job and I am sure that this took a lot of patience and preparation. Two of the most important things when doing a project like this! Amazing job!

  • Genius! Superb craftsmanship!
    I have painted a black and white paisley rug with diluted blue paint but you have given encouragement to go even further!

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