DIY * How To Paint Wood Floors Like A Pro

So many people wonder how to paint wood floors. We have been working with a tight budget on my home office renovation and decided that the most cost-effective way to save on flooring is to paint it. I am so glad that we did and will be sharing a tutorial today on our technique!
Don’t worry, it’s not hard at all to get your wood floors looking brand new again!
painting the floors in your home

How To Paint Wood Floors Like A Pro

I like to strip naked {the room:~} and get down to the basics and totally refresh! I’ll be sharing more of my office in future posts, but today it’s a step by step of how to paint a tired wood floor.

This is my home office, which used to be one of our daughter’s rooms when she was growing up. For several years now it’s been where I work on the blog, sit and pay bills and spend my computer time. You don’t often see this room because it’s been a total disaster zone. I just haven’t had any time to fix it up.
ideas to paint your wood floors

Here are some more projects and the final look, but for today I’m talking painting hardwood floors.

tips to paint wood floors

These floors were put down by us when we first moved in, over 25 years ago now. The house had some pretty awful brown shag carpet throughout. Everyone in our family has allergies and the wood parquet engineered flooring was an affordable and clean solution. It was the 80’s and I don’t think that ANYONE does parquet wood tile today!

how to paint wood floors

You can see some of the scratchings on the floors. Worse than that, we went through Hurricane Andrew in this home and with it raining through the roof the parquet eventually developed some mildew. At the time we tried getting it out, but the mildew was trapped in the layers of the parquet and it wouldn’t budge with bleach. We figured painting was in order now, as I want a naked cake or clean canvas. Paint is always an affordable way to create that blank canvas.

After taking everything out of the room we painted ceiling to walls to baseboard first, so that the floor could act as the dropcloth. Here he is painting the riser between the wood floor and the tiled bedroom.

prepping a wood floor to paint

Then we prepped the floor by sanding it by hand with 100 grit sandpaper. I should say HE sanded it. Truth be told my husband did the majority of the work because he’s much faster than I am.

Once finished sanding to create some “tooth” we wiped the floor really well with a damp rag and then vacuumed. If you are going to try this, keep in mind that any dirt left behind will show under the paint…so clean well!

painting a hardwood floor
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What paint can you use to paint your hardwood floor?

The paint that we used is a Low Lustre Enamel Porch & Patio Floor Paint in white and there are several brands to choose from. As you can see we applied with a foam roller and a long-handled pole attached.

best floor paint for wooden floors

You don’t need to use a primer with these porch paints we find, just as long as you do the sanding first. The paints today also are low odor which is a plus, but if you can open up windows it’s recommended.

painted wood floor before and after

After allowing the floor to dry for 24 hours we hit it with another coat for better coverage. No…my husband did NOT paint himself into a corner as it looks in this shot~haha! Having a contracting business for the last 29 years and watching his crew do lots of painting he knows the ropes.

white painted floor

I wasn’t super happy with the lack of sheen once dry and with 3 dogs who love to hang out in here while I work, we decided to do three coats of a sealer for added protection. This is what we used.

I love the Rust-Oleum brand and use many of their products and as always, this sealer did not disappoint and although it’s touted as no odor, honestly I’d say it has a much lower odor than most. It dries quickly between coats. Windows definitely should be open during drying if possible and I’d allow a week before moving the furniture back in.

painting wood floor ideas

If you have any floor painting questions please ask in the comments! Thanks for stopping by today…Janet

Wondering how to paint wood floors? Here is how we completed it in our home and how you can follow these same steps to do it in yours! #howtopaintwoodfloors #paintingfloors #paint #homeremodel


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  1. Sandra at 7th St. Studio says:

    You made it look so easy! Thank you for sharing that sealer! I might just have to choose a room to paint my wood floors in now! Can't wait to see your balance cake as it gets layered in beauty!

    1. I would love to do this in the living room but can’t keep it empty for that long. Any suggestions?

      1. Unfortunately you do need to let it dry well and between coats for the best long term results.

  2. Can't wait to see finished office! I know it's going to be beautiful!

  3. I can't wait to see what you will do with it!!

  4. Mary K.- The Boondocks Blog says:

    That floor looks fabulous! Thanks for showing us the how too. And the choice of white is very bold of you!

  5. Carmen Gomez says:

    I can be a little bipolar sometimes, and the wood lover inside me wanted to cry when I saw your parquet flooring being covered but the paint lover in me says "Yes! It's so bright and airy in there now, and it looks fresh and new again!" It came out amazing! Sometimes we are just ready for a change, I think 25 years was a good run for your floors, the good thing is you didn't rip them out, you reused them and gave them a new lease on life!

  6. I love the fresh new look! It's always fun to start with a blank canvas to make a space really your own. Thank you for sharing at Merry Monday!

  7. Ashley @ 3 Little Greenwoods says:

    WOW! What a difference a can of paint can make. I love how fresh the room looks now!

    Thanks so much for sharing your creativity at the The DIY Collective this week! Hope to see you again next Thursday. The party begins at 6:00am EST.

    Hope you had an awesome weekend!
    ~ Ashley

  8. I can’t believe she painted over parquet flooring.

    1. The flooring was damaged beyond repair and was not antique

  9. Did you use the same style of roller for the application of the sealer?

    1. Hi Lee, yes I do use a similar roller with a low nap.

  10. Hello! It looks so easy and not messy at all…lol, I’ll try!

    I want super black shiny/glassy living room floor.
    1) Do I still need to use a white primer?

    2) What paint to use?

    3) How to I the glassy finish?
    4) The floor faces the front door. No back door in my tiny private apt. Any tips on how to complete the project without moving out for a whole week.
    You do make it look easy. This would be my 2nd attempt.

  11. jean barthelme says:

    I also have 25 year old parquet floors which are pretty dried out in some spots even though they were covered with carpeting. Going to paint mine and room will become a guest/gym room. Is it really necessary to sand? Did you use a hand sander or a rotary powered sander? Dont want paint to peel or scratch off.

    1. I would use a floor sander that you can rent and use a light sandpaper like 120 grit. Be sure to let it dry between coats and seal it well!

      1. I have a small bathroom to do, would a hand sander work?

  12. Can you sand and paint bamboo floors?

    1. You should be able to do that, yes

  13. Hi! I am about to do this on my floors, I have done several DIY projects and I am usually very comfortable with power tools, but renting this giant sander is making me a little nervous! Any tips or tricks that I should know about? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Lauren, my only tip would be to not press too hard on the sander. Go slow and careful.