How to Paint Wood Floors

Homeowners want their homes to remain in top condition over the years, boasting their aesthetic appeals and value. However, not all will go as per our wishes. Over time, your home floor will lose its value and aesthetic appearance. If you have a hardwood floor, you would consider refinishing or restaining the floor to regain the original appeal.

Painting your wood floors is a way to give them an updated and fresh look. The approach is a low-cost and crucial way to improve interior design, refresh your space, and improve your home’s value.

However, despite its importance, painting must be done following the correct procedure and precautions to get the desired outcome. If not done correctly, you risk re-polishing and other associated expenses.

Read along to learn how to paint wood floors.

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How to Paint Wood Floors

Painting wood floors involves repairing any damage, such as cracks and filling holes, sanding, priming, and applying the paint that may include up to three different coats, finally allowing it to cure.

Here is a detailed step-by-step process on how to paint wood floors.

Step 1: Prepare the floor (Clean, repair, and Sand)

Preparing the floor space is the first step to painting wood floors. Remove all the furniture and rugs from the room. Sweep or vacuum the floor to eliminate dirt, dust, or debris. Besides, check for any damages on the floor, such as holes, cracks, or any form of damage and repair them. For instance, you may fill the gaps with a wood filler and let it dry, following the instructions by the manufacturers.

Allow the filler to dry before sanding it to realize a smooth and level floor. Also, if your wood floor is stained or has marks, you may first need to sand them to remove the marks or use a wood cleaner to eliminate the stains. Use medium-grit sandpaper, 120-to 150-grit and a sanding sponge in this process. Lightly sand the whole floor surface.

Sanding helps create a rough surface to improve the adherence of the paint to the wood surface. While sanding, consider the wood grains and remove any existing varnish or finish. Once the sanding is complete, vacuum the floor again to remove any dust or debris left after sanding.

Step 2: Prime the Floor

Use a paint roller or brush to apply a coat of wood primer to the whole floor. There are various primers in the market, so ensure you have chosen one designed for the wood floors or surfaces, such as the Fresh Start® High-Hiding All Purpose Primer.

Priming ensures the paint can bond well and offer a more even finish. Follow the instructions with the primer during its application and allow it to dry completely before you begin painting. The drying time is also included in the instructions for every primer product you buy. Often, the drying time for the primer is 24 hours.

As a precaution, apply the primer from the corner towards the exit of your room so as not to paint yourself in or step on already painted surfaces that will expose you to unnecessary misuse of the paints.


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Step 3: Paint the Floor

You can start painting the floor once the primer is dry. Ensure you have chosen a high-quality floor paint specifically formulated for wood floors.

The selection here will also include the color you want for your floor. The white color is always the favourite for most homeowners. However, whatever colour you choose, test out the sample color and see whether it will complement your home interior. Also, remember that a low-luster satin finish will be less slippery than a high-gloss finish.

Use a paint roller or brush to apply the paint in smooth, even strokes. Like priming, start at one end of the corner of the room and work your way towards the exit to avoid painting yourself in or stepping on the wet paint.

Apply multiple thin coats, say first, second, and third, rather than a single thick coat, to enhance the durability and finish of your wood floor. After applying every coat, allow them to dry before a second coat is applied.

For instance, after adding the first coat, allow it to dry for about 24 hours before the second coat. If you must do a third coat, allow the second one to dry. Ensure the room is well-ventilated.

Once all the coats have been applied, allow your floor to dry completely. Take note of the drying time, essential when painting the hardwood floors. The time in the manufacturer’s instructions is crucial to determine when you can bring the furniture and other rugs back into the room or allow foot traffic.

Step 4: Add a protective coat

Applying a protective coat to the painted floor is an optional process. The protective coat adds to the durability and protects the floor. For this process, you can choose varnish or polyurethane for the wood floors. The topcoat finishes come with instructions from the respective manufacturers on the application process and curing time. Pay attention to the instructions.

Remember, there are top coats that can alter the color of your wood floor. As such, you must first try it in a small section and see whether it will influence your floor’s overall color to not implicate your preferred final appearance.

Step 5: Allow the floor to cure

After finishing the painting process, you must give the floor enough time to cure before you allow heavy foot traffic or bring back the household items. Instead, let the floor dry and only use the floor when the top coat has hardened and can withstand the weight.


Proper ventilation is crucial when painting as it enhances the drying time and eliminates possible bad smells from the paints. Also, be sure that the heavy furniture or the sharp objects you put inside the house does not scratch the painted surfaces. You can put rugs or other elements on the floor before you place the furniture and these objects on your painted surface.

Furthermore, ensure you properly care for and maintain your painted wood floor. Well-maintained wood floors can be beautiful and add immense aesthetic value to your home. The wood floor can take up to 10 years with proper care and maintenance.

The below video shows how to paint wood floors white and seal. You can use the same process on any preferred color.

Types of Wood Floor Paints

The success of getting the desired painting outcome is depended on the paint you choose for your wood floor. The paint you choose must be designed for wood floors. However, if you are not conversant with the different types of wooden floor paints, you may find it challenging to find one for your project.

Besides, your choice of paint will depend on your desired floor appearance, durability, and the type of wood you intend to work with.

Below are some of the common types of paint for wooden floors.

  1. Latex Paints

Latex paints are common for wooden floors due to their quick drying time, ease of use, and low odor. Latex paints come in a wide range of colors to choose from depending on your needs or home interior. In addition, unlike oil-based paints, the latex paints are environmentally friendly.

Furthermore, latex paints are durable and easy to clean. However, they are less durable compared to epoxy and acrylic paints since they contain low concentrations of acrylic resin.

  1. Epoxy Paint

Consider epoxy paints if you want the most durable option for your home floor. The epoxy paints create a durable, strong, and chemical-resistant finish. Epoxy paints consist of acrylic latex and epoxy resins, making them more resistant to dry peeling, chipping, and scratching.

As a result, epoxy paints are commonly used in industrial and commercial settings due to their ability to withstand heavy foot traffic. Also, they can be an ideal option for residential wooden floors.

Like latex paints, epoxy paints are also available in various colors and are resistant to scratches, moisture, and stains. However, they require proper surface preparation before using epoxy paints on wooden floors and can be challenging to apply compared to other paints. Thus, you must follow the instructions provided by the manufacturers for the appropriate application and curing time.

  1. Oil-based Paint

Oil-based paint is another top option and a great wood floor paint option that is durable and can withstand heavy foot traffic. The oil-based paints can provide a hard and glossy finish, making them apt for high-traffic areas and ideal for commercial and industrial spaces.

Despite the benefits, the paint type has certain disadvantages, including longer drying time, emission of strong odors, and may require mineral spirits for cleaning.

  1. Polyurethane Paint

Polyurethane is a perfect option to protect your hardwood floors, especially as a top coat. Polyurethane can be used by all of the above wooden floor types. The polyurethane provides a hard and protective finish, providing excellent resistance to abrasion, chemicals, and moisture.

One good aspect or element of this type of paint is that they are available in oil- and water-based formulas, with water-based options being more environmentally friendly.

Why would you paint wood floors?

Painting your hardwood floors gives them a new life without incurring the costs of re-polishing or restaining. You can use paints to enhance the value of your home, improving its aesthetic appeal and realizing beautiful designs for your floors. Besides, you are also improving the lifespan of your wood floors through painting.

Here are some reasons you would want to paint your wood floors.

  1. Aesthetics

Painting can help you transform the appearance of your wood floors and give your room a fresh, new look. The paints come in a range of colors and finishes to choose from. As a result, you can create a customized look that will complement your overall design scheme. Painting offers endless possibilities to match your style and enhance your room’s aesthetic appeal.

Besides, with painting, you are creating a fresh and updated appearance. Undoubtedly, your hardwood floors will become worn, faded or discolored, and detracted from the overall visual appeal of your room over time as aging is inevitable. Painting gives you another chance to provide your wood floors with a fresh, updated look that will make your room feel more inviting and vibrant. It breathes new life into your older or tired flooring, transforming your house or home into a new atmosphere.

Furthermore, as part of the aesthetics, painting provides design flexibility. You can incorporate patterns, designs, or even stencils. If you love style or fashion, painting your hardwood floors allows you to add geometric shapes, borders, or intricate motifs. The customization allows you to make a bold statement or tie in with existing design elements in your room. You can also use paint to create a cohesive interior design, bringing together different design elements in the room.


  1. Protection

Your room experiences massive foot traffic and bears different weights, from furniture to rugs and can be susceptible to wear and tear, including stains, scratches, and discoloration. Painting allows you to add a layer of protection to help prolong their lifespan and enhance your floor’s beauty.

Painting ensures surface protection, creating a durable barrier on the surface of the wood and shielding your floor from potential damage caused by daily wear and tear, scratches, scuffs, and spills. The paints such as latex, epoxy, or topcoat such as polyurethane add a protective layer over the wood floors that prevents direct contact between the wood and the potential sources of harm from prolonging your floor’s life.

Most essentially, painting can enhance your wood floor’s resistance to moisture. The wood floors are susceptible to moisture damage and can suffer warping, rotting, and swelling when exposed to moisture or water spills. Applying an appropriate, water-resistant paint and sealant helps establish a moisture barrier to reduce the wood’s absorption of water or other liquids. This type of protection is particularly significant in areas prone to spills, like bathrooms or kitchens.

Besides, since wood floors are susceptible to stains from substances such as chemicals, beverages, and food, painting, especially from high-quality paints like epoxy, can make their surfaces more resistant to stains as the paints provide a protective shield that prevents these substances from penetrating the wood.

  1. Ease of Maintenance

Painted wood floor surfaces are easy to maintain and clean. Paints create a smooth surface making it easier to wipe away spills and dust. Besides, regular mopping or sweeping can keep the floors looking clean and well-maintained.

Also, the protective layer that comes with paint minimizes the accumulation of debris or dirt within the wood grain, reducing maintenance efforts. You can easily vacuum, damp-mop, or sweep the painted floor surfaces without worrying about damaging the floors or compromising the finish.

  1. Versatility

Painting provides you with the versatility you need based on the design options. While painting, you can create borders, patterns, and even faux finishes. This allows you to express your creativity and accomplish a unique and personalized look.

  1. Concealing Imperfections

If your wood floor has extensive uneven coloring and blemishes, painting them may help conceal the imperfections and create a uniform appearance. Since painting is a budget-friendly option, you can revitalize your wood floors without needing costly repairs or installation of new materials due to imperfections.

How long does a painted floor last?

A painted floor can last six months to 3 years, depending on the foot traffic or preparation before painting, the type of paint used, maintenance and care provided to the floor and the condition of the underlying surface.

A well-painted floor can go up to 5 years before you repaint or do touch-ups. Your level of care or protection for the floor will determine how long they last.

Therefore, you must follow proper cleaning and maintenance services to improve your wood floor’s life. The maintenance services may include vacuuming or sweeping the floor to remove debris and dirt, immediately addressing the spills or stains, using protective mats or rugs in areas that experience high foot traffic, and avoiding abrasive cleaning agents that may destroy your wood floors before their lifespan.

Moreover, the durability of the paints has a massive role in determining the paint’s lifespan. Paints like polyurethane and epoxy are long-lasting and durable compared to oil-based or latex. The paints can withstand heavy traffic and resist abrasion, chemicals, or stains. Epoxy and polyurethane will take longer if well maintained.

Does Floor Paint Peel?

Yes. Floor paints can peel due to inadequate priming, improper surface preparation, poor adhesion, or excessive humidity or moisture exposure.

Thus, peeling is one of the primary challenges your painted floor surface is susceptible to. Peeling refers to the loss of adhesion of the paint from the concrete or floor surface.

Below are some of the potential causes of floor paint peeling.

  1. Lack of Surface Preparation

If you have not adequately prepared the floor surface before painting, it will be susceptible to peeling. This may involve the floor not being adequately cleaned, stripped of old paint, or sanded to create an ideal bonding surface that promotes the adherence of the paint to the surface.

  1. Excessive Moisture or Humidity

Excessive humidity or moisture can affect the adhesion of the paint to a wood floor. If you live in areas that experience high humidity levels or leave water or liquid spills on your wood or concrete floors for a long time, they may seep through the floor surface and cause the paint to lift and peel over time.

Always ensure that the liquid spills on the floor surface are immediately wiped out. Also, ensure you have installed dehumidifiers in your room if you are staying in areas that experience high humidity levels as a way of protecting your floors against damage by moisture.

  1. Inadequate Priming

If you need to enhance the bond between the paint and the floor surface, priming will do the trick. Inadequate or improper priming may result in poor adhesion, translating into the floor paint peeling. Besides, your floor may peel if you use the wrong primer. Thus, you must choose a suitable primer for your floor and apply it correctly to enhance the bond between the paint and floor surface and prevent peeling.

  1. Type of Paint

The type of paint you use on your floor can enhance or lower its chances of peeling. For instance, if you use incompatible or low-quality paint on your floors, the paint will be vulnerable to peeling. Choose a paint designed or compatible with your floor and guarantee it is of the right quality.

  1. Enhance wear and tear.

The amount of foot traffic experienced by the floor can increase its chances of peeling. If your floor experience high foot traffic or other physical stress, such as dragging the furniture on the surface, the paint may wear down faster and ultimately peel.


You can reduce the chances of your floor paint peeling by doing adequate floor or surface preparation, using high-quality and compatible primers and paints, and ensuring that the environment is conducive for applying and curing the paint. As a maintenance practice, always ensure that you immediately wipe out liquid spills that can seep through the wood surface and cause lifting and subsequently peeling and address any damage or floor-associated issues that may influence the lifespan of your painted wood floor.

What to Consider Before You Paint Your Floors

Painting is an ideal and cost-effective approach to giving your room a new life and updating its look. However, you will only get desirable results if the painting is done correctly and under conducive conditions.

Thus, before painting, you must consider the following essential elements.

  1. Floor Condition

Floor condition is an imperative element of consideration before painting. First, assess the conditions of the floor for damages like heavy scratches, holes, or whether it has deep stains.

Painting promotes the appearance of your floor, giving it a completely new look, but it won’t fix the flaws. As a result, you must first repair the floor for scratches, fill the holes, and sand the surface to roughen it before you begin painting. Sanding will promote the adherence of the paint to the floor.

Use an appropriate cleaning solution to remove the stains.

  1. Preparation

Proper and appropriate floor painting is dependent on adequate surface preparation. The practice may include thorough cleaning through sweeping or vacuuming, repair of damaged surfaces such as cracks or holes, and sanding or priming of the floor surface.

Even though the preparation process can be time-consuming, it is a crucial step to ensure a long-lasting and smooth process.

  1. Paint Selection

Once you have determined the type of floor in your room, the next essential step is to choose the right paint for that floor. Different paints are designed for unique floor types. You must choose long-lasting, stain-resistant paints, and easy to clean. Also, when choosing the paint, consider the level of foot traffic your floor will likely receive and choose a paint that can withstand that level of use.

  1. Color and Design

You must consider the aesthetic appeal you want to achieve with your painting. This should also include the mood or atmosphere you want to create with your painting. Choose a color and design that will complement the room and fits your style.

Moreover, you can explore creative ideas like stenciling and establishing patterns with numerous colors to add visual interest.

  1. Safety

You must take the necessary precautions during the painting process. Ensure your room is well-ventilated to prevent inhaling the paint fumes. Also, consider using protective gear like goggles or gloves while handling the paints.

It is also imperative that you follow instructions by manufacturers for the paint and that of each chemical used. You must keep your children and pets away from the area until the paint is dry or cured.

  1. Maintenance

Painted floors require regular maintenance to keep them in top positions. Depending on the paints you have used, you may require occasional touch up in high-traffic areas or consider adding a top coat such as polyurethane to prevent wear and tear. With maintenance, you must be ready to invest time and effort to maintain your painted floor surface.

  1. Type of Floor

The type of floor you have will determine the nature and the quality of the paint to use. Varied flooring options need different approaches and preparation before painting. If you have wood, vinyl, or concrete floors, each surface may need specific or unique requirements or considerations for painting. Thus, pay attention to the type of floor you have before painting.


Painting is an important process that you can use to transform your home or any space entirely. By painting, you can achieve a fresh and updated appearance for your wood floors. Even though most homeowners consider restaining and refinishing as ideal options to transform their wood floors, painting is a durable and cost-effective option that should be encouraged among homeowners.

However, one challenge with painting is that most homeowners believe they must contract experts to help with the process. However, the good news is that you can execute this process yourself without hiring a professional. The process is pretty simple.

All you need to do is adequately prepare the floor, including cleaning, repairing the damaged parts, and sanding to promote the adherence of the paint to the wood surface and to realize a smooth finish. You can also enhance the bonding of the paint to the floor by adding a primer.

Once the primer has dried, apply thin coats of the chosen high-quality paint. You can apply up to a third coat to improve the durability of your floor and establish an even appearance. Though optional, you can add a final top coat, such as polyurethane, to protect your wood floor.

However, you must ensure that you have followed the instructions when using any painting products and primers, especially the drying time of every product. With this, you will realize the needed outcome and save money and time in hiring an expert or flooring professional.

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