You CAN paint hardwood floors.
More Info: As long as the floor is prepped properly, and the correct primer, paint, and sealer are used, you can paint your hardwood floors with success.
Prepare the Floor
Start by sanding the floor with fine-grit sandpaper. You can rent an orbital sander by the hour, and you can use a palm sander for the corners. Clean the floor well with vinegar or detergent and water to remove all of the dust, dirt, and oil. Remove any mold with one part bleach to three parts water. Let the floor completely dry. This may take 12 hours. You can mask any baseboards with painter’s tape to avoid splashes on the walls.
Apply the Primer
Choose a primer specifically labeled for use on wood floors. An alkyd primer can be used under latex, alkyd, and polyurethane paint. The primer, and later the paint should be applied with a brush around the edges first. Once this is finished, a roller attached to a painting pole can be used to fill in the rest of the room. Always apply the paint in the direction of the floorboards.
Apply the Paint
Polyurethane based oil paint is considered the best for hardwood floors. The paint should be applied in thin coats, and each should dry for at least 24 hours before the next is applied. Three coats will give a rich, solid color. At this point, if desired, a design from a stencil or patterns can be added. When the paint has dried for two days, a polyurethane sealer, especially for floors, can be applied. This should also be done in two to three coats with 24 hours in between each coat.
Use Safety Precautions
When sanding it is good to wear a face mask to avoid breathing the fine dust from the wood or previous coats of paint on the floor. When painting, make sure there is enough ventilation for the paint fumes to escape.
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“Painting Floors Really Works Well.” Ask the Builder – The Home Improvement Resource. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2010. http://www.askthebuilder.com/431_Painting_Floors_Really_Works_Well.shtml.
“Restoring Hardwood Floors Under Carpeting | Wood Floors | This Old House.” Home Improvement and Remodeling: This Old House. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2010. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/asktoh/question/0,,380720,00.html.