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How To Properly Paint A Floor

Updated on December 26, 2014

Inspirational Painted Floors

Pin by Christina Kelly
Pin by Christina Kelly | Source
Black and white checkered painted flooring photography: Robbie Caponetto
Black and white checkered painted flooring photography: Robbie Caponetto

What To Do First Before Painting The Floor

No matter the surface, floor preparation is key to successfully painting a floor, and making the paint last for any extended amount of time. Regardless whether it is a newly installed plywood floor or a complete flooring makeover, making sure the floor is clean and prepped properly for paint, should be the do-it-yourselfers first step.

If the floor was painted before or had an adhesive product used on it, scraping off the older floor paint or flooring adhesive, is best accomplished with the use of a metal putty knife and some old fashion elbow grease. For some larger areas a floor scraper and pole combination work well together, allowing you to cover a greater area, in a shorter amount of time without killing your back. It is worth mentioning that a floor sander not be used. Especially if the previously painted floor, was painted with a lead based paint or latex based paint.

  1. When a floor sander makes contact with a lead base paint, the friction between the two creates a smoke or haze. Inhaling the fumes or plumes of lead based smoke, happens to be extremely hazardous to your health.
  2. If the surface happens to be latex, using a floor sander is costly, because latex paint has a tendency to become rubbery and gummy, sticking to the floor sanding pad and rendering it completely useless.

Old fashion elbow grease, is unfortunately the do-it-yourselfers best bet, when preparing a previously painted floor. Once all old paint is removed, it is time to wash the exposed surface, and let it dry out for at least 24 hours. Most often, using a heavy duty shop vac does a great job getting rid of most of the dust, paint flakes or glue residue. However, it is still recommended that the floor is damped mopped to make sure that the surface is free of dust particles, which could cause an air pocket or bump in the paint, inadvertently making an easily accessible trouble spot for the future.

Painted Floors on Pinterest

The Perfect Floor Cleaner For Painting Projects

Whether the floor is concrete or wood, the best way to wash a floor prepped for paint, is by using a product called TSP™. The all-purpose cleaner is used by professionals prior to painting interior and exterior surfaces. It removes mold and mildew, and also de-glosses surfaces that could be painted with an oil-base paint. TSP™ is also ideal for cleaning concrete garage or basement floors. It works fantastic on exterior house siding, and is safe to use on most surfaces. Therefore, do not sweat over having too much product left over, after it has been used on the flooring project..., because it is also used to restore old paintbrushes. After the surface has been cleaned and well dried, its time to start painting. It is recommended that concrete be given a full 24 hours to dry before painting on the primer coat and wood 8 to 24 hours depending on how wet the surface was.

TSP Mixture Instructions

  1. For normal cleaning jobs, dirt removal, and the removal of mold or mildew on exterior surfaces, mix 1 cup of T.S.P. with 1 gallon of warm water. For heavy cleaning, double the mix ratio of T.S.P. to 1 gallon of water. Scrub areas, from the bottom up, with a sponge or stiff brush. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  2. Do NOT mix with bleach, it will have a chemical reaction to the paint.

Rock Hard Water Putty

Durham's 4lb Rock Hard Water Putty
Durham's 4lb Rock Hard Water Putty | Source

Filling in Floor Cracks, Chips, and Holes with Durham's 4lb Rock Hard Water Putty™

Any nail holes, impressions, indention, nicks or cuts need to be filled at this time. The best putty for this task, which adheres to all different types of surfaces and is water resistant, is Durham's 4lb Rock Hard Water Putty™. What I like about this particular product:

  1. A Do-it-Yourselfer can usually purchase this product, at your local hardware store, Wal-Mart, or lumberyard.
  2. Durham's 4lb Rock Hard Water Putty™ is an inexpensive item that gives outstanding results.
  3. Durham's 4lb Rock Hard Water Putty™ is quick activating an very durable. To even out the
  4. Durham's 4lb Rock Hard Water Putty™ and make it smooth, feel free to use a fine grit sanding sponge or paper.
  5. Durham's 4lb Rock Hard Water Putty™ poured into a wooden plank template has the ability to take on the appearance of a newly replaced floor plank and it can be used to replace old, rotten, porch floor planks.

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How to Paint a Floor

Actually applying primer and painting a floor is not that daunting of a task. The hard part is over. If you are a good painter no masking will be necessary. Just make sure you use a good synthetic brush to cut in around the base board and into the corners.

  1. I recommend, after you have cut in using a brush, follow up by using a 7 inch smooth roller or painter's pad and feathering it over your cut line. That way you have a wide-berth between you and the base board.
  2. Once you are ready to stand, start rolling the rest of the surface with the same 7 inch roller, now attached to extension pole or handle that allows it to be screwed on at the end.
  3. Pour the primer into a clean 5 gallon bucket and attach a paint grid facing inside the bucket, so all excess paint will drip back into the unused paint.
  4. Take your paint roller and dip it into the paint located in the bucket. Roll the pad across the paint and start painting the floor. Good luck and enjoy your newly painted floor.

Key To Making the Right Primer and Paint Selections

In order to begin, paint selection is required. After all the time and energy, put into prepping a floors surface, the last thing a consumer wants to do is choose a paint with low adhesion properties. A floor's surface needs to be tough and resistant to scrapes, scratches and foot activity. An average person applies 500 pounds per pressure, with each step they take. Using a combination of Primer and Paint guarantees a long lasting outcome. Applying a paint primer, before painting a floors surface, is highly recommended.

When painting wood floors, it is highly recommended that an OIL based primer is used. Followed by a LATEX porch and floor paint. Oil based primers penetrate deep into wood fibers creating a sealed in side the wood. Latex paint is a breathable surface allowing the sealed fibers to expand and contract. Using Latex paint over oil is an industry standard. But never use oil over latex. Latex polymers are water based, where oil paint polymers are petroleum based.

When painting over concrete it is highly recommended that a LATEX Based Primer is used. Followed by a LATEX Porch and Floor paint. Concrete needs to breath and expand also. It acts like a sponge when absorbing moisture. Since latex is expandable, it is the best choice to use on a concrete floor.

If you are painting a floor a dark color, it is recommended that the do-it-yourselfer use an eggshell, semi gloss or gloss sheen. Since darker paints take more pigment than lighter paints, darker paints have a tendency to leave chalky streaks after washing off the surface. Dust and dirt also tends adhere to flat surfaces making washing a very a difficult task. The end result usually leaves the homeowner unhappy after a long Saturday afternoon of hard work. Using a semi gloss or variance should be the consumers pick.

Great Hardware Store by Local Owners

Do-it Center Logo.  My personal favorite floor paint is made by Sherwin-Williams, for the Do-It Best Corp.  I worked with this product for over a decade.
Do-it Center Logo. My personal favorite floor paint is made by Sherwin-Williams, for the Do-It Best Corp. I worked with this product for over a decade. | Source

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