Last winter while watching HGTV, it dawned on me that we should paint our living room/dining room floor. We had originally planned to put laminate flooring in like we have in several rooms already. It is easy to install, but it was going to cost around $500 to do the whole room.
Painting the floor seemed like a no brainer because I love to paint (if you haven't already figured that out). I will paint anything and it is only going to cost about $100. The decision was easily made to paint our floor in the summer.
I was so excited to get rid of the ugly green stained carpet (see below). I waited patiently for almost 7 months before we were able to finally do it.
While I waited, I researched painting wood floors for months. There are tons and tons of websites explaining the steps of painting a floor. Not one site was the same and everyone had a different method. So I had to come up with a plan that I thought would work the best. We went into it thinking if it didn't work, we could always put the laminate over top of the floor as we originally planned to do.
The main reason it took so long to get started on this project was because our living room is centrally located in our house. You can't get to the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom without going through the living room. We were going to have to stay with someone during the process. My husband wanted to pitch a tent in the yard and sleep there, but we would have to walk to his parents house to use the bathroom. (They live across the street, but you have to walk down a big hill to get to it.) No thanks. We couldn't stay with his parents because we have 4 dogs and they don't have a fenced in yard. Letting 4 dogs out at one time on leashes is not a good idea. Especially when you have 3 rambunctious min pins. Not happening. My parents live about 40 minutes away and have a fenced in yard so that was the best option.
Last month, we decided it was time. Summer is flying by so we had to get it done. We packed up the dogs and a few weeks worth of clothes and moved out.
I spilled paint in the middle of the floor a couple days before we moved out. Whoops! I tried to hide it in this picture with paper towels. Thankfully, we were going to rip out the carpet any ways.
Preparing the floor is by far my least favorite thing to do when it comes to renovations. Crawling around on the floor, pulling up staples and tack strips is not my idea of fun. I am getting too old for that. We spent one whole day ripping out carpet and preparing the floor. This step is crucial when it comes to painting a floor. If we were putting laminate down, you can miss a staple here and there. Not the case here. I meticulously crawled around the floor ,inch by inch, to make sure I got every staple out. The floor was in pretty bad condition. Painting it was the only way to go.
After the floor was prepped, you would have thought we were ready to start priming and painting, but we had a whole list of things we wanted to do in the room before the floor was painted. That was when the plan kind of fell apart. I allotted a day for installing light fixtures, curtain rods, and shelves on the walls. It seemed like each one of those projects turned into a bunch of other projects and things weren't working at all. The walls were getting all chipped up. I was completely frustrated and frazzled by all the complications that we decided to stop and come up with a new plan. My husband had to go back to work the next day so we had to take the rest of the week off before we could start again.
I decided to repaint the walls and trim which I hadn't planned on doing. I bought shelves from Ikea to install on the black and white stripe wall. They were a pain to install so my husband decided to build shelves from scratch instead. We were now a week behind schedule and still had all of these things to do before we could get back to the floor.
We finally got everything installed and were able to prime the floor. It was finally starting to look good.
I used Zinsser BIN shellac based primer-Sealer. 1 gallon was enough to do 2 coats in the living room and hallway. We waited the recommended 1 hour between coats and let it dry overnight before moving forward with paint.
The next day we painted the floor with black interior paint. We used flat paint on the first coat. When we walked on the flat paint (after it dried) it showed a lot of foot prints and such so we thought it wasn't durable enough. We switched tosemi gloss paint for the 2nd and 3rd coats. I used Valspar Ultra interior paint in Dark Kettle Black.
During my research, I read that you shouldn't polyurethane over latex paint for several days to let the paint cure. My husband went back to work and we waited 5 days before we continued onto the next step.
2 weeks have gone by and now we were ready for the final step.
This last step may scare off most people who are thinking about painting their floors. Especially if you don't have time to wait around for paint to dry. This step was by far the most stressful and if I had to do it over again, I probably wouldn't do it.
We decided to use Minwax super fast-drying polyurethane for floors in clear gloss. We chose this polyurethane because it states that you don't have to sand in between coats. After the 1st coat, re-coating has to be done in 6 to 8 hours. If you wait 10 hours or more, you have to sand before the next coat.
We drove 40 minutes back to my parents house to wait for the floor to dry. In the evening, we drove 40 minutes back to our house only to find that the floor was nowhere near being dry enough to re-coat. We started to freak out.
What do we do now? If we wait, we will have to sand and we didn't want to do that. We thought maybe something was wrong with this product. I looked on the Internet to see if anyone else had the same problem and I found tons of complaints about this polyurethane not drying. Great! It is called super fast drying. Good thing we didn't buy regular polyurethane or we would still be waiting for it to dry. We thought about buying a different polyurethane, but we would still have to wait until this coat completely dried to apply another coat of something else. We thought about aborting the whole thing and buying the laminate that we wanted originally. We were there until 3 AM trying to figure it all out. We ultimately decided to leave and come back the next day to see if it was dry. We think that because it was extremely humid outside it was taking way longer for it to dry.
The next day we were expecting the worst, but when we got there it was completely dry. It was a huge relief. We decided to skip sanding it and put another coat on to be done with it. They recommend that you wait 7 days for the floor to cure before you move furniture onto the floor.
Seven days later, this is what our floor looked like and it was completely dry. We were so happy. It looks fantastic and we can finally move back in.
The pros of doing this project:
- It is really cheap to do.
- I like the way it looks better than the laminate that we wanted.
The cons of doing this project:
- There is a lot of waiting for primer, paint and polyurethane to dry.
- There is no way to live in a house while this is going on.
- You really should wait 30 days for the polyurethane to cure. 7 days isn't really enough time. We have found that heavy objects leave a mark in the polyurethane because it isn't completely cured.
Would I recommend others take on this project? Only if you haven't moved into your house yet or if you are doing it in a room that you can go without using for about a month.
We don't plan on living in our house forever so this was a good solution for us. It looks good and will probably be durable enough while we live there. We may have to re-polyurethane it when we move out to fix the marks that our furniture is leaving on the floor.
I am glad the whole process is over and we are back to normal in our house. The living room/dining room is starting to look like the rest of the house. Fun and different. I hope you will come back to see how the room turns out.
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