Not all surfaces are suitable but most are. Achieving a good result when painting a floor of any kind is not difficult but requires good preparation.
Choosing the right paint for the job is critical and sanding the top surface to create a ‘key’ is absolutely essential. The texture of the surface will dictate whether you use a brush or roller to apply the paint. A roller is quicker but brushes best for uneven timber floors.
Single pot water based acrylic paints are the easiest to use for most areas but two pack epoxy paints are a good alternative for heavy wear areas like concrete / garage floors. Water based two pack epoxy’s are common now and fairly easy to work with.
Remember: once you have painted a wooden floor it will be very difficult to change it back to a natural timber floor if you don’t like the look. (the paint soaks deep into the wood’s grain).
Before you start find out exactly what the floor is made out of as it determines which paints you can use. Standard water based acrylic paint can be used but in high traffic areas like hallways this may wear quickly. Some companies produce special flooring paints which are harder wearing.
Flat or matt paints will take on dirt quicker than shinier finishes like satin and gloss. Gloss however shows scratches more than flatter paints. You cannot successfully paint glossy ceramic surfaces but you can paint terracotta tiles, concrete, timber, plywood, masonite etc.
What you will need
- Sanding machine
- Vacuum cleaner
- painter’s masking tape and newspaper (for masking)
- overalls or old clothes
- paint stirrer
- Brushes x 2 – synthetic or natural bristle are both fine 65-80mm wide is big enough; one brush for each coat.
- Roller cage and extension handle
- Rollers x 2 (a 8-12 mm nap is recommended for acrylic satin finish paint)
- Roller tray
- Rags and a bucket for tidy and wash up
If painting over a timber floor, punch any nail heads that are protruding with a hammer and nail punch to prevent ripping sand paper during the next step. Sand paper is expensive particularly on professional floor sanders.
Using a orbital sander or hired floor sander if you have a large area to do, sand the entire floor evenly with 120 grit sandpaper getting as close to the wall as the machine will allow. Hire companies will take you through the process of sanding using a commercial machine if the floorboards require heavy sanding due to worn boards or if glue residue exists from old tiles etc. Previously painted or clear sealed floors only need a light ‘key’ sanding for the paint to adhere to.
Use a small hand-held corner sander for the corner areas. Only old lining boards found under carpets may need heavy sanding to create a more level surface.
Vacuum everywhere thoroughly to remove all dust, being particularly careful to remove all dust in between floorboards.
Mask off any skirting boards doors and door frames so that paint from the roller or brush does not flick onto them. This is best done with blue painter’s masking tape and newspaper (Painter’s tape is easy to remove without damaging the surface underneath).
Check the instructions on tin – most manufacturers will recommend a primer coat before painting with 2 coats of finish paint. Mix paint thoroughly with a stirring paddle or ruler so that all the colour tints are well integrated. Periodically give the paint a light stir as – every 15 minutes is sufficient.
If using a roller, it is advisable to ‘cut-in’ a short distance (about 3-5cm) from the skirting board or wall with a brush as the roller can’t get right up to either of these surfaces without leaving marks. Pour only enough paint into the paint tray so that the flat ridged section is still at least 3cm above the paint level. Dip the roller in then roll off excess paint on the ridged section of the tray. The roller should be wet but not dripping paint.
Starting at a corner the greatest distance from your exit point, brush or roll the paint in two directions to get into all the cracks and pores. For floorboards roll /brush across then along the board. Paint an area four or five boards wide at a time and continue down the full length before starting on the next area.
Wash out rollers and trays / or brushes.Allow each coat to dry for the duration advised by the manufacturer – usually at least 2 hours. Using clean rollers or brushes (or new ones) repeat step 6.
Allow to dry and completely harden before walking on the floor. 48 hours with water based paints and up to 5 days for two-pack epoxy paints on garage floors.
- (Perth based natural limestone based paints)
- – (nationally)
- – (nationally)