Painting a Floor? Here’s What Not to do!

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Everyone has that one room at home where you want to avoid the floor. Now, I’m not saying that the floor is lava (which is a great little game if you haven’t played it). I am saying that maybe you have a wooden floor in your hallway scuffed down and seen better days. Or maybe you’re looking at your kitchen tiles and noticing spots wearing down right under the sink or cooker.

Painting a floor does sound like a daunting DIY task to undertake. After all, it isn’t like painting your bedroom walls with a simple emulsion. It is something that takes time and a lot of preparation to ensure that when the first drop of paint hits the ground, you know you aren’t running into trouble. If you can afford to have a professional paint your floor, it is worth the money as they’ll be able to do the job properly without the slightest of hiccups.

If you’re like me and love a good DIY challenge, what should you avoid doing to make sure you don’t end up with a painting disaster that anyone will notice as soon as they walk into a room? Well, for one thing, here’s what not to do!

Don’t pick a strong colour

You wouldn’t ever think about the role the colour of your floor pays in bringing a room together or highlighting space, but it does. You can see for yourself right now if you have your living room floor (usually carpet) one colour and your kitchen another. Peak your head between the two or stand in the hallway and look at how the colour on the floor can make a room feel bigger.

You’ll tend to find that living rooms with darker floors can feel shorter even though both rooms are the same height. Colours you might want to avoid, or at least give some serious thought to using, can include:

  • Black – will automatically shrink the room
  • Red/Dark Blue/Green – can leave a room feeling intense
  • Pastels – helps if the room has furniture with colour pops
  • Patterned Designs – a brave choice, best left for floors you are covering heavily or leaving completely bare (like a playroom or home gym)

Don’t use any old paint 

Grab some leftover emulsion to pop on the floor, and you’re in for a bad time. Ever panic or flip out when someone leaves a mark or footprint on a wall? There’s a reason you don’t see it on the floors. Floor paint is formulated differently. Brands have paint that you can only use on tile, wood, concrete etc. I recommend checking out to see all the different floor paints you can have. 

Many will be made to have specific features like anti-slip properties, durability, multi-surface application and non-yellowing pigments (the latter being ideal if you’re painting something in your garden or front porch).

Don’t skimp on pre-cleaning

Floors need to be cleaned within an inch of their life and then some before you can paint. Be prepared to sand, use filler, brush, hoover & mop like a professional. That’s before you even get to use a primer, so your paint has something to bond too. This is the most important of painting a floor, even more so than the actual painting. 

Even if you’re reading this and thinking, “oh, it will be easy”, go and watch a few videos of how to prepare a floor on YouTube. You need to know how much care and attention is needed not to mess it up.

Don’t blame it on the sunshine

One final piece of advice that I don’t think people pay much attention to. If you’re going for a specific shade or colour that is unique and not just white or grey, find out if it “changes” colour. I’m not saying it’s a magical paint. Still, based on where it is, your floor paint will look completely different depending on the light, i.e. it might look one colour when the sun is shining through the windows & a different shade altogether when the big light is on in the evening.

Get it checked before you make the mistake of having a two-tone floor.

Now get to know your floors!

I hope this has given you some idea of what to do when you need to paint a floor. On the off-chance you’re going to be painting outside, have a look through the garden section of the blog for ideas on how to refresh your garden.

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