How To Paint Wood Floors Without Sanding


  • latex porch and floor paint 
  • bonding wood floor primer 
  • paint roller with a long handle
  • paint tray
  • paint brush
  • degreaser if needed 
  • painters tape

Rule Two Choose Your Floor Paint Carefully

For long lasting durability use oil-based primers and paints for floorboards. You can also buy waterborne enamels, like Deft or Zar, or other specialty floor paints to protect your floor paints.

If you prefer milk paint there is a great selection of milk paint available or you can make your own milk paint to get a particular look or want an extra decorating challenge.

 Source: Furnish uk

Source: Furnish uk


3. It’s an inexpensive project

All you need for this type of home renovation project is a couple of cans of paint, (preferably porch paint or a special floor paint) some rollers, and some patience!

Okay, and maybe a drop cloth.

Painting your hardwood floors is a low-cost and great way to refresh your space, enhance the overall interior design and breath new life into your home.

Especially compared to the cost of putting in new floors or getting them professionally refinished.

Checkerboard pattern on wood floor in front foyer.

How Much Paint Is Needed For Your Wood Floors?

The amount of paint that you will need will depend on 3 factors: The thickness of the paint: If you are using oil-b

The thickness of the paint: If you are using oil-based paint, you will need a larger quantity than a thinner water-based paint. The thicker the paint, the more is needed but on a positive note, you won’t need as many coats of it so it can even out in the end.

The area of the floor: If you have large rooms, the simple truth is that you will need more paint to cover them sufficiently. As a general idea, you’ll need about a gallon to cover around 350 square feet for your painted wood floors so keep that in mind.

The number of coats: If you need to apply two coats, then you will need to double the amount of wood paint. If you want a third coat for some reason, then times the initial amount by three and so on.

PRO TIP #6 If you buy a high-quality paint, this can eliminate the need for a potential third coat, thus saving you money in the long run. Ask your local hardware store clerk to point out their “premium” floorboard paint and run the math. If you are unsure, just ask if it will remove the need for a second coat and they should be able to advise you.

Step #3: Prime Your Floor

Using a 2 ½-inch angle-sash brush, establish the borders of your project by applying Fresh Start® High-Hiding All Purpose Primer to the floor around the edges of the room. Switch to a roller with an extension pole and paint tray to prime the rest of the floor. Roll the primer onto the floor, working toward the exit of the room, so as to not paint yourself in. Allow the primer to dry completely. You may want to prime one day and paint the next to give the primer enough time to dry.

Helpful Tip

• Just like with walls, if your floors are already painted and in relatively good condition, priming may not be necessary. Scuffing the surface by sanding may be sufficient to obtain a strong enough bond (adhesion) for your top coat.


If there are bare spots (areas where there is no finish due to wear), brush or roll them with primer. This is called spot priming. Don’t worry about getting some primer on previously finished areas. In places where the old coating is secure, it’s as good as primer (as long as it has been lightly sanded). If the floor was never finished (in an attic, for example), apply a coat of primer over the entire surface.

You may save yourself from having to apply a second top coat by asking the paint supplier to tint your primer to a tone that matches the top coat. My preferred primer for just about everything is Zinssers’ BIN (view on Amazon), an alcohol-based, pigmented shellac primer-sealer (doesn’t stink, dries fast, and sticks to everything), but you should check with the manufacturer of the top-coat paint you’ll be using for its priming recommendations.

Go Neutrals


Complete with painted gray and white checkered floors, this rustic-inspired kitchen demonstrates the power of paint to completely transform a space. When paired with design details such as vibrant plant life and a farmhouse sink, this charming kitchen exudes charming cottagecore vibes.

When painting wood floors is a good solution

  • If your floors are damaged: If you have especially damaged floors that will prevent you from adequately sanding the area, then staining likely isn’t the option for you. “Over years and years of [sanding], the wood gets thinner,” Micetich says. “So paint can be a good option where you might not have the ability to do as much sanding, prep, and removal work needed for the staining process.” Adam Varano, owner of Wood Vitalize in New York, also says that the painting can help mask any water or stain damage. 
  • If you want a solid color for your floors: According to Varano, people will often paint their floors for a solid color that doesn’t show the wood grain. This then helps make the floor’s color look even and consistent. “They’re worried about there being too much [color] variation if you just go with a natural stain,” Varano says. “Some wood is naturally darker than others, and stain still shows that. But if you paint, it makes it a little more universal.”

5. Painted floors can trick the eye

Painted floors can create some clever optical illusions. If you have white- or light-colored walls, paint the floors to match to make the space feel much bigger. Choose paint with a glossier sheen (or add a glossy topcoat) to bring in more light. Or, choose a darker color than walls and ceiling to visually ground a space and add drama.

Cut in the edges of your room with your primer

Once you’ve prepared the room, begin at the corn

Once you’ve prepared the room, begin at the corner farthest from the door and cut in the edges of the floor with a 21⁄2-inch sash brush.

2. The best paint might be at the marine supply store

You don’t want to have to tiptoe across your painted floors, lest they chip or show wear; the whole appeal is that they’re hardwearing and practical. To get this effect, use at least a semigloss paint from the paint aisle, perhaps coated with some polyurethane if you’re worried about wear. But it might pay to look beyond standard interior paints. Seek out latex enamel-based marine, boat, or porch paint, all of which is hardwearing and built to wear. (You could also use trim enamel matched to a shade you like.) Note that oil-based paints will be hardy, but will also be high in VOCs; read more about that in Remodeling 101: All You Need to Know About VOCs in Paint.

 Above: Oak floors painted in Benjamin Moore’s Pla
Above: Oak floors painted in Benjamin Moore’s Platinum Gray enamel, with modern effect. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista, from Nordic Beauty: A Brooklyn Townhouse Reinvented with Style—and Restraint.

Keep It Geometric


The entryway by @simesstudio gives off serious chic vibes. The painted white overlapping patterns are eye-catching without being too dramatic or busy. The vintage bench ties the space together.

Wood Floor Finishes and Effects

If you’re working with existing floorboards, floor sanding is completely necessary to remove the existing finish and create a smooth surface to paint.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Without this step, your floor may not absorb your stain, paint or wash you apply and show up uneven blemishes, holes or patchy stains. When painting, cover any space beneath doors with plastic to keep dust out and avoid spoiling your floors.

Source: toothfairyfashiontale

Source: toothfairyfashiontale

Once you have prepared your surface you can:

  1. Paint wood washing or liming floorboards – which produce a light feel. Wood washes create a soft, French provincial and Swedish style floors. The subtle colors highlight the grain of natural timber. Adding more color will make the surface look less transparent, so work out when you want to stop.
  2. Staining floors – light or deep, rich colors make them resemble other more expensive woods.
  3. Go decorative; use different paints or paint washes and milk paints for a checkerboard effect. Classic black and white checkerboard always looks great; try pastel or muted grey and white paint tones to suit your decor.
Source: Tumblr

Source: Tumblr

Milk paint floors are easy and look great. Here is a video showing you how this simple technique can change your home decor to wow!

Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Amazon

Materials Checklist: How to Paint a Staircase

Damp ragDamp ragFloor & Patio Latex EnamelFloor & Patio Latex EnamelFresh Start® High-Hiding All Purpose PrimerFresh Start® High-Hiding All Purpose PrimerMedium-grit sandpaper (120- to 150-grit)Medium-grit sandpaper (120- to 150-grit)MopMopPaintbrush: 2 ½-inch angle-sash brushPaintbrush: 2 ½-inch angle-sash brushPaint trayPaint trayPainter’s tapePainter’s tapeRoller frame with sleeves and extension poleRoller frame with sleeves and extension poleSanding spongeSanding spongeVacuumVacuumWarm soapy waterWarm soapy water

Why Would You Even Consider Painted Wood Floors?

    For the look: Some people prefer the look over the
  • For the look: Some people prefer the look over the naked hardwood look, especially if the wood has been re-stained. Paint also allows you to express your creativity by adding designs and patterns to your floor. You could also go with a simple solid color throughout. Painting allows you to add a unique look that bare wood cannot replicate.
  • To cover up cheap hardwood material: Even if the floors are brand new, your wood planks could be low quality (especially if you have used pallet wood for your floors) and simply not look good. You may even be considering pulling them out and replacing them. Before you do that, it’s worth giving them a fresh coat of paint in a style that fits your house. You will be happy with the results.
  • Revive old and worn floors: Over time, your hardwood flooring will start to show its age. While this sometimes shows character, this deterioration often looks horrible. Tell-tale signs are usually visible scratches, scuffs or color loss. Even if you try repair the damaged hardwood, a coat of good paint can easily bring them back to life.
  • Saves you time and money: Instead of replacing the entire floor, painting wood floors is super easy on your wallet and looks great. It usually takes only a single weekend, even if you only spend a couple hours per day on the project.

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1. It adds a pop of color

This is a rather obvious point, but by painting your floors you are adding a pop of color!

You don’t have to stick with a neutral color palette.

Although, I do love the beachy look of all white floors.

In fact, if you’re going to paint your hardwood floors, it’s a great time to consider a more unconventional or different color, one you couldn’t necessarily get from a normal stain or wood type.

Painted back wood staircase with stenciled numbersPainted back wood staircase with stenciled numbers from our former home in New York.

How to Paint Floors the Right Way:

  1. Sand the floor. Before you start painting, you'll need to sand wood floors to remove any varnish or UV finish. Steckel recommends renting a floor sander to save both your back and your floors.
  2. Clean the floor. After sanding, you want to remove as much dust as possible by vacuuming, sweeping, vacuuming again, and then lightly mopping the floor. Let this sit for a few hours to dry and so the dust can settle, then vacuum one more time.
  3. Patch any holes. Unless you're going for a rustic look, grab some wood filler and fill in any cracks or holes. Once dry, you'll want to prime these spots first and let them dry.
  4. Prime the floor. Next, prime the until floor with an oil-based primer. You'll want to wear a properly fitted mask to ensure ventilation.
  5. Apply the paint. Once the primer is completely dry (check the instructions on the label), it's time to apply your first coat of paint. Most paint brands offer a "floor enamel" or a specific paint formulated for use on floors. Remember to select the finish you want, whether matte, glossy, etc. Let the paint dry. Depending upon the paint and color you're using, you may need to apply a second coat.
  6. Add the topcoat. Once the paint is completely dry, apply a top coat that works with the primer you used. Avoid putting oil on top of latex, as it will flake immediately. If you're not sure, check with your paint store for a topcoat recommendation.
  7. Let each coat dry completely, then enjoy the new look!


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