Paint is one of the greatest tools in any design arsenal. From walls to ceilings, a fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into any living space. But what if you turned your attention to the floor?
Today, this technique is often used to cover up low-quality or damaged hardwood. Yet painted wood floors have a rich history throughout both farmhouse and cottage design.
If you’re looking for ways to refresh your existing wood flooring, few options are as affordable or versatile as a coat of paint. Paint can be applied over any type of wood floor (even those which have seen better days).
While painting is easy, reversing this decision is not. Be sure that painted wood floors are the right solution for your space before getting started. And be prepared to regularly touch up chips and scuffs to keep your floor looking its best.
Wondering if painted wood floors are the answer to your design woes? Here are 12 Pros and Cons of Painted Wood Floors For You To Consider:
What Are the Pros of Painted Wood Floors?
Quick and Affordable
Is painting a wooden floor the easiest project in the world? No. But it’s far less labor- and time-intensive than completely replacing your home’s flooring!
Painted wood floors are one of the only flooring upgrades that nearly anyone can DIY. While you’ll need the right tools and a long weekend to get the job done, there’s nothing stopping you from taking this project on alone.
Traditional hardwood flooring comes in several colors. And, thanks to stains, you can customize natural wood grain to incredible degrees.
None of that compares to the customizations possible with a can of paint.
Painted wood floors can be made literally any color imaginable. You can even apply a pattern or color-blocking to your wood floors for a one-of-a-kind finish that would be impossible with many other flooring materials.
Can Refresh An Old Floor
Paint can extend the lifespan of hardwood flooring, giving you a few more years of use before needing to replace the entire thing. This can give you time to save money for higher-quality flooring that you might not be able to afford at the moment.
Simple to Touch Up
While painted wood floors aren’t as durable as their bare counterparts, repairing scuffs and nicks is remarkably straightforward.
As long as you’re willing to touch up your painted floors every few months, it’s easy to keep your floors looking brand new. Just be sure to purchase extra paint to keep on hand!
Easier to Clean Than Bare Wood
Natural hardwood includes countless cracks and gaps that are often invisible to the naked eye. Yet that doesn’t stop grime and dust from building up in these gaps and making your floors hard to clean.
Paint fills these small imperfections, giving the wood a smoother surface and creating fewer opportunities for dirt to hide from your broom and mop. With the right tools, cleaning painted wood floors is a breeze.
Applying a protective sealant after painting can improve this quality even further.
Offers a Unique Look
Despite being one of the most desirable flooring materials on the market, the look of hardwood isn’t for everyone. Painted wood flooring offers many of the benefits of hardwood but with a completely different aesthetic.
Disguises Low-Quality Materials
On the other hand, not all hardwood flooring is built the same. If your home features hardwood floors that fall short in terms of quality, a coat of paint could be your saving grace.
Along with covering up lackluster solid wood, paint can be used on engineered flooring as well.
What Are the Cons of Painted Wood Floors?
Adequate Prep Is a Must
Before you can paint existing wood flooring, the surface must be prepped. This can range from a simple cleaning to completely resurfacing your home’s flooring.
The most common issue with painting hardwood flooring is the presence of a glossy, protective coating. This layer must be completely removed (with a tool like a floor sander), otherwise, the paint will not adhere properly.
Depending on the current state of your wood floors, the amount of preparation needed could turn a quick and easy makeover into a multi-week project.
Not Super Durable
No matter how careful you are about moving furniture or dropping items, painted wood floors are extremely prone to chips and scratches.
This wear and tear can be repaired with regular paint touch-ups. But if you’re looking for a flooring solution that you can “set and forget,” painted wood floors probably aren’t for you!
Paint Takes a Long Time to Dry
If you thought painting walls was a headache, just wait until you try to paint a wood floor!
It’s often impossible to paint an entire floor at one time. Not only do you need to account for shifting around furniture. You also don’t want to literally paint yourself into a corner.
Even if you can manage everything in one go, it takes several days for the paint to dry enough to be walked on or covered with furniture.
Plus, the best paint formulas for painting wood floors contain some heavy-duty fumes. If you can’t close off the area being painted, you may need to stay somewhere else until the fumes dissipate.
It’s Difficult to Remove
Paint is relatively easy to apply. The same can’t be said for removing existing paint from hardwood floors.
While it’s often possible to return a painted wood floor to its original state, the process is neither short nor affordable. It takes lots of time, heavy-duty tools, and plenty of elbow grease to refinish painted wood floors.
So before updating your home’s wood flooring with a coat of paint, make sure it’s a decision you can commit to!
Can Lower the Value of Hardwood Floors
Because reversing the decision to paint wood floors is such a difficult project, many people view painted hardwood as a lost cause. If you plan to place your home on the real estate market anytime soon, this upgrade could actually lower the value of your property as a whole.
Of course, this isn’t a major concern if your wood floors are already in a sorry state or made of low-quality materials. But you should never take painting high-end hardwood lightly.
Painting a wood floor does not need to mean ruining it. But it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into before picking up the brush or roller!
A coat of paint can save old wood flooring from being ripped up and discarded. If your floors are structurally sound but lacking visual appeal, paint can be a miracle worker.
On the flip side, it would be a shame to paint high-quality hardwood flooring without weighing the pros and cons. Paint is far from a perfect floor finish — scuffs and chips are a guarantee — and can do more harm than good in many cases.
Do you prefer the look of painted wood floors or natural wood grain? Would you ever paint your old floors rather than replacing them? Let us know in the comments!