Painting a grotty floor

14 Oct

The floor in the guest bathroom was pretty grotty. It looks much nicer in photographs than it did in reality. I read  this on other people’s blogs (like two of my favorites: Manhattan-Nest and Design-Crisis) and I think “eh, it looks great in the photo, how bad can that thing look in real life?” and now I know, that thing can look pretty awful in real life while looking quite decent in  a photo. I’m also one of those people who laments nearly every time someone paints wood.

It looked much worse in person, believe me.

It looked much worse in person, believe me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But the floor was awful and it would have cost a lot of money and made a huge mess to sand it. It had deep splinters and grooves (possibly 40+ year old sanding machine marks) and nailheads sticking up. It was stained and just plain grotty, really that’s the only word for it. So I decided to paint it.

I had seen all sorts of lovely white painted floors in books, magazines, and web sites. Perhaps they, too, looked better in the photos than in real life. Because the white I chose (milky something from Benjamin Moore mixed up as floor paint at Rocky’s) looked like there was a yellow flourescent light glowing on it at all times. And the big gap between the floor and the skirting board became very noticeable. I gave it two coats, but it just wasn’t working.

Whitish floor paint going down. White does not hide flaws, FYI.

Whitish floor paint going down. White does not hide flaws, FYI.

Whitish, ickish floor.

Whitish, ickish floor.

Even a bathmat didn't improve the look.

Even a bathmat didn’t improve the look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had heard that you MUST use floor paint on floors. So I trotted over to Home Depot to have them mix up a quart of floor paint in the color that is on the walls in the bathroom. I used leftover exterior paint from my stoop on the walls thinking (a) I had it hanging around and (b) if it’s supposed to withstand exterior conditions, it will probably do okay in the bathroom. Waste not, want not. Well, Home Depot only sold gallons of floor paint, and the white had only used half a quart, so I figured I’d do an experiment and use more of the leftover exterior paint on the floor. I also got $5.00 worth of some quarter-round-ish gap filler baseboard shoe molding and stuck that in the gaps, and that is a huge improvement up close (you can’t see anything in these photos, sorry. But trust me).

Taggy doing an industrial chic modeling shoot.

Taggy doing an industrial chic modeling shoot.

All this work is making Taggy sleepy.

All this work is making Taggy sleepy.

Blue paint on walls in bathroom

Blue paint on walls in bathroom

Blue floor and skirting boards. Hooray!

Blue floor and skirting boards. Hooray!

Long shot, while paint is still wet (it's less shiny dry -- satin finish)

Long shot, while paint is still wet (it’s less shiny dry — satin finish)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll see how it wears (I’m hoping the two coats of actual floor paint under the two heavy coats of blue will act as a primer), but it looks great. I’d like to replace the threshold with one of those nice marble ones, but I forgot to measure it when I was at HD, so I decided to just paint it in the meantime (i.e. forever).

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2 Responses to “Painting a grotty floor”

  1. erin@designcrisis October 27, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Ha! Yes I do know how things can look better in pictures. Yep. So I like the blue — improvement on the white. White floors give me dirt hives. Put a sweet rug on that sucker and take a shower. Done.

    • Erica Walch November 11, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      Thanks, I’m digging the blue floor a lot. Just the right amount of wacky (like your geometric fabric bench). Was SUPPOSED to be having a tin ceiling installed in there today, but they guy never came, never called. 😦

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