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Old 04-14-2011, 11:54 AM   #1
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Repainting painted wood floors


We just purchased our first home and are looking to tackle our master bedroom wood floor. We are really broke right now so we can’t get into sanding and refinishing the wood underneath – although I’d love to! Definitely down the road... when we are less house poor! The floor is currently painted with a navy blue oil-based floor paint. We are looking to paint it a light greyish color.

My question is: Can I just apply the new floor paint over the existing floor as is? (This is what Home Depot suggested but I'm unsure... the floor is very glossy so I worry about it not adhering well).

Or should I sand and prime beforehand?
If so, please recommend some products to use!
And any tips or tricks!

Also, the navy blue paint is currently chipping in areas, exposing the brown paint underneath it.
Not sure how to fix that prior to painting over it?



Last edited by DIYmusings; 04-14-2011 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:45 PM   #2
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Repainting painted wood floors


Hello DIY musings,

Based upon your description, you have a high-gloss, oil-based porch and floor paint on your floor.

Glidden offers exactly such a product and the manufacturer says it is "self-priming to previously painted surfaces."

Although their instructions suggest you can simply re-coat your floors, I always believe the extra effort shows up in the end result ... I would buff sand with 220-grit, remove the sanding dust, and then re-coat in your new color.

PatInPaint

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Old 04-14-2011, 12:55 PM   #3
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Repainting painted wood floors


Just a plug for refinishing the floors yourself instead of adding yet another layer of paint on top. It's not actually that hard and you'll save yourself a huge pot of money. You rent the drum sander and edger from a tool rental place...like Home Depot for example. Once you have it all up, polyurethaning the floor is pretty equivalent to painting it with a few small differences in technique and tools. If the floor is in good shape, you could have the first coat down by the end of the first day of work.

That said, a previously painted floor may offer some challenges such as paint between floorboard cracks and in divets and such. That said, nothing a little elbow grease can't tackle.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:59 PM   #4
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Repainting painted wood floors


First of all a floor drum sander is not a casual tool. I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked by DIYers for suggestions on how to fix the gouge they made when first turning it on and eating through the finish floor down to the floor joists in about a minute. I embellish a bit and you can make it work. Just know that of just about any tool I can think of you have to respect a drum sander.

I advise DIYers to rent the orbital floor sanders instead. You can still do some damage but it will take longer and you really have to work at it. And it will take more time and paper, but it won't be so scary. And the orbitals go all the way to the wall. Drum sanders do not.

And frankly, I sub all my floor refinishing work out. I think you may find floor refinishers to be not that more expensive than doing it yourself by the time you lug and rent the machine, by the paper, etc. And they do it everyday and the good ones I use on antique floors know all the tricks for blending things in as best as can happen.

The other consideration with sanding a painted floor? You assume you are going to find drop dead, turn of the century, quarter sawn oak and cherry under there? Just like stripping the paint from upstairs trim in antique homes, even if downstairs is beautiful hardwood and the millwork matches? I usually find pine and fir so badly stained from paint solvents and with paint down in the grain I am never going to get out that I ended up priming and painting over it. I still remove the paint if 150 years and 83 layers makes it look stupid but with no plan of staining or clear finishing it.

So, before you think of stripping the floor, work on a small corner to see what you might hope to end up with.

Painted floors get a bad rep in this country for some reason and it is a shame. The newer floor paints with urethane are durable as---surprise, surprise---clear urethane and with some creativity you can really make a room look sharp for very little money. You can get as crazy as you want with tile patterns or whatever. I think at least Benjamin Moore will custom mix a floor paint color if you don't like the array of factory ones.

Most floor paints do not require a primer. You do want to make sure you have oil based paint on the floor before you put oil based over it. You can put water based over either. If you put oil based over acrylic it will peel almost before it is dry.

As suggested, rough the surface with fine great paper. As for filling in the places where the paint has peeled? Drywall compound won't hold up. I would buy a little can of auto bondo. Or you can buy epoxy fillers that will work.

Please, oh please, do not buy box store crap floor paint and expect good things to come of it.

Last edited by user1007; 04-14-2011 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:15 PM   #5
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Repainting painted wood floors


That is true, a drum sander is not something to trifled with but if you exercise the proper respect, caution, and common sense and have experience with other power sanding tools then you can master it to a respectable degree fairly quickly. I recall first using one in our first home 20 years ago without incident. And as far as cost goes that is a function of where you live. If you're in a metropolitan area it's going to cost you significantly more. Here in Washington DC refinishing a @ 14x18 floor that is already in good shape is going to cost you > $1000, and that's if you shop around.

And this is a DIY forum, and if you don't try it, you'll never learn how to do it

I do agree that what resides beneath the paint may be disappointing. Very frequently in old houses painted floors are a sign that someone took up the wall to wall thinking they were going to be met with unmolested antique oak only to have been sorely disappointed. The paint ends up being preferable to new carpeting when the floors seem unsalvageable.

And I actually LIKE painted wood floors in certain situations. I was not suggesting that natural wood is fundamentally preferable. I was simply responding to the OP's comment about their own preference.
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:50 PM   #6
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Repainting painted wood floors


Ironlight. No problems mate. I wasn't bashing you but so few know what it is to call and rent a drum sander only to show up to find the first task of the day is to load 8 tons of squirming gorilla into the Honda Civic hatchback. And they take it home, plug it in, and start right in the middle of the living room oak and cherry floor and 1/4" of it is gone in a second.

I most certainly was not suggesting a drum sander, and a load of paper if peeling of layers of floor paint, anything but the first choice tools to use. And I was not suggesting you a hardwood snob either. Just learned the hard way it is not worth stripping everything off, if there is no there, there. Better to peak at a tiny piece.

I have just been through too many of these situations with paint stripped in old houses only to find the pirate chest was not where the map said it would be not to counsel to leave well enough alone some of the time.

Until recently I restored antique homes for a living but still love doing my own DIY projects of all kinds, making and mucking them up as I go. Damned the cost!

I do feel, as a pro I can offer counsel here as to how to do things but also to at least suggest, when appropriate, that the DIY route, if only to save money, may not work out the way people have in mind. I hope that is not contrary to the mission of this site?
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:54 PM   #7
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Repainting painted wood floors


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
First of all a floor drum sander is not a casual tool. I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked by DIYers for suggestions on how to fix the gouge they made when first turning it on and eating through the finish floor down to the floor joists in about a minute. I embellish a bit and you can make it work. Just know that of just about any tool I can think of you have to respect a drum sander.


Please, oh please, do not buy box store crap floor paint and expect good things to come of it.
Yeah, the Drum Sanders can be a real beast! Fortunately, they now have floor sanders that have 4 - 6" random-orbital sanders. They're nowhere near as aggressive, which is not so good if you really need thick paint sanded off. But they're much easier to handle. I've used on such beast several times, and have been pretty happy with it.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:03 PM   #8
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Repainting painted wood floors


I'm going to throw another thought at you - one that might sound kind of stupid...


If, in the near future, you are planning to sand this floor down to the bare wood and refinish it, just how "good" do you want your new floor paint to be? Do you want "super adhesion"?

Is it possible that you might want to go with a paint that's "just good enough" to get by for a year or so?
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:29 PM   #9
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Repainting painted wood floors


Dr. Hicks is right. Why worry about long or even short term paint adhesion. In fact why not just hang it out like bedsheets for walls and saran wrap for floors and thumbtack the corners.

Sometimes this site makes me



All at the same time.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:32 PM   #10
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Repainting painted wood floors


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Dr. Hicks is right. Why worry about long or even short term paint adhesion. In fact why not just hang it out like bedsheets for walls and saran wrap for floors and thumbtack the corners.

Sometimes this site makes me



All at the same time.
Ummm... Excuse me? Get bit by the smart a$$ bug today?

Maybe you've never been on the wrong end of a floor sander, trying to strip heavy, thick epoxy paint off of a floor. But if you HAD been, you wouldn't be mocking the suggestion that they don't intentionally make a tough job tougher than it already is.

Amateur.

Last edited by DrHicks; 04-14-2011 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:42 PM   #11
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Repainting painted wood floors


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Dr. Hicks is right. Why worry about long or even short term paint adhesion. In fact why not just hang it out like bedsheets for walls and saran wrap for floors and thumbtack the corners.

Sometimes this site makes me



All at the same time.
I think the solution is clear. They should glue sheets of sandpaper to their slippers and spend lots of time shuffling around their bedroom. I'm actually only half kidding. If they really want to refinish, why not help nature along.

The other half of me thinks that the blue floor in that initial picture looks rather handsome and that they should just freshen it up. And wear nothing but socks in the bedroom.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:34 PM   #12
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Repainting painted wood floors


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The other half of me thinks that the blue floor in that initial picture looks rather handsome and that they should just freshen it up. And wear nothing but socks in the bedroom.
Thanks, and you are quite right. And waxing on I forgot to mention I could sleep in that room as is with a down comforter and mints on the pillows. Like I say, painted floors get a bad rep in the US.

As do painted porches on old houses I work on.

Absolutely all my clients always ask me if I can find them a cheaper floor paint that will only adhere for a year or two. Swear to God. Every single time. Really DrHicks.

Last edited by user1007; 04-14-2011 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:07 PM   #13
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Repainting painted wood floors


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Ummm... Excuse me? Get bit by the smart a$$ bug today?

Maybe you've never been on the wrong end of a floor sander, trying to strip heavy, thick epoxy paint off of a floor. But if you HAD been, you wouldn't be mocking the suggestion that they don't intentionally make a tough job tougher than it already is.

Amateur.
For those of you following this. One does not use a drum sander to remove epoxy finishes. The epoxy resin will heat, melt and clog the paper in about three seconds.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:26 AM   #14
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Repainting painted wood floors


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Absolutely all my clients always ask me if I can find them a cheaper floor paint that will only adhere for a year or two. Swear to God. Every single time. Really DrHicks.
I think the solution is clear.

Since the homeowner states they have no money to work with, they should pay some arrogant smart a$$ "professional" an exorbitant price to slather pudding on their floor, then pay another arrogant smart a$$ "professional" an exorbitant price to sand down the same floor & refinish it the next year.

Never EVER suggest to a potential rip-off victim that they could actually save themselves some money by doing things a different way. Look out for yourself first and foremost, at the expense of others.

Yeah, that'd be $3,000 well spent!


What you have demonstrated is why so many of us choose to do our own work.

Last edited by DrHicks; 04-15-2011 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:28 AM   #15
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Repainting painted wood floors


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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
For those of you following this. One does not use a drum sander to remove epoxy finishes. The epoxy resin will heat, melt and clog the paper in about three seconds.
For those of you following this, one would want to hire a "professional" to do the job, pay him thousands of dollars, and end up with a crappy finished product - regardless of what kind of floor sander he uses (based on the fact that they'll all have the same problem).

Again, a perfect example of why so many people stay away from self-proclaimed "professionals."

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