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Old 09-03-2008, 08:55 AM   #1
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Hardwood Floor Painting Advice / Tips / Tricks?


my husband and i have a house from the 40's. we are slowly renovating our home to be a "modern seaside cottage"/"shabby-chic" style home. we have a very tight budget, so are doing things ourselves, and trying to update the stuff we have already, not replacing. we are trying to figure out what to do with our living room floor. it is VERY worn and scratched but good condition hardwood. it is a thin (1" - 1.5" wide?) board. it has never been up-kept, so there is a "path" running through the room. we don't want to put down carpet, and we don't want to re-finish. we like the idea of painting, and we figure we can do something artistic and different, but i am looking for ideas, how to, products to use etc. (but we do NOT like stencil...fyi)
the walls are painted a very light sage/seafoam green with white trim i've thought about painting the floor a light colour or a subtle large checkerboard pattern, but i'm worried that a light colour will get very dirty quickly? this room is used for everyday, and i have 2 small children who will be running, playing, scratching...how well do floor paints stand up? do you need a polyurothane finish? how hard is it to "antique" a freshly painted floor? please help!!! ANY advice is greatly appreciated. websites with pictures would also be GREAT!!

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Old 09-03-2008, 10:32 PM   #2
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Hardwood Floor Painting Advice / Tips / Tricks?


Quote:
the walls are painted a very light sage/seafoam green with white trim i've thought about painting the floor a light colour or a subtle large checkerboard pattern, but i'm worried that a light colour will get very dirty quickly?
How quickly a floor gets dirty depends mostly on how quickly dirt gets embedded in the paint underfoot, and that depends on how hard the paint is. The harder the paint, the less dirt will become embedded in it, the less it will scratch up from moving things across the floor and so the longer it will stay looking new and the slower it's appearance will deteriorate with use.

Quote:
this room is used for everyday, and i have 2 small children who will be running, playing, scratching...how well do floor paints stand up? do you need a polyurothane finish?
There are many different kinds of "polyurethane" chemistries. (actually, there are even two different kinds of "waterborne polyurethanes" I can think of right now, and both are used on floors. I will assume you're talking about "oil based" polyurethane paints.

The ONLY difference between an oil based "polyurethane" hardwood floor finish and an oil based "polyurethane" floor paint is that the paint has coloured particles (called "pigments") inside it to give it colour and opacity.

That is, an oil based polyurethane floor paint is every bit as durable as an oil based polyurethane hardwood floor finish. So, it's reasonable to presume that an oil based polyurethane floor paint will stand up as well, and last as long as if you refinished your floor and put oil based polyurethane hardwood floor finish on it.

However, most paints are tinted their final colour at the point of sale in a paint tinting machine. The problem with that is that the colourant added to the paint is mostly glycerine, and glycyerine is slow to evaporate. So, adding a lot of glycerine will slow down the drying time of the paint. With most paint's that's not much of a problem, but with a floor paint it means you can't walk on the floor until the paint dries. So, floor paints will typically come pretinted from the factory, and the colour selection on offer will normally be pretty minimal, like: light grey, dark grey and brown.

If you live in Canada, Canadian Tire sells a tintable white oil based polyurethane floor paint. If you're happy to wait longer for the floor paint to dry, then I expect you can find other companies that offer a tintable polyurethane floor paint in a white tint base. Alternatively, you could always tint a light grey oil based polyurethane floor paint with green colourant to make a greyish green too.

If push came to shove, you should also be able to sidestep the problem completely and have a polyurethane hardwood floor finish tinted green (or any other colour that calls for a "Deep" or "Accent" tint base) in a paint tinting machine. Maybe see if you can buy a "QUART" size can of a polyurethane hardwood floor finish, and have it tinted any colour that calls for a deep or accent tint base, paint that onto some scrap wood and see if you like the results.

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Old 09-04-2008, 10:51 PM   #3
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Hardwood Floor Painting Advice / Tips / Tricks?


Don't paint hardwood flooring it will peel off in no time at all then it will really look bad.
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Old 09-05-2008, 09:52 PM   #4
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Hardwood Floor Painting Advice / Tips / Tricks?


Alkyd based polyurethane resins are really nothing more than alkyd resins with urethane linkages (-NH-(C=O)-O-) inside them. So, you can treat the polyurethane on a hardwood floor or on a piece of furniture as a high gloss alkyd paint.

If you sand the polyurethane down to give it "tooth" so that a coat of paint will stick to it, there is absolutely no reason why an oil based floor paint (including polyurethane floor paints) wouldn't stick well to it.

Essentially, a polyurethane hardwood floor finish is nothing more than an alkyd based polyurethane paint without any pigments inside it to give it colour and opacity.

You would do little harm by sanding down a small area of your floor, applying an interior alkyd paint over the sanded area, allow to dry, and see how well it sticks. One test would be to don rubber soled sneakers and "turn on a dime" on the painted area.

Another option not mentioned in the previous post would be to sand the floor down, paint it with FLAT interior alkyd paints, allow to dry, and then top coat with an alkyd based polyurethane.
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