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Old 03-04-2007, 04:25 AM   #1
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painting my floor

Hello everyone! I found this forum on Google because I am in need of some home improvement advice. I'm going to tell the whole story here, and forgive me if it's more info than you need. I'm unexperienced at all this so I don't know what folks would need to know, plus I have been talking to others about this problem and find that it's difficult to make them understand without describing my unique living space in detail.

Okay, the building I live in is a cotton gin warehouse built in 1888. It is NOT renovated. Someone literally just put sheetrock walls up and rents the spaces out to artists. I LOVE this place! But the problem I want advice for here is that I'm sick and tired of my floor. The wooden floor is literally the same wood that was installed 120 years ago. It's extremely porous and soaks up any liquid that falls on it immediately, and it takes weeks to get the smell of dog pee out when my dog has an accident. It's also covered in dark ugly stains from a century of spills. The color is awful, it just feels like it's sucking the life out of my studio.

I have looked into the options of installing flooring on top of it, like carpet or vinyl, and sanding and refinishing. I think carpet is ugly and I'd ruin it quickly anyway, and to put vinyl down I learned we'd have to cement over the wood to make it level and whatnot, and I don't want to put that much money and energy into a place I'm just renting. Sanding and refinishing would require renting a sander and moving literally every single thing I own in the time I rented the sander. I just don't have the capacity to do that. The only way this project will get done is if I work on it a little at a time.

So the conclusion that I came to is that I will paint the floor white. With the ancient wood, painting over it gives it a rough, weathered look that I REALLY like. I know painting a floor is untraditional, but I'm an artist and this is an art studio, and it is *definitely* far from a traditional living space. It's never going to be fancy or totally clean or anything like a "normal" apartment, and I like it that way.

But here arises my problem. I have no idea what kind of paint to use and if I need to do anything to the wood before I paint it. I swept, vacuumed, and Lysoled a 3 square foot section and then painted it with white primer, but when it dries it gets a yellow/brownish tint. Why does it tint like this?

What I want to achieve is an imperfect-looking but liquid resistant white surface, so when I step on it my feet don't feel gritty, and when the dog has an accident or I drop some juice, I'm not smelling it for the next 6 months.

What sort of products do I need to use to achieve this effect?


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Old 01-04-2010, 08:02 PM   #2
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I know this is an old post buy maybe someone else has a similar problem and can find this in their search.

You need to prep the floor is you are going to paint it and the only way to prep a woodend floor is to sand it. Maybe bite the bullet and plan on doing the job in 2 phases so you will only have 2 rentals of the machine, can you move all your stuff to one end of the room??

Sand the floor to remove surface sealers etc, embedded dirt, contamination etc.
Apply one coat of 100% solids epoxy in white and the next day apply one coat of moisture cured urethane as a top coat. The urethane is kind of stinky so wear a charcoal filter resperator and plan on sleeping somewhere else that night. The urethane is for a high gloss that is very abrasion resistant. Make sure the manufacturer you chose has a non yellowing moisture cured urethane. All epoxies will yellow so unless you want a beige floor dont leave the topcoat as epoxy regardless of how good it looks when it is coated. The purpose of the 100% solids epoxy is to fill in the pores that the sandin opened up and build the floor up so it is easily cleanable. You will get around 160 ft per gallon for the epoxy and 320ft for the urethane.

Good luck


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Old 01-05-2010, 06:42 AM   #3
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My wife and I painted the old wood floor in one of our rooms. I know we didn't sand it. There was some paint on it already. I think we just primed it and painted it with green porch paint. We lived with it like that for a few years prior to covering it with 3/4" plywood and laminate.

FWIW, the paint we put down held up for however long we used it.

I wonder if the original poster is still living in that old mill, and what they ended up doing with the floors.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:11 PM   #4
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Painted floors.. a good temp solution to a long term problem.
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