How to Paint Your Floor

How to Paint Your Floor

A couple of weeks ago I showed you my updated boys’ bathroom.  We worked on so many small details in there that I couldn’t give you the nitty gritty information.  So today I’m getting down low and telling you what we did on the floor.

It started as a plain cement sub floor.  I had never done anything with it since it’s the boys’ bathroom and they tend to be a bit….um…messy.

I have a done a lot of painted floors over the years (click here to see more of my painted floors) and I always start with paint that is specifically made for floors.  It’s called porch/floor paint.  You can have it mixed any color you want which is great because that means you can change the look of the floor whenever you want for less than $50.  Cool!

I had half a can of floor paint leftover from my bathroom (which is also a painted floor) so I just used that.  It’s a teal blue which isn’t the color I was using in the boys’ bathroom, but I was planning to turn it into plaid so I didn’t mind what color the first coat was.  First we primed it, then we painted it with the teal.

Now here is my first warning: You will finish the first coat of paint and it will look so pretty and you may be tempted to leave it like that.  Don’t.  A solid floor shows every tiny thing.  You will hate it.  You don’t have to do plaid, of course, but do some kind of pattern over it.

Now that you have the foundation for the paint you are ready for the fun part.  You can use pretty much any water based paint over it. Craft paint, old interior wall paint, anything.

I sat down with the girls and we planned out the order of the colors and widths for the stripes.  Then we started taping.  We used FrogTape and my quilting ruler and drew pencil lines then taped them and painted with little foam brushes.  We’d tape off the stripes going one direction, wait for it to dry (which took about half an hour) then tape off the same color stripes going the other direction.  We did one color at a time.

We used the same strips of tape over and over.  Here are my girls working on the fourth layer of stripes.

As you can see some of the paint came off with the tape.  We just went back at the end and touched it up.  It was quick and easy.

Here are the types of paint we used: Black-craft paint, gray-bathroom wall paint (it’s goo to use the wall color to tie it all together), white-wall paint from another room, red-craft paint

Once we painted all of the colored stripes I thought it needed a final detail….a teeny stripe.  So we took a black Sharpie and made thin lines across the top using the ruler.  That took just a few minutes.

Now, here’s my second word of wisdom: Do a wash of brown over the entire floor.  It adds just a small touch that keeps all of the hairs and dirt from showing.  Trust me here….you will want to skip this step because your new floor looks so shiny and sparkly.  You will start doing the wash and think, “No! This is ruining it!”  Then at the end when you’re finished you will realize how smart I am and send me thank you letters.

To do the brown wash I just mix some brown craft paint with water about 50/50.  Then we rub it on the floor with a circle lotion using an old rag.  This is a very light effect, not too dark.  It’s dry in seconds and look great!

Now the last thing to do is to put several coats of polycrylic over the whole thing.  Some people use polyurethane, but I have found that it yellows too much so I like the polycrylic.  You can find it in the same place you buy the polyurethane.  We did 5 coats of the polycrylic allowing a few hours between coats.

My last warning: Stay off the floor for at least 24 hours.  Your new floor needs to cure.  Paint gets harder with time and especially the floor needs this process.

There.  Done.  BAM!

I hope you’re following me on Instagram for my month long #everydayfaves challenge! 

I’m sharing all of my favorite things and I’ll be doing a giveaway at the end of the month!


  1. Your floor is fantastic and the tips are wonderful! I bet you inspire many a painted floor with this post.

  2. It looks great and the tips are great too!

  3. My jaw is still hanging open….

  4. I LOVE this more than I can say. What a great job! It turned out so beautifully, Lisa!

  5. Thank you for this tutorial! I showed your floor to my husband when you did your reveal post, and he liked the idea, too!

  6. This is such an amazing project, Lisa! The floor looks awesome–what a great way to make a room really special. Thank you for the tutorial, especially the tip about adding the wash of brown. That’s brilliant!

    I’m sharing this on my Facebook page and pinning it–it’s too good not to share!

  7. Great post! Been reading a lot of tips for painting my floors recently. Thanks for the info!