How to paint hardwood floors - tips from National Floors Direct

How to Paint Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring has been around in the U.S. for hundreds of years due to its clean and rustic aesthetics. While hardwood floors remain durable, you still need to give them a fresh coat of paint every once in a while.

So how do you paint hardwood floors? What are some things you need to know before painting hardwood floors?

That's what we're here to look at today. Read on to find out more about how to paint hardwood floors and what you need to get the job done.

What Are Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood floors are basically what the name implies: durable flooring that's made out of wood and fitted for most homes.

Most floors of this type are made out of oak wood, maple, and even cherry. There are even some walnut, ash, mahogany, and even bamboo hardwood flooring.

It's no secret that hardwood floors are some of the most popular flooring options out there. In fact, there's more than just one type of hardwood out there.

There's solid hardwood, which is made out of just one type of wood, sanded and refined multiple times. Then there's engineered hardwood, which has a veneer of wood that's glued to other pieces of wood underneath.

A lot of people prefer hardwood flooring not just because it gives their homes a great look, but because it doesn't trap dust and is relatively easy to clean. It improves your home's air quality as a result.

Another added benefit to hardwood flooring is that you can refinish or repaint it if some of the polish begins to wear off after a while. Doing so, however, requires a bit of planning beforehand.

Painting Hardwood Floors: Planning

Before even bringing out the paint cans, you need to thoroughly plan your course of action. This means measuring out the surface area you need to cover and how much paint you'll have to buy as a result.

It also means finding all the right equipment to get the job done. This goes far beyond just the paint, as you need the right paint brush, tarp, safety equipment, and other tools to effectively paint your floor.

Be ready to vacate the room you're painting for at least several days. Know where you need to move the furniture in the room and how you'll be able to move it back in once the paint dries.

Which Paint Should You Use?

Once that's all in place, you need to choose the paint you'll be using for this project. There are plenty of choices around, and many still stick with a standard oil-based floor paint or enamel.

This paint will stand up to foot traffic better than pretty much any other type. If you don't mind the fumes, getting an oil-based floor paint is the way to go.

If you're looking for something that has fewer fumes, acrylic or latex enamel paints should do the trick. These are more eco-friendly and can hold up after years of heavy use. 

It may be harder to find oil-based paint these days, so choose at your own discretion. No matter what, though, buy a respirator or a mask to wear while you're painting your floor.

How to Paint Hardwood Floors: Step by Step

When it comes to figuring out how to paint hardwood floors, it's a relatively simple process. Let's take a step-by-step look at how to paint your hardwood floors here:

Sand Rough Surfaces

First, you have to remove the old paint. Specifically, you need to remove some of the gloss to make way for your new coat of paint.

That means getting a square pad sander or your hands to sand down your floor. You don't need to sand everything down perfectly, just enough to get rid of the old finish.

Clean the Floor

Once you've sanded everything down, you need to clean everything up to make way for some new paint. This means vacuuming, mopping, and dusting your floor to get it as clean as possible.

First Coat

When your floor is cleaned and dried, it's time to apply the first coat of paint. Make sure you add a thin layer, as that'll help it dry faster. You'll have to do multiple coats, so be aware of how much paint you're using.

A paintbrush is usually enough for the job, but a paint roller will get these steps down much faster. Let your hardwood floor dry for up to two days, a minimum of one until everything is dry.

Smooth Paint

Get out your sandpaper and start sanding down the new coat of paint really gently. This is to smooth everything out and give your floor a sleek new surface.

Second Coat

The second coat of paint is virtually the same as the first coat in terms of technique. Just make sure after each coat you're getting out of the room ASAP to avoid the fumes


If you want to get fancy with your hardwood flooring, add some stripes or motifs over the paint after everything dries up. Make sure you use paint to cover up areas that you want to keep the same.

Optionally Seal Floor

This isn't mandatory, but some people like to seal their floors after it's been repainted. Use clear polyurethane to properly seal the floor.

Curing the Paint

The floor paint usually dries in a few days, but it'll take several weeks for everything to cure and the smell to go away. You can begin moving your furniture back into the room at this time, though it'll still give off fumes.

Hardwood Flooring Painting Guide

Understanding how to paint hardwood floors is all about preparing everything correctly and following the right steps. Use this guide to help you paint hardwood floors and get yourself a clean-looking floor today!

Are you looking for floor covering services? Contact us today and we'll get you started on a solution right away!