Well, I finally pulled the trigger and painted my floors...and I couldn't be happier! Yes, I have been threatening to paint some of my floors for WAY too long. I think I finally wore down Mr. WhiteFarmhouse to the point where he was sick of hearing about it! but we all do this to get what we want... right!
So LET's dive into the process and how the floors are holding up!
Why I wanted Painted Floors
For years I have been admiring painted floors from some of my favourite ladies on Instagram like Liz Marie Galvan and Karin Buitenhuis and I just couldn't get it out of my mind. I love doing things to my home that allows me to require less home decor... I love minimizing and I felt like white floors always helped make this style easier. Every detail that goes into a room with white floors almost becomes amplified thus making it even easier for LESS is MORE!
And it also seemed bizarre that I was willing to paint my exterior patio floors white but not my interior floors??? Seems a little backwards right? But I love our white painted patio pavers. So I figured it was time to bring the white inside!
Choosing the perfect flooring
Let's chat quickly about the type of floors I have. My husband and I moved around a lot in the few years leading up to building our home. We were constantly learning what we DID and DIDN'T want in our forever home. We lived with carpet ...no thank you, sorry for you carpet lovers but I am a germaphobe and I know we will always have indoor pets so the carpet was out. One house had laminate and I just didn't love it, but the worst floor...TILE! Cleaning the grout is tedious and I hated the negative impact it had on my body. I stand a lot...somedays I don't sit down until the evening and having a tile kitchen I was almost incapable of standing by the night (and I was only in my 20's)
Before this amazing Vintage Society career, I had a yoga studio and when we renovated it we put in cork floors! Insert angels singing! The softness and its ability to handle some water without swelling we knew we had to have it in our home! One thing about cork is that the options are not so various. Usually as it fades and ages it can generally pull orange, red and pink tones so you have to be careful about selecting colours. We have never regretted choosing cork flooring but I always thought our floors would fade to a lighter shade. BUT almost 5 years later and they are the exact same colour and well my style has changed a bit too!
How I knew Painting my floors was an option
The moment I discovered painting my floors was an option was when I was painting my walls and some paint got on the floor that I didn't notice and it dried on. When I went to try and get the paint off... nothing worked!! Paint remover, steam mopping, every cleaning solution you can think of...nothing worked. To get the paint off I was literally removing the top veneer of the floor off. This had me start to wonder what it would look like if I painted the floors.
WHere do you start?
When I redid my office I thought I would paint those floors. However by the time I finished the shiplap I was just ready for the room to be put back together. But during this time I had purchased a can of Benjamine Moore Tapestry Beige (the colour Liz Marie used on her floors) to put on a sample piece of cork. While the paint adhered to the cork I didn't love the colour.
Fast forward 6 months and I was ready to commit to painting the floors in my master bedroom (this room has a small hallway off the main living space so it wouldn't be so obvious if the painting was a flop).
Picking the Perfect paint colour for your floors
Now that I had committed to painting the floors I needed to pick a colour. I am kind of infamous for customizing colours (almost every colour in my house is a custom colour I have created). As much as I tend to lean towards warm shades of white I knew choosing a cool tone white would be better. I got a sample of Revere Pewter by Benjamine Moore but Mr. WhiteFamhouse actually thought it was too dark (I was shocked). I picked out my favorite light grey colours and headed to my local Benjamine Moore paint store.
If you want more advice for picking out the perfect paint colour you can check out our blog on selecting the perfect paint colour for your home.
To create a custom colour get as close to the colour as you can find on a sample. Then ask your paint mixer what colours and the amount of each colour go into making that colour. The closest colour I could find to my desired paint colour was Gray Owl by Benjamine Moore. I wanted to take out some of the yellowish tones to make it a true grey without having it be a blue-grey colour. I mixed up a can of this new colour and honestly, it is so amazing!!! I think Benjamin Moore should let me make paint colours...a girl can dream right!
Test before you commit
Because cork floors are naturally porous the paint partially absorbed into them. I didn't have to worry about creating a surface that the paint would have to adhere to. I HIGHLY recommend getting a sample piece of flooring similar to your own flooring before you fully commit to your actual floors.
Check out another beautiful painted floor by our friend Mysha, Remington Avenue
Painted floor prep
The only prep I did was giving my floors a good steam clean. I haven't used any kind of chemicals on my floors. Having only steam mopped for years I didn't have to worry about getting any residue off. If you have been using floor cleaners I recommend washing your floors with a diluted vinegar solution prior to painting.
The paint i used for painting my floors
I used Benjamin Moore's Floor and Patio Paint. The paint was thinner than their wall and sample paints so the only downside is that I ended up doing way more coats than I anticipated. I'm not sure if I will use this paint for the entire process next time. I may do a thicker paint to start, and finish with this floor paint. The pros to the floor paint over a wall paint is that it is more resistant to scuffs.
Painted floor process
The tools I used for painting the floors were a brush to go along the edges and then used a small 6" roller (I'm not sure why but I love using a smaller roller) to do the rest of the floor. I allowed about 1 hour after the first coat before applying a 2nd coat. Then I left it for about 12 hours between the 2nd and 3rd coat. Then I applied the 4th and final coat about an hour after the 3rd coat.
One of the biggest pieces of advice is to keep a vacuum nearby. You almost vacuum as you go because pet hairs and dust seem to continually appear throughout the entire process.
Letting the floors cure
I was as gentle on the floors for the next week as I could be. While I was painting we had been getting a lot of rain and so the humidity was higher than normal for us. The floors felt a bit tacky but we still walked on them. I'm not gonna lie I was a bit nervous that I had painted the coats to close together or that I had chosen the wrong paint.
But after about a week I could feel the paint harden and they started feeling more durable!
Caring for your painted floors
After 2 weeks I steam mopped my floors! And while I was nervous the paint would just peel off it held up perfectly fine!!
Any scuffs that my steam mop won't take off have wiped away easily with a Magic Eraser!
Over the last few weeks, the paint has absorbed into some of the pours of the cork giving it a more textured appearance. I am so excited and in love with how these floors turned out! I am ready to do my entire house but Mr. WhiteFarmhouse isn't fully on board yet. I want to test out the floors for about 6 months before I fully commit. Fingers crossed by next year all of my cork floors will be WHITE!
Have you dreamed of having white floors? Let me know what kind of flooring you want to paint! Also feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about painted floors below!