Floor Finishes Creative Ideas – If your floors are looking a bit sad and worn, don’t decide immediately on covering them with fitted carpets. Often the solution to unattractive floors is a creative one, rather than a bank-breaking exercise! Whichever method you choose, you will first need to fill all the knot holes with a proprietary wood filler and seal the finished, treated floor boards with clear polyurethane paint.
Bleaching. Bleaching will result in a much lighter floor color that can be sealed with polyurethane paint.
The method is most suitable for floors that have not been stained, as stain soaks into the fibers of the timber and is difficult to eliminate completely although bleaching can lighten an existing stain. If the timber has been treated with stain and a polyurethane sealer in the past, it must be first sanded back to the stained timber.
– Ensure good ventilation while you’re working, as the fumes from bleach can be irritating.
– Paint the floor with liquid bleach and allow it to soak into the timber. Continue to coat the floor with bleach until the desired lightness is achieved. This may be a slow process. After bleaching, wash the floor down with a 50:50 solution of white vinegar and water to neutralize the bleach. If the timber swells during bleaching, it is easily overcome with light sanding.
– Seal with clear polyurethane paint following the maker’s instructions.
Staining. Staining does not have to be restricted to the traditional wood shades – you can be quite adventurous with your color choices.
– Select the stain color of your choice. If the floor is new, or has been freshly sanded, apply the color as the manufacturer directs.
– If you have an existing stained and sealed floor, you will need to sand the floor back to a raw state, then proceed to stain with a new color as the stain maker directs.
– Once you are satisfied with the color achieved, seal the floor with clear polyurethane paint following maker’s instructions.
Stencilling. This decorative method of painting floors has stood the test of time! Creative people have long painted their floors, not only to save money, but to be able to enjoy a continuation of the design theme in their room. So often the floor is regarded only as a platform for the room, when it could be a decorative feature in its own right. Stencilling can be done over a previously stained and sealed floor.
Borders work very well on floors, especially as a frame for feature rugs. They can emphasize areas of the room, by giving visual definition to various sections, such as around fireplaces.
– Sand back the surface of the floor where the paint is to be applied sufficiently to give a rough feel. This roughness will allow the stencil paint to adhere to the floor without the risk of it flaking off.
– Mark out where your decorated areas will be. When you are happy with the placement, draw in your guidelines and stencil in the designs.
– When the stencilled areas are completely dry, seal with clear polyurethane paint following the maker’s instructions.
Painted floors. This method of revamping a floor works very well in low-traffic areas, or in rooms that have a large central areas covered by a rug. You can paint high-traffic areas, but you must be prepared for the paint to wear away quickly in these areas. you may choose to paint with acrylic paints, wiping off the paint shortly after application in the direction of the grain using a lint-free cloth.
– Paint can be applied over existing stain and sealer, but you will need to sand back any obvious rough areas before starting to paint.
– Be sure that you don’t fall into the trap of painting yourself into a corner! Start painting at the furthest corner from the door, and work back towards the door.
Making certain that the floor is dust-free, paint the floor with several coats of oil-based paint. Sanding back lightly between coats of paint will encourage the better adherence of subsequent coats of paint.
– Finally, seal the floor with one or two coats of clear polyurethane paint, following the maker’s instructions.