Painting a Wood Floor and a Faux Fix

Painting a wood floor isn’t as hard or as scary as it sounds, assuming it’s an old original wood floor that you’re painting… like my hallway floor.

This post is way overdue as the floor has been painted for some time now, but I took w-a-a-a-y too many photos during the process and the thought of going through them all was causing me to seriously procrastinate. From now on I’m going to edit my photos as I go. That is so much easier.

When I started this Hallway Makeover I shared the before shots with the 18 year old carpeting.

Painting a wood floor

Here’s what I was left with after the carpeting was removed.

I can’t even tell you how happy I am that it’s gone, and I can’t wait for the guest room to be bare floored too.


Painting a wood floor

Our house was built in 1890 and this is the original wood floor and it shows a lot of years of wear, paint spatters etc…

When doing my master bedroom makeover I did a post on painting an antique wood floor. That floor had been previously painted, unlike this one.

Before painting a wood floor the first thing I do is give it a very thorough vacuuming.

Painting a Wood Floor

painting an old wooden floor

I have sinus and allergy issues (that’s mainly why the carpet is going and not being replaced) and I also use Low or No VOC paints and primers whenever I can. I like to keep chemical compounds invading the air in my house to a minimum. I usually wait and buy at the ReStore, but because I needed a super adherent primer I got this Beauti-tone one at the Home Building Centre.

I’ve never used this primer before, but the paint person assured me that it would work… and it did. It was super adherent, went on like a dream, and each coat dried in a couple of hours… and the best part… I didn’t get a headache from it.

I never use oil based paints and primers. I don’t like them because they’re not environmentally friendly, but that’s a personal choice. There are so many good water-based options now that work great… not like the old days when you had to use oil for certain projects. What you should use also depends on the condition of the floor you’re dealing with.


Painting a wood floor

All I needed was a paint roller for the main parts of the floor, a brush for the edges, and my paint tray lined with a plastic grocery bag for easier clean up.


Painting a wood floor

I started on the far end of the hallway just outside my craft room, and I painted all the preimeter of the floor with a brush.


painting an old wooden floor

Sometimes I do things backwards. lol. I was in a hurry to get the floor painted in daylight so I went ahead before removing the carpet around the built-in cupboard.


painting an old wooden floor

I removed it before applying the second coat of primer on the floor. It was easy to cut away the carpet and underpad..


Painting a wood floor

When I’m all done I’ll have to add some molding around the bottom of the cupboard to hide the carpet that’s still on the floor inside the cupboard.


Painting a wood floor

I made my way up the hallway…


painting an old wooden floor

to the other end… outside the bathroom, guest and master bedrooms.

There’s a hole in the floor from getting duct work through when central heating was added to the house… whenever that originally happened, and a piece of plywood  now covers the hole. I’ll show you the simple way I dealt with this a little later in this post.

Also, it looked like this floor had some stain on it as seen by the darker parts in the above photo, but it was obviously removed from most of the floor at some point.


painting an old wooden floor

I’m so thankful for that because the floor was primer ready. I didn’t need to do any sanding whatsoever.

Lucky me!!!


painting an old wooden floor

Here’s a photo after one coat of primer. I knew two would be needed so I was OK with the coverage.


painting an old wooden floor

So here’s that ugly sticking-out-like-a-sore-thumb piece of plywood.

Before deciding how to fix this I had to consider a couple of things; the floor is just over 1″ thick, and the wood planks vary slightly in width…. no two are exactly alike it seems.

Finding either old or new wood to match the widths and not look too straight would have been way too much of a nightmare, so I decided an easy faux fix was the only way to go.


painting an old wooden floor

So after two coats of primer I filled in some of the larger cracks with wood filler…


painting an old wooden floor

sanded, and painted over them.

Then using a very long ruler I drew pencil lines joining the wood floor plank cracks from one end of the plywood to the other.


painting an old wooden floor

Then with an exacto knife with a very sharp blade I cut into the plywood along the lines on a slight angle going one way first…


painting an old wooden floor

and then the other…. going just deep enough to blend in nicely with the rest of the floor. This plywood piece is about 3/4″ thick.



painting an old wooden floor

Here’s one line done.

Because this floor is so old it doesn’t have to be perfect. Actually if it was it would look out of place. Works for me! lol.


painting an old wooden floor

Here it is with all the lines cut out.

A rotary type tool could be used for this because this was such a small job, but doing it by hand is quite easy.

I did this technique on my entire living room floor about 15 years ago by hand… after I burned out a rotary tool rather quickly. It was way too large a project for that little rotary tool.  We covered the old wood floor that had many issues with a plywood sub-floor that I made to look like a painted wood floor. There’s laminate there now, but that’ll be going in the new year, hopefully, after I repaint the living room.


painting an old wooden floor

Here it is after it’s been painted.


floor paint

I painted the floor with two coats of Behr white Re-Store paint… again NO Volatile Organic Compounds.

When I’m all done I may do a matte top coat. I’ll wait and see. I didn’t put one on my bedroom floor that I painted last fall and that is holding up great.

Here are some befores and afters of the floor.

painting an old wooden floor

My plywood patch area went from this…


painting an old wooden floor

to this. I’m quite happy with how it turned out.


painting an old wooden floor

And the rest of my floor went from this…


painting an old wooden floor

to this…


painting an old wooden floor

to this.

Painting a wood floor isn’t really that difficult, but it is a big job and is quite time consuming. What made this particular floor so much easier is that the hallway was empty, unlike the full-of-furniture master bedroom that I painted last fall.

Before I started this floor I was so sure that it wasn’t going to stay white, but I kinda fell in love with it after living with just the primer for a few weeks… but it won’t all be staying white. That post coming up soon and I’ll share more pics then. I’m almost done. Yay!

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time… keep on keepin’ on.



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  1. Oh, girl, that looks gorgeous! And your faux finish is nothing short of brilliant! Love this! And yet, you say you might be adding color? I’m intrigued!!! Cudos, Tuula! Dona

    1. Thanks so much Dona! Not might be, will be… already have actually. Just need to finish it up now. Also, look for some Christmas projects coming up soon with some special items sent to my by a friend. 😉

  2. I have been patiently waiting for this post!! 🙂 So happy you got your floor done and now I must start mine. My hall floor is in the same shape yours was. I am going to try and find the primer and paint you used….I have the same issues with allergies and headaches from smells…. so wish me luck!! Thanks for posting this!

    1. I do wish you luck AnnMarie, and I appreciate your patience. 🙂 Every old floor presents its own challenges and hopefully yours goes as smoothly as mine. The actual project went very well with no real glitches, and I’m so happy that the carpet is gone. Now only one room to go in this house and we’ll be totally carpet free. Yay!

  3. Kris@Junkchiccottage says:

    Tuula this is great. I love it white but cannot wait to see what you do with color!!! Happy New Week.

    1. Thanks Kris! I’m so happy to have painted floors, and I can’t wait to share what I did to this floor with some fun colour. Coming soon!

    1. Thanks so much Tanya! It was a lot easier than trying to patch with wood planks that’s for sure, which was totally unnecessary… especially because I was painting it.

  4. Patricia B says:

    Love the techniques you used! Grooving the plywood piece is genius!! Tfs Love ya’

    1. Thanks so much Patricia! If there’s an easier way to do something I’m all for trying it. Why not? 🙂

  5. Cheryl in Wisconsin says:

    I wish I was brave enough to attempt this. I’m scared of what is lurking under the carpet.

    1. I was lucky to know what was under the carpet. If I didn’t I think I’d want to have a backup plan… like a budget for some real flooring, which I so don’t have right now, in case what I found was a nightmare. When we moved into this house 18 years ago we removed carpet from everywhere and found some issues but mostly good but old wooden floors. It’s always a gamble when you don’t know. I wish I had painted them way back then, and not covered them up again with laminate in some rooms and carpet in others. Oh well, better late than never. lol.

  6. distresseddonna says:

    Clever, clever girl! Thanks so much for the tip in creating a floor board look. The hallway looks so different. I am expecting a rainbow in the next post.

    1. Thanks Donna! You know me too well. I’m so excited about the next colourful part of my floor, and I can’t wait to share it. I can hardly believe it’s almost done.

  7. Hi Tuula,
    Goodbye carpet! Love your painted foors…and thanks for the share on the primer. I can’t deal with chemical smells, I’d be sick for a week. So are you going to paint it pink and green striped next??? 😉

    1. And good riddance to it too Tina. I’m so glad to say goodbye to that old carpet. Now just one room to go… on the someday list. Definitely go No VOC if you have issues like me. I stopped using oil paints years ago and have never looked back. All I can say is that my next step for this floor is colourful, and there most definitely is some pink and green involved. How could there not be? lol.

  8. I am in the process of deciding whether or not to refinish or repaint some of my hardwood floors right now and appreciating reading about how you did yours! I am sure they were a ton of work but they look great!

    1. It was a lot of work Tara, but so worth it. I’m so thrilled with the result and my only regret is that I didn’t do it years ago.

  9. Wow, what a labor of love and so worth the effort. I’d LOVE to have floors like yours in my home, even with the imperfections. You are so clever to disguise the plywood the way you did. Thanks for inspiring us at Vintage Inspiration Party.

    1. Thanks Betsy! It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun too. It always amazes me what a little (or a lot, lol) of paint can do.

  10. This is so beautiful! I love that blue, could you tell me what color it is, please? This is my first time to your blog, looks like a lot of good place to find inspiration!!

    1. Thanks Michelle! Welcome to my site. That blue is a Re-Store Ooops paint that I originally used in my guest room. I added white to it myself to lighten it a bit and so I had enough to do the hallway walls. Sorry I can’t give you the exact colour name, but it’s sort of a light robin’s egg blue, or a Tiffany blue is you like. I hope that helps. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

      1. Haha, of course it is! Thanks for sharing, I love a good Oops color!

  11. Big project Tuula–you’re getting things done around your house boom, boom, boom. Great work and improvisation where necessary 🙂 Thanks for linking it up with Vintage Charm.

    1. It definitely was a big project Diana, but so worth it in every way. Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s always a pleasure to join the party!

  12. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    I love your painted wood floors! I have a concrete slab floor with old linoleum stuck to it!!!! Can’t get it off, I could cry.

    1. Thanks Sheryll! I’m so sorry to hear about your concrete floor. They did used to use heavy duty glues back in the day. You might be interested in my living room plywood floor makeover.