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How to Paint Solid Hardwood Floors

How to Paint Solid Hardwood Floors

Painting solid hardwood floors can give them new life without the expense and mess of re-polishing them. It can also make your floors a beautiful design element and really stand out, particularly if you’re painting them white. It takes some time and patience to paint hardwood floors, but if you follow these simple steps you’ll be a pro in no time.

Prepare the surface

As with all paint projects it’s important to prepare the surface your working on accordingly so that the end result is a nice even, long lasting finish. When working with polished hardwood floors you’ll first need to give them a thorough clean using a mop to remove any built up dirt and residue. Once dry you’ll then need to sand the floor, keeping in mind for your particular project you won’t have to sand back to bare timber floors to achieve the finish you’re after, nor will you need to use any varnish.


The floor boards will need a really good sand to create enough adhesion for the topcoat of paint to stick to, for this to happen we recommend using 120 grit sandpaper on a hand-held electric sander so you can get the job done more efficiently and effectively. Once the entire floor is sanded, give the room a quick sweep using a soft house hold broom, then finish with a light vacuum to remove finer, hard to reach sanded particles.

Apply your colour

You’re now ready to apply your colour. Because the surface you’re working on has been previously coated you don’t need to apply any type of primer or undercoat. The most suitable product we recommend you use, designed specifically to paint over timber floors is Feast Watson Timber Floor Paint, which is an opaque, water based coating for adding colour to interior timber floors. It has been specially developed to provide superior mark resistance and deliver outstanding adhesion and wear resistance for longer lasting results. It can be tinted into a wide range of colours including a colour called White Shine which would be perfect for your project.

Feast Watson Timber Floor Paint dries to a satin finish but can be transformed to gloss by adding a top coat of a gloss water based floor clear.

Application is done best by using a floor finish applicator, brush or short nap mohair roller, working along the whole length of 3 to 4 floorboards at a time. Make sure you maintain a wet edge to prevent lap marks and lay off in the direction of the grain, be careful to not introduce bubbles. Wait the recommended 2hrs dry time before applying a second coat, for a longer lasting finish you can apply a third coat.

If the look you were after was more of a white wash effect rather than a full colour, you can still follow the same preparation process and instead apply a different Feast Watson product called Liming White Floor Finish which is a semi-transparent coating that will add rich colour to your floorboards whilst allowing the grain pattern of timber to remain visible.

Wait then walk

You don’t want to spoil your newly painted floor by walking all over too early, wait the recommended 24hrs before light traffic is used ie. walk on it in your socks, and wait the total 72hrs before introducing any heavy traffic like moving the furniture back into place.

For more helpful hints and tips for your project, speak to the experts in-store at your nearest Inspirations Paint store.