Painting Floorboards - Perfectly Painted Floors in 9 Steps

October 23, 2019

Over time, it's normal to see signs of wear on your floorboards but it's easy to refresh this natural wear with a new coat of paint. Painting floorboards is an easy, inexpensive way to drastically improve the look of wood floors in your home.

The daily traffic within your home can lead to scuffs and scrapes or, if you've just moved into an older home, your floors may not need some care to get them looking their best again. Pine boards or other softer woods can show nicks and scratches, requiring a different approach to making your floors look great. So whether it’s time for a change or a repair, paint can apply a fresh face. 

We’ve laid out a simple step by step guide to help you prep and paint your floor so you can enjoy it once again. Read on to learn how to take care of this home improvement.  

Short on time? Easily submit a free request and get bids from top local painters to get your flooring looking its best even when you're busy!

Painting Floorboards - Perfectly Painted Floors in 9 Steps

Perfectly Painted Floorboards in 9 Steps


Before you begin, we recommend gathering your materials. This way, you can handle each step without needing to pause and get the equipment you need. For a floorboard painting project, we recommend having the below items at the ready. 

  • Paintbrush
  • Roller with a long handle
  • Sandpaper, in rough to fine grit 
  • Paint
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint tray 
  • Optional: fan to help the paint dry more easily and dissipate fumes

Bidvine Tip: Choose the right paint for the best results. Floor paint or enamel is generally oil-based, offering the durability needed for this well-used surface. If you have a high traffic area to paint, you may want to look for something that offers grip with added grit.

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Step 1: Prepare Your Surfaces

Since you’ll be working on the entire area of your floor, you need to make this a nice working area. Remove all of the furniture to give yourself room. Any area rugs should be removed. We also recommend taping off your skirting boards so you won’t mark them with paint as you work. 

Empty Room

Check that your working area is well-ventilated too. This can be achieved with a fan or by opening windows. You may wish to extend plastic sheeting over the doorways to restrict fumes from entering other areas of your home. 

Step 2: Repair Any Damage

Take some time to inspect your floorboards thoroughly for issues. Water damage or stains, rotten wood or loose boards can all be problems that need repair first. You may be able to simply sand out any scuffs and paint over top. 

Rotten Wood Floorboards

Any problems related to the condition of your wood need to be repaired. Loose boards should be refastened with nails or speciality screws and covered with wood filler to fix the problem. Rotten wood will need to be removed and replaced with a new board. Since you’re painting, you won’t have to worry about matching the grain perfectly, making this kind of repair simple.


Step 3: Take the Time to Prime

With repairs completed, it’s time to prime your floors. This layer will help to keep the previous colour from showing through and can help achieve an even final coat. 

Paintbrush on floor

It’s almost necessary to prime if you are going from a darker colour to something light, so make sure to leave time for it. Use a primer base that is recommended to go with your choice of flooring paint so it works well together.


Step 4: Lightly Sand

Allow your primer coat to dry thoroughly. Then, use a medium to fine-grit sandpaper on your floorboards. A rough surface makes it easier for the paint to adhere to previously-painted boards, making for a better base or primer coat. The aim is to make the floorboards rough to the touch, not remove the primer coat you have just laid down. 

Sand Paper

After sanding, vacuum any dust and wash your boards to remove any debris. This will allow your next coat of paint to stick to the floorboards without leaving any trace of the dust from sanding. 

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Step 5: Apply The First Coat 

Now, you can begin applying the first coat of paint. Cut into the corners with your paintbrush to cover it thoroughly, being sure that your brush marks do not remain and dry into the paint. 

Bidvine Tip: Keep your painting tray on a spot on the floor which is covered with a dust sheet. This will prevent any drips or splatters from the paint falling on the floor as you are painting. 

Roller Brush For Painting Floorboards

When choosing your brush for this step, a roller is a great option. You can even use the roller on an extended pole to make the application faster and easier on your back.  

Step 6: Smooth Paint

Again, you’ll want to go over your paint coat once dry with fine-grit sandpaper. Taking the time to sand ensures that each coat has the best chance to bond properly.



Step 7: Apply Second Coat

Once dry, you can paint the second coat. It’s trickier to ensure you are painting evenly when applying the same colour, so be sure to check your work as you go.

Final Coat of Paint For Your Floorboards


Step 8: Seal It (Optional) 

If you are painting a floor in a high-traffic area like a hallway or entryway, you’ll want to do the extra step of sealing it. Adding a poly-urethane or urethane coat can take your floor from an upgraded look to one that lasts. 


Step 9: Let It Rest

With the job finished, it’s time to allow your paint time to cure! More than just drying, this step allows your paint to fully harden so it won’t be as susceptible to scratches from average pressure. 

Oil-based paint or enamel may take up to 30 days to cure fully, so give yourself enough time for it to settle before reloading heavy furniture for the best results. 


With this guide, you're now all set to complete the perfect floor painting project! If you're short on time though, don't stress! If you're ready to transform your floorboards and give them a modern new look but too busy for a DIY we've got you covered. Get free costs for painting from top professionals in the UK and get ready to transform your home!

Looking for more information on the costs associated with interior painting? Check out our handy Interior Painting Price Guide and effectively plan your budget!

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Getting Started

Tools and Equipment You Will Need

This project is great because it does not require too many expensive specialist tools. Many of these products will already be lying around your house. You can also substitute the electric sander for sandpaper if you are on a tight budget. However, bear in mind that using sandpaper will mean that the job takes a lot longer! Only use sandpaper if you have a considerable amount of time and you are willing to put a lot of elbow grease into this project.

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  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Several high-quality, clean paintbrushes
  • Your choice of white or grey paint
  • Polyurethane
  • Masking tape
  • Clean water
  • Light bleach (if required)
  • Safety goggles
  • Dust mask more

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