How To: Paint Hardwood Floors

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Painted floors used to be a big no-no in decorating, but in the last few years they've been showing up everywhere. For very little money, you can cover flaws and add color to a room. White painted floors reflect light and work well in both farmhouses and modern spaces (like this image from Domino). Dark floors can bring drama to a space. We found a great set of how-to instructions for painting wood floors on Cottage Living's website.

The article gives instructions for creating a checkerboard pattern, but they can be applied to simple one-color floors as well.

The jist of any floor-painting project is to:
• Sand floors before painting with an industrial floor-sander.
• Sweep and vacuum to remove dust.
• Apply one coat of primer.
• Apply two coats of paint (exterior paint is more durable).
• If you want a high-gloss look, seal it with polyurethane.

To go green with your painted floor project, use low or no-voc paints and a low-voc polyurethane. Chicago's Greenmaker Building Supply has a good selection of eco-friendly paints and polyurethanes.