This TikToker Turned Damaged Wood Floors Into a Work of Art

published Feb 16, 2023
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Credit: Lisa Turay

Though beautiful and classic, wood flooring requires some amount of maintenance if you want it to last forever. And even if you keep your hardwood floors clean, sometimes they’re beyond repair, particularly if you’ve got too many dents, scratches, and other damage.

Instead of ripping up the damaged wood flooring in their home, one homeowner found a creative solution, enlisting the help of an artist and illustrator to hand paint a stunning mural on the floors instead. Georgia-based painter Mary Tadeo shared the process on TikTok, unveiling the unique statement flooring that took nearly three weeks to complete.

“This January I was commissioned to give this mismatched and damaged wood floor a second life,” Tadeo wrote in the caption of their clip. “This is how it went.”

First showing off the extensive damage to the flooring, Tadeo began by taking some measurements and sanding everything down. They then added primer throughout before adding caulk to seal the individual planks together. Then came the paint and stencil process, which involved hand painting each custom detail in varying shades of brown. After sealing it all together, the homeowners were left with a truly one-of-a-kind floor mural throughout the entirety of their main living areas.

TikTok commenters were understandably awed by the project, which Tadeo admitted was a “massive undertaking for one person,” adding, “I’ve never felt more competent and proud of myself 🤩.” One person wrote: “I usually hate seeing wood covered with paint — but this looks absolutely amazing and 1000 percent better! Great job!” Another echoed those sentiments, noting that they “hate seeing wood floors covered but this is SUCH a good idea for taking something that couldn’t be repaired and creating new character.”

In response to commenters lamenting about why the homeowners didn’t refinish the wood instead, Tadeo noted that it was “damaged beyond refinishing and made of multiple different types of wood.”

They also shared the clip on Instagram, opening up in their caption about the seemingly painstaking painting process. “This January I painted my first mural on some damaged wood floors to give them a second life. I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out! It took about 20 days total and has been sealed with an acrylic polyurethane top coat. Thank you so much @melissahallrowan for commissioning me to do this project, so amazing to work in your beautiful home.”

While it might not be an available option in every case, this project is proof that sometimes, a few coats of paint (and tons of artistic talent) can bring a second life to just about every surface in a home.