Red Barn Renovation: Painting Our Pine Floor

Red Barn Renovation: Painting Our Pine Floor

Johnny Williams
Oct 1, 2010

Way back in May, we installed a new pine floor in our old country barn. Our decision to use softwood was subject to serious debate, but it was hard to argue with such a prudent price. This week, we took another contentious step and painted the floor.

Here in New England, painted floors are as common as Patriots fans. In older homes they preserve a traditional look, while in newer spaces they offer a bold aesthetic. But the origins of painted floors are less about looks and more about utility. In early America, paint was not only the most durable finish available, it also brightened up dim spaces and was easy to clean. Yet despite their place in history, many consider a painted wood floor to be a major no-no, a design faux-pas, a crime against humanity. To these critics, I ask: why must flooring be so boring?

To achieve an aged look for our new floor, we hired local antique home expert, Teri Brotherton. Here is her order of operations for a pleasing painted floor:

• Start by sanding off the dirt and grease using 100 grit paper.
• Then, to further ensure that the paint will properly adhere, thoroughly clean and vacuum the surface.
• After cleaning, apply two coats of porch & floor paint, allowing 24 hours between coats. We chose Benjamin Moore's Bleeker Beige as our color.
• At this point, apply a walnut-colored stain with a dry cloth, wiping on to your desired effect. Again, wait 24 hours for this layer to dry.
• For the third layer, brush on a coat of flooring polyurethane and wait another 24 hours.
• If more aging is needed, wipe on another coat of the walnut stain and wait to dry.
• Finally, apply a second coat of polyurethane. In 48 hours, the floor will be ready for your feet and your furniture!

If you live in the greater Connecticut area and you'd like your own floors painted, Teri can be reached at She and her husband Jamie specialize in renovating and decorating old homes. Thank you guys for a floor well-done!

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