What Are The Pros And Cons Of Painted Wood Floors?

Jessica Allen
by Jessica Allen
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what are the pros and cons of painted wood floors

Are you looking for a creative and affordable way to revamp your wood floors? Painting is always an option! But before you dive into the renovation process, there are plenty of pros and cons to consider.

Painting is a budget-friendly way to refresh your wood floors while letting your creativity shine. A few pros of painted wood floors are complete design control, a total transformation of the space, and easy cleaning. Meanwhile, some of the cons of painted wood floors are their lack of durability and the time and effort required.

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Pros Of Painted Wood Floors


One of the biggest advantages of painting wood floors is that it’s an affordable renovation. It’s much cheaper than installing new flooring or even restoring the wood in most cases. This makes painted wood floors a great choice for those who are sticking to a tighter budget.

Alternative To Restoring

Painting wood floors that have a lot of dings and scratches is a great way to update the floor’s look. Restoring old floors can be very expensive and labor-intensive, especially if they’re heavily damaged. Therefore, painting can provide an easy and affordable refresh if you’re looking for an alternative to the restoration process.

DIY Project

In contrast to restoring wood floors, painting them can absolutely be a DIY project. Forget about hiring a contractor; painting wood floors is a pretty easy process. Plus, with stencils and painter’s tape, it’s simple to add designs to your painted wood floors.

Modern And Bold

When done well, painted wood floors make a bold and modern design statement in your home. They can really be the focal point and talking piece of the room!

Transform The Space

Painting a wood floor a lighter color can really transform the space. This is especially true in small rooms. Often, a lighter floor can seemingly manipulate the size of the room to feel bigger.

You Can Get Creative

Painting your wood floors gives you an opportunity to truly unleash your creativity. You can go with a solid color, or you can create stripes, faux tiles, and other patterns. All you need are some stencils or painter’s tape to block out your design.

Another option is to paint fake rugs on your wood floor to accent specific areas. There’s really no limit to what you can do with paint!

Total Design Freedom

With paint, you have complete freedom over your design. If you’re using carpet, tile, or vinyl flooring, there are many limitations. But with paint, you can truly do anything you’d like.

Hide Wear And Tear

Painting is a great way to hide general wear and tear on your wood floor. If your floor is looking a bit aged or has noticeable scratches, paint can easily hide that.

Easy To Clean

As long as your painted wood floor is properly sealed, it’ll be very easy to clean. The paint and sealant fill in any cracks in the wood floor so dust and dirt can’t make their way in.

Cons Of Painted Wood Floors

Not Durable

A major drawback of painted wood floors is that they aren’t durable. When you stain a wood floor, you can expect it to last around ten years before showing major signs of wear. But when you paint a wood floor, it’s only expected to last about a year before you’ll see some damage.

Painted wood floors are very prone to cracking, chipping, and flaking. Although this is easy enough to fix by repainting the problematic sections, the necessary maintenance can quickly become a never-ending chore.

Not A Long-Term Solution

Since painted wood floors aren’t very durable, they’re not a long-term solution for covering damaged wood. Think of painting as more of a temporary refresh for the floor’s appearance. Eventually, you’ll probably have to find a more permanent solution for your wood floors.

Hard To Go Back

It’s simple enough to go from a stained wood floor to a painted one. But it’s not nearly as easy to return from paint to the original hardwood flooring. Once you start that first coat of paint, it’s extremely difficult to go back. Therefore, if there’s any chance you might regret your choice to paint, it’s better not to do it.

Not Ideal For All Homes

Painted wood floors have a certain aesthetic that goes well with some designs but not as much with others. For example, a cottage at the beach might look great with white painted wood floors.

But in an older colonial house, this design choice might look a little out of place. In fact, if you try to sell it, potential buyers might believe painted wood floors cheapen the overall look of the house.

Not Compatible With All Wood Floors

There’s also another way in which painting the wood floors isn’t right for all homes. In some cases, the floors might be too cracked or porous to hold the paint.

There’s no way to know whether the floor is too damaged for paint until you actually paint it, though. Experts recommend painting a small, hidden section of the floor to test it before going through with the full project.

Requires Time And Effort

Although painting wood floors is a DIY project, it still requires plenty of time and effort. To give you a good idea of how long it’ll take, we’ll quickly run through the steps.

First, you’ll need to sand and wash the floor to remove the finish. A glossy finish will prevent the paint from applying evenly. After sanding and washing, allow the floor two days to dry.

Next, it’s time to apply a primer. Of course, give it plenty of time to dry, and then lightly sand it. Follow up by cleaning it with mineral spirits.

Then, it’s finally time to paint! Between each coat, allow at least 24 hours of drying time. Then finish up with a polyurethane sealant.

A brief note on paint: Oil-based varieties are typically more durable than latex enamel paints. However, oil-based paints are actually banned in some states since they give off harmful fumes. Therefore, be sure to double-check whether oil-based paints are allowed in your area before selecting your paint!

May Need To Move Out While Painting

As you may have guessed while reading through the process we discussed above, you may need to move out while painting. Some types of paint require months of time to cure before they’re hard enough to take on regular traffic. Even paint that cures quickly is likely to give off potentially dangerous fumes.

It’s especially important to consider moving out if anyone who lives in your home has allergies, asthma, or other sensitivities. While fumes may be just an annoyance for some people, they can exacerbate serious symptoms for others.

Requires Frequent Maintenance

If you want your painted wood floor to remain looking fresh and new, you’ll need to keep up with regular maintenance. Painted wood quickly begins to show signs of wear, so it’s essential to stay on top of it. As you can probably imagine, constant maintenance can quickly become a headache.

Can Decrease Your Home’s Value

Unfortunately, prospective buyers often see painted wood floors as a huge drawback. Most people looking to buy your home will prefer a natural hardwood floor over a painted one. In fact, painted wood floors often decrease buyer appeal because they’re seen as an expensive restoration project. You may even see this reflected in a lower final selling price.

Related Questions

Are painted wood floors durable?

Painted wood floors generally aren’t very durable. They are prone to cracking, chipping, and flaking and can show signs of age within a year.

Is painting wood floors a good idea?

Painting wood floors comes with both benefits and drawbacks. If you’re looking for an affordable way to be creative and transform a room, painting can be a good idea. Just remember that it still takes time and effort and isn’t very durable. It can even decrease the resale value of your home in some cases.

How do you protect painted wood floors?

It’s important to use a polyurethane sealant on top of your painted wood floors for best results. By adding a sealant, you’ll also fill in cracks in the floor, making it a breeze to clean.

Do You Need to Hire a Flooring Contractor?

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Main Takeaways

  • Painting wood floors is a great way to give them a refresh on a budget, but they do require touch-ups and maintenance. You’ll generally start to see signs of wear and tear within the first year of completing the project.
  • You have total design freedom when painting your wood floors, and you can transform the space with your color choices.
  • Painting wood floors can be a DIY project, but it does require time, effort, and dedication.
  • While painting, it may be necessary to move out of your house. This is especially true if someone in your household has allergies or asthma.
  • If you paint your wood floors to hide the fact that they’re damaged, know that the paint is only a temporary fix. Eventually, it’ll be necessary to take further action and find a more permanent solution.
Jessica Allen
Jessica Allen

With a lifelong passion for writing plus strong enthusiasm for home improvement and DIY projects, joining the team at Upgraded Home was an easy choice. Jessica Allen likes to share helpful information with current and aspiring homeowners. Aside from writing, Jessica loves doing yoga, playing the piano, and dabbling in graphic design.

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