Wood Floor Restoration – Painting and Varnishing Wood Floors

Painting and Varnishing Wood Floors

Painting and Varnishing Wood Floors - Wood Floor Restoration When the budget for home improvement is tight there can be a tendency to leave the floor until you are better able to afford your ideal floor covering. A good way to give a room a finished feel without spending a fortune is by painting or varnishing the floor.

As long as the floor is in a reasonable condition, you will be surprised how striking this can look for little cost. If you have a large expanse then including one or two rugs into the finished scheme can soften the effect.

Tools for the Job:

  • hammer & nail punch
  • filling knife
  • electric floor sander
  • vacuum cleaner
  • broom
  • tack rag
  • paint roller
  • paintbrushes

Varnishing Wood Floors

1. Go over the floor and punch raised nails below the surface. If the floor is screwed down ensure the screws are well below the surface. You may have to withdraw all or some of the screws and re-countersink the holes if the heads are any less than 2mm (1/8in) below the surface.

2. Use a wide filling knife and a flexible filler to cover all nail and screw heads. If the floor is to be painted the filler colour will not matter. If varnishing, select a tone that blends in with the surrounding flooring. Tips of the trade Almost all fillers change colour when varnish is applied, so it is best to choose a shade slightly lighter than the surrounding timber. Test a discreet section before tackling the whole floor.

3. Once the filler has dried, sand the floor with electrical sanders, cleaning off the excess filler as you go. Follow the method for sanding.

4.  Vacuum the floor with an industrial cleaner. Use a soft clean broom to dislodge any stubborn dirt and then vacuum once more.

5. Close all windows and doors, then go over the surface with a tack rag to pick up any remaining dirt that might otherwise spoil the finish.

6. Thin down the first coat of varnish by adding about 30% by volume of the recommended thinners. Apply the varnish using a roller with an extension arm. Work back from the main source of light so that you can see those areas that you have missed.

Safety Advice

Paint and thinners can be dangerous if ingested, especially to children, so never leave opened cans unattended.

7. Let the first coat harden, then apply the next coat without thinning the varnish. Again, use a paint roller, but do keep a paintbrush handy so that you can cut in around the edge of the room and apply varnish to those areas you are unable to reach with the roller. Before you apply the third and final coat, sand any rough spots using fine abrasive paper and wipe up any dust with a clean tack rag. Water-based varnishes in particular will raise the grain to quite an extent, so this light sanding will pay dividends in the final finish.

Painting Wood Floors

There are special hardwearing paints designed for floors in garages and workshops. Although only available in a limited range of colours, they do provide excellent coverage and can be used in kitchens, bathrooms and play areas. Emulsion paints are quick drying and will last several years provided they are over-coated with a suitable varnish.


A coloured base can be livened up by painting or stencilling a border around the room. Either buy ready-made stencils or cut your own from special stencil paper. Tape the stencil to the floor with masking tape, then stipple a little paint with a stencil brush. Remove the stencil immediately.

Applying kiln-dried sand

A simple yet highly effective technique for making the floor surface more safe in bathrooms and kitchens, is to sprinkle a little kiln-dried sand onto wet paint to create a non-slip finish. When the paint has dried, sweep up the excess sand and seal the surface with a coat of varnish.

16. December 2010 by admin
Categories: DIY Home, Flooring, Painting, Restoration and repairs | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Wood Floor Restoration – Painting and Varnishing Wood Floors


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