Paint Isn't Just for Walls
Life may have lots of gray areas, but this living room floor is an uncomplicated black and white.
The glossy, zebra-striped effect can be a fabulous backdrop for a fun and modern sensibility.
Crisp, contemporary shapes, bright dashes of color, or a large art collection would all be set off in style by this bold floor treatment. You can warm the room with a splash of fiery red, or some other dramatic stroke of color on furnishings.
If you prefer, you can tame a patch of this floor with a rug, to tone down the contrast for a quieter conversation area (think white shag, or something equally textural).
Painting is easy, as you are just laying down broad stripes of black and white. The high-gloss finish is easy to do following our step-by-step instructions, and well worth the time investment.
- If the floor is new and untreated, it will need to be sanded and sealed with a coat of latex polyurethane prior to painting. If it is painted or finished flooring, proceed to the next step.
- Make sure the floor is clean and dry.
- Paint the entire surface white, and allow to dry at least 24 hours.
- Sand the floor lightly, but thoroughly.
- When finished, clean the surface with a tack cloth to pick up all the dust and grit. This is essential for a clean, glossy finish.
- Measure off the stripes in a size that conforms to the dimensions of the room. (You do not want to end up with half a stripe on one side.) When adjusting the stripe size, go broader rather than narrower. Anything under 12 inches is too small.
- Using low-tack painter's tape, mask off the stripes that will be painted black. (The space between the two inner edges of the tape will be your black stripe.) Rub the tape well to make sure the edges are adhering well to the floor, or paint will bleed underneath.
- Paint the stripes black. Exterior black paint is recommended because it is the "blackest" shade available, and its high sheen will not dull the polyurethane.
- Brush the black with the grain of the floorboards. Pull up the tape while the paint is still wet, so you can clean off any runs with a damp cloth. Allow to dry.
- Sand the black areas lightly, and clean with a tack cloth.
- Re-tape the black stripes.
- Pour about half of the high-gloss polyurethane into a bucket, and tint it with a touch of the black paint (just enough to turn it black--too much paint will affect the sheen).
- Brush the tinted polyurethane onto the black stripes, brushing with the grain. Remove the tape while the polyurethane is still wet. Allow to dry thoroughly.
- Repeat this step twice for high-traffic floors, sanding and cleaning between coats.
- Paint a clear coat of untinted polyurethane onto the white stripes, brushing with the grain. Allow to dry.
- Sand the entire floor lightly one last time, rubbing down with a tack cloth to remove the grit.
- Finish the entire floor with one final coat of clear polyurethane. Allow at least 48 hours of drying time before walking on the surface.
- EZ mask paper tape
- Tack rags
- Mixing buckets and sticks
- Benjamin Moore paint brushes
- Basecoat: White 01 in Regal® Semi-Gloss Finish:
- Stripes: Interior black paint of your choice. We used Black Satin 2131-10 for this example.
- Stays Clear® High Gloss Polyurethane