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How to Paint a Checkerboard Floor on Your Porch

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Checkerboard floors evoke a simpler time - warm summer days, the sun at your back, sipping iced tea and the softness of worn jeans. They're genteel and charming - and evoke memories of family gatherings, starry skies, and crickets chirping as the sun sinks into the horizon.

To create a timeless space your family can enjoy for now – and for years to come – use Benjamin Moore Floor and Porch paint, a reinforced finish that is designed just for floors.

How to Paint a Checkerboard Floor:

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Prepare the wood by washing it with a TSP (trisodium phosphate) and water solution. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry completely.
  • Sand lightly with fine sandpaper and use a tack cloth to wipe the wood free of dust.
  • Prime and paint two coats of the lighter of the two colors over the entire porch floor. Allow to dry completely.
  • Using a chalk line, snap a line lengthwise down the center of the porch. Center your measurements and your pattern on this line.
  • Mark 1-foot intervals across the width and along the sides of the porch. Use the chalk line to snap lines between them, creating a diamond pattern (see photo above). Note: Unless you want a busy effect, keep the diamonds fairly large. We used 1-foot squares.
  • Tape off the outside edges of every other row of diamonds across the porch.
  • When painting a checkerboard floor, apply two coats of the second color inside those diamonds. Remove the painter's tape while the paint is still wet.


  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP)
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Chalk line
  • Low-tack painter's tape


  • Benjamin Moore Floor & Patio Finish


  • White (01)
  • Showroom White

Tips for Painting a Checkerboard Floor

  • To create a more non-slip surface, add a small handful of clean, fine granular sand to each gallon of floor paint.
  • For a classic look, keep the colors close in tone.

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