How to Paint a Floor

Change up your flooring without spending a fortune on tiles, hardwood, or carpet.

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Photo by Andrew Dobbie/Getty Images

Even though it gets a lot of wear and tear, a floor is paintable if you use the right technique. Here’s how:

  1. Prime the floor and let dry. The primer will seal out stains, odors, or mildew and ensure proper bonding.
  2. Paint the first of two coats, waiting for it to dry before applying the second one. (Remember: Don’t paint yourself into a corner; figure out your escape route before you begin.) Start by cutting in a three-inch-by-three-foot strip along the edge using an angled sash brush.
  3. Switch to the roller, which will allow you to cover the surface much more easily and evenly. Use a zigzag pattern (imagine you’re tracing the letter M, N, or W) to paint three-foot-by-three-foot sections, overlapping each new section over the wet edge of the last one. Tip: Don’t lean on the roller. The weight of the roller itself applies the perfect amount of pressure to the surface. If you roll too hard, you’ll get thin coverage and an orange-peel texture; roll too lightly, and you’ll get thick patches that could crack when dry.