House & Home

Paint Your Floors for an Amazing Budget Update

Posted June 17, 2015

Painful, but true: when your floor is in sad shape, your whole house looks less than its best. Flooring comprises such a large part of your home's footprint (pun intended) that when it is worn or dreary, visitors -- and you! -- can't help but notice. Although you may be dreaming of installing handsome new floors of hardwood or bamboo someday, perhaps you don't have the budget right at the moment. Or you could just prefer things a little on the quirky side. Whatever your motivation, a little imagination and a lot of hard work invested in renovating your flooring with paint will pay off, in the form of an updated look on a dime.

No-Color Linoleum Goes Fresh and Fun

"Ho-hum" is the kindest way to describe the no-color linoleum once found in this tiny powder room. Julia Fabens combated claustrophobia as well a serious case of the blahs by sketching out a lively diamond pattern on graph paper, then translating her vision into reality with painter's tape, her own handmade stencil, and an assortment of paint colors. The happy result is fresh and fun.

Unfinished Concrete Gets a "Temporary" Tweak

Unfinished concrete flooring was the painfully plain look when this house was originally built. As a money saving measure, Bobbi Perreault marked off her porch floor with tape and painted it in a brick red faux tile pattern embellished with an artistic, elegant clock face. Though the paint job was meant to be temporary, ten years later it's still going strong. All that's needed is another coat of sealer and wax to restore the floor's fabulous looks.

Old Vinyl Brick Updates to Thoroughly Modern

An ugly laundry room floor made of outdated vinyl "brick" tiles would be enough to give anyone the washday blues. However, Tasha from Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body brightened up her flooring with the help of primer followed by two quarts of hardwearing, waterproof porch paint. Snazzy stripes in a contrasting color make this a space where doing the weekly wash is actually enjoyable.

Dingy Wood Parquet Turns Casual and Cottagey

Ugly wood parquet flooring, in teeny tiny little squares, made this home's entrance area look dingy and dated. The solution? Inspired by a photo in Country Living magazine, Mom4Real covered her floor with several coats of cream-colored paint all over, then carefully hand painted on checkerboard squares in a lovely, soft blue gray. The final touch was sanding the entire surface to produce the perfect casual cottagey look.

Hidden Plywood Sub-Floor Comes out from Under

Here's a floor that used to be buried under a pile of carpet and padding, secured with tack strips and padding staples. Dianna Wood had the patience to spend 15 hours (!) digging it all out of her single-wide mobile home, to reveal a very nice-looking plywood sub-floor. She began by painting on nail heads and plank lines to suggest expensive hardwood flooring. Her next moves were stenciling a border and sealing the entire floor with water based polyurethane for a gorgeous glossy finish.

Country Cousin Ceramic Tile Transforms to Sophisticated

Dusky pinkish-beige accents in the foyer and around the fireplace made the surrounding ceramic tile look a little too pink and way too country. Eliesa of Pinterest Addict first tried covering it up with carpet, then dreamed of tearing up all her floors (Yep! That pinky-beige was everywhere), but finally settled on coating the offending color with primer and a subtle gray enamel. The new look fits beautifully with her sophisticated decor.

Laura Firszt writes for

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