Knowing how to paint wood floors can make the difference between a stylish statement and a mess. The thought of painting wood floors can be scary, but if your hardwood floor is damaged (or just ugly), painting the floor can make it look great again.


Gather your materials.

You'll need a stir sticks, a couple of 2-1/2-inch synthetic angled sash brushes, a telescoping extension pole, two roller covers, a roller cage, a 5-in-1 tool, a roller tray and liners. You also need a primer and a finish paint (either an interior paint or a specially formulated floor paints).


Cut in the edges of your room with your primer.

Once you’ve prepared the room, begin at the corner farthest from the door and cut in the edges of the floor with a 21⁄2-inch sash brush.


Roll on the primer.

Use an extension pole to help you to roll the primer on the floor. The pole will speed up the job and save your back. Work in 4-foot-square areas. Let the floor dry thoroughly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for time — anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours.


Cut in the edges of your room with your finish paint.

Use a clean 2-1/2 inch sash brush to cut in the finish paint around the perimeter of the room.


Roll on the finish paint.

Starting in the corner farthest from the door, roll on the finish paint using a roller with an extension pole.


Let the paint dry overnight before walking on it.

It’s best to let the paint cure for several days before moving in furniture or rugs.


Remove any imperfections.

Use 180-grit sandpaper to sand out any imperfections on the floor, such as drips or brush strokes. The smoother the floor, the nicer your finished project will look.

For floors, latex paint doesn’t stand up well to foot traffic. Oil-based paints perform better because they dry to a hard finish and stand up to moderate foot traffic. Epoxy paints and industrial enamels cover well and can withstand heavy foot traffic.

Always prime a floor first, the primer will seal the wood grain, and you'll use a lot less of your finish paint.

If your floor has stains or knots, use a combination primer/sealer. If you try to use a regular primer, the dark color will reappear over time.