Sunday, June 6, 2010

White Floor Recipe

This morning I am blogging from the beach cottages on a beautiful clear winter's day.
Quite a few people have asked me about the best way to do white floors so here is a post on it!
First of all pull up any carpet tacks.
Step 1: Sanding
Get a floor sander in to sand the floors even if they have been carpeted. You can hire a machine and do it yourself, but I find this is more trouble than it's worth. You can graze the boards or sand them unevenly if you're not careful!
Pure White Floors:
If your floorboards are patchy, not in great condition or a colour or wood you don't like, I suggest painting it a solid white. I have had pretty good success just using 2 or 3 coats of white paving paint, without any sealer.
I find this method is fairly hard-wearing and we used it in our beach house "Sirena" just up the road here. When it gets a bit too scruffy on well-worn areas you can just touch it up. We do not use a sealer as this makes touch ups much more labour intensive.
Whitewashed Floors:
This is my preference as it hides the dirt a little better than the pure white look. Our latest recipe has been done in all the Seafarers Cottages so it is still in testing stage, but a friend of mine just tried it at her place with a sealer and is very happy with the results.
The recipe is : one third white paving paint, one third extender, one third water. It's a good idea to try it in one room first to get the strength you want as different timbers will soak up the white more than others.
Paint it on with a big brush or lambswool pad on a pole and have a rag handy to rub in areas that need it.
You may need 2 coats depending on the look you want. Finish with a sealer that wont yellow - ask your paint shop about this.

You can use this same technique for other colours. Paving paint now comes in some pretty greys and blues. I am wanting to try a french grey wash next time. There is a outdoor decking wash in a colour called "Snowgum" I have used on furniture which would look great on an interior floor.


  1. This is a great post Catherine. Do floors need to be sanded first?

  2. Hi Thea - yes that is a given. Sorry I should have mentioned that upfront. You will need to fill any nail holes with white putty, too.

  3. Good tips - for when I'm feeling brave!

  4. Hi Tricia - you don't have to be brave, it's quite easy. The worst part is moving all your furniture out of the room!

  5. I'd do this, but white floors + children is a recipe that just makes me shudder!

  6. My biggest dreams have been white floors. It's the last thing on my list to do with my home and then, I'll probably start all over again. Nothing is ever finished. I have an old home with low ceilings on the top floor and a lighter floor will give me more space visually. Thanks for the very helpful suggestions.

  7. Love your blog! I'm your new follower...come see me!

  8. Hi Catherine,I just wondered as time has passed, how those white floors are going? I would LOVE to paint my lounge/dining room floors white but am scared of the wear and tear. I would most likely go the solid white option. Did you use water or oil based for your project? Thanks Annette