We Might Paint the Kitchen Floor

I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, and Brandon is on board (!), so I’m gathering some inspiration photos of painted floors. The wood in our kitchen really isn’t in the best shape, and there’s an area by the stove where the woods aren’t even the same. I figure we’d have to strip the floors and redo them to really make them look nice anyway, so why not try painting them instead?

*edit* I’ve posted photos of the floor in the comments below.

I love Elena Colombo’s colorful kitchen from Blueprint:

Elena Colombo’s kitchen in Blueprint

And I love Nora Fleming’s striped kitchen floor (via design*sponge):

Nora Fleming’s kitchen

Nora painted all of the trim in her 1920 Chicago bungalow white… just like I could do to mine. It’s a love/hate relationship, me and all this wood.

80 Responses to “We Might Paint the Kitchen Floor”

  1. Erica March 25, 2008 at 9:49 am #

    Yeah, it is pretty bad right now. I think a painted floor would be a quick solution to bring it to life. Then when & if you get sick of them you can plan to get the perfect floors you really want. Painting them will be fun & a
    quick(er), cheap(er)way to freshen them up. If they chip or look horrible you can always do something different. The rest of your kithcen looks great!

  2. Jules March 25, 2008 at 10:05 am #

    Oh yeah, wouldn’t want to paint over that. ;)

    I’ve seen chipped painted floors, and they actually look great. Initially maybe not, but once it’s chipped uniformly it takes on a really cool look. (This is in a very popular bakery in my town, so there is a lot of foot traffic)

    Perhaps chipped floors are a bit more shabby than your style dictates, but you’re young and strong and can repaint or refinish when you cross that bridge. ;)

  3. kara March 25, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    I know, I already commented but I just have to say that I LOVE your kitchen! And looking at the floors I’d say it’s a no-brainer. Totally go for the paint/stain. It will look awesome with your style, imo. (And for resale, in our case it was one of the things that our buyers loved about our old house.)

    Again, good luck! If you do it please post lots of photos!

  4. Erica March 25, 2008 at 11:57 am #

    Hey Nicole! (It’s Erica from Paper Bride). Just had to chime in to say my husband and I just bought a new apt in Brooklyn and we painted all of our floors white (gasp!) Yep–the living room, bedroom, kitchen, everything–all white. And, I can’t tell you how gorgeous it looks. We have literally had people passing in the hallway as we are unlocking our door stop us to say how fantastically it turned out. EVERYONE told us not to do this and I have to smile everytime I walk through our front door now because I am so thrilled we ignored them all–I just love it so darn much.

    I can see that everyone has a very strong opinion on this, so I’m sure the painted floor haters are poised at their keyboards right now, but I happen to think that its a great option for many and for whatever reason, just not as common here in the U.S. In Europe, its absolutely everywhere. You can’t open one issue of Living Etc magazine that does not have at least two full spreads featuring a home with painted floors. I say go for it!

    P.S. We used benjamin moore porch/floor paint and I highly recommend it. It’s latex based (its illegal to use oil based paints on the floor here for some reason) and did not require an additional sealer.

  5. Sherry March 25, 2008 at 1:40 pm #

    Do it.

  6. Deborah March 25, 2008 at 2:51 pm #

    I love the look.Even when worn.Oh and when it has a different color to wear thru looks WONDERFUL!
    I think the cealing makes a world of differance too.

    Hey if you ever want to do a insperation spread on someone elses room let me know.I wnat to do the new houses formal living dining room in yellow black and white on a budget!

    xoxo~Deborah

  7. Kylie March 25, 2008 at 3:55 pm #

    Oh gosh, I love your kitchen!! Before I saw the photos I was a NO to painting it, but now I think, what’s the harm? If in a little while you hate it you can easily fix it with something else. Plus… I must admit, I just want to see what it looks like!

  8. Nicole March 25, 2008 at 5:22 pm #

    paint the floors, leave the trim. as if you haven’t had enough comments yet…
    just the humble opinion of an architect that works on lots of old homes in chicago.

  9. Gretchen March 25, 2008 at 5:35 pm #

    I am all for it! First of all, I think that you really want to do it and those are the things that tend to haunt me when I go against my decorating gut! Secondly, your home is your canvas, and you don’t seem to be a timid artist anywhere else. We have a 1920 craftsman style cottage with hardwood throughout (except for one of the bathrooms!) and when we bought the house the kitchen floors had been painted. According to multiple professionals, they cannot be refinished, so we are getting ready to repaint them. Right now they are painted a medium gray, which has been exceptionally versatile. Our cabinets are all white with brushed nickel hardware and our island is painted a dark gray. I have mulled over a lot of choices; I lean toward a high gloss white or black, but the hubby thinks we should stick with the gray. The floors had previously been painted a black and white check and this remains in the adjoining laundry room and although worn, is very lovely. Good luck with your decision!

  10. Hannah March 25, 2008 at 5:44 pm #

    I am emphatically against painting wood floors, most of the time. I think it would really be an excellent fix for your kitchen. I so wish that we had that option: some previous owner put in pergo (which normally I love) that is in a light, faux hardwood pattern; of course the pergo in the kitchen goes perpendicular to the hardwoods in the rest of the house. Awful! And it was a diy job so none of the corners or edging are finished… cannot wait to re-do the kitchen (we have a 1930’s craftsman home).

  11. K T G March 25, 2008 at 7:36 pm #

    Well if you don’t like having a rug in the kitchen, why not make a pattern similar to that striped rug you liked so much, and paint it instead. You can do black&white or some other combo that might look mellower but still get some of that graphic style.

  12. Holly March 25, 2008 at 9:34 pm #

    Your floors are in great shape, for the sake of resale value, I seriously would not paint them. Refinish them, and seal with basketball court sealer.

    However, to see how well painted wooden floors hold up, check out the floor at Chicago Comics on Clark. The trick is to use tough epoxy based paint. That floor takes a beating and still looks great!

    As an “old home” owner mahself, might I offer these two things?:
    a) A cork floor is not only extremely comfortable to stand on, but it is historically accurate to the style of home that you have. b) For holidays, like Halloween and Xmas, paint a floor rug on THE BACK of a large sheet of cheap linoleum. The texture is canvas, and I’ve seen many that are done in the Rosemalen style- think Ann Sather Restaurant. You could switch out every three months, and tuck the other ones in the attic, think of the versatility! Remember to seal with a polyurethane, and you’re good to go!

  13. Darren March 26, 2008 at 12:49 am #

    I really like your kitchen, We are in nearing the end of completion of our kitchen ( we are building it our selves) and I would like a colour like your kitchen walls on my walls, what is the name of it? also as you are a keen ikea shopper have you ever had much experience with their couches? In looking at buying one of there extorp corner suit, what do you think about them? ar anyone else reading this, all suggestions are welcome!!!

  14. ell March 26, 2008 at 7:55 am #

    After reading all these comments I can understand why you should and why you shouldn’t paint your wood floors. However, in the end it’s your choice that really makes a difference. I think if you like the look then you should go for it! I have nothing against painted wood floors. I think they look great and have just as much appeal to them as non-painted wood floors. I think it’s a matter of taste and preference. I also don’t see what type of home you live in should make a difference? Bungalow or cottage style? I live in a apartment and have always wanted to paint one of my bedroom floors in white only because it’s a very dark room with very little light. Well, whatever your choice good luck!

  15. Luka March 26, 2008 at 8:30 am #

    Ok, I give you full permission to paint the floor ;-)

  16. erin March 26, 2008 at 8:36 am #

    i say go for it… i liked really liked the paint/stain striped floors…you get the best of both worlds! if you hate it you can always refinish like you planned on anyways.

  17. Kelli March 26, 2008 at 8:52 am #

    After seeing pictures of your floor, I say go for it. Considering their condition, you may never get another chance like this. If you DON’T do it, you may end up regretting it forever.

  18. Kate of all Trades March 26, 2008 at 10:25 am #

    I say do it! I love the look of painted wood floors. There are only a few rooms where it makes sense and the kitchen is definitely one of them.

    I get why people are saying not to do it, but I guess I see it like this. The floors are not in great shape anyway. For them to be nice, as you point out, you’d have to strip them and refinish. So would any future buyer, whether you painted or not. And painting them is always undo-able.

  19. kimberly March 26, 2008 at 4:25 pm #

    do it!
    your great sense of (all) style tells me it will look amazing!
    good luck! :)

  20. amy purple March 26, 2008 at 5:10 pm #

    i wanted to add another thought, i think it tends to look best with floors with wider boards!

  21. zee March 27, 2008 at 9:59 am #

    Oh Nicole, you poor thing, having to read through all these comments from people so vehement about how YOU should decorate YOUR house! I find the predominantly American “painting wood = sacrilegious” attitude really funny! We’re painting the floorboards upstairs in our house white in the near future and they’re going to look so awesome I can’t wait. Painted floors are beautiful. Check out this recent painted floor loveliness from Desire To Inspire (I did my stairs the same as in in the first post)… http://desiretoinspire.blogspot.com/2008/03/home-to-die-for.html
    http://desiretoinspire.blogspot.com/2008/03/cool-and-white.html

  22. Jenny March 28, 2008 at 12:39 am #

    I say paint! But I’m a bit biased, because I have floorboards in my kitchen that are in very poor condition and have been thinking about painting them for 2 years or more! So I’m inspired by the pictures you’ve shared, and those posted by readers on this thread. Thanks!

    Oh, as for painting the trim – what’s that principle about painting skirting boards the same colour to make the floors float, or something? Can’t remember it, but I know there is a rule about making the room look bigger or smaller.

    I look forward to seeing what you eventually do!

  23. casacaudill March 28, 2008 at 6:45 pm #

    Back in high school my family moved to an old house with ugly hardwood floors. I painted my bedroom floor white and it was SO hard to keep from getting knicked and scratched. I probably didn’t do it right being all of 16, but I remember how hard it was and that put me off it forever.

    Now, I hear you on painting the wood. I wanted a craftsman because I loved the look of it all. And I was smitten with our home when I first saw it. Unfortunately, given the market we’re in, we had to put in an offer having looked at it for all of an hour. It wasn’t until we were going through the inspection that I noticed our lovely wood is actually ugly wood that’s BEEN PAINTED WITH A WOOD GRAIN. And it’s starting to flake and peel. Not cool. So yeah, I’m considering going all white. Husband is SO against this, but really, I’m not doing anything that hasn’t already been done with a different (stain) color.

  24. Michelle March 28, 2008 at 9:26 pm #

    You must check out my friend’s blog. They ran into a similar situation with a few pieces of the flooring not matching. They did a harlequin pattern of paint and refinished wood and it looks amazing.

    http://dmomentphoto.blogspot.com/2008/03/speaking-of-renovations.html

    Happy decision making!

  25. ell April 2, 2008 at 7:58 am #

    for inspiration~

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/zeehomebug/sets/72157604318469517/

  26. michelle April 2, 2008 at 11:30 am #

    after seeing the photos of your beautiful kitchen and your not so beautiful kitchen floor, i would definitely say paint them (or whitewash them, lime them, stain them, etc.) I especially love the color combo in the elena colombo kitchen, that blue would be really pretty with your yellow walls

  27. Shop Girl April 23, 2008 at 11:49 am #

    Hey- Do you know what was used on the door windows in Elena Colombo’s colorful kitchen????? I love it.

  28. erin May 1, 2008 at 10:51 pm #

    hey are you still considering painting your floors? saw this room by miles redd, then i remembered the room you posted with the wood/white paint stripes…

    http://milesredd.com/press/hb-jan02-pg3.jpg

  29. Guadalupe Shields January 10, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    Hi,
    I’ve subscribed to your blog for two reasons: the Washington Post recommendation and, I used to live in Oak Park!

    I like your blog and plan to visit it regularly.

    So, did you paint your kitchen floor??

  30. jj June 8, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    We Just Painted the plywood flooring in our great room/dining room. We were going to do hardwood but the new sliding doors led to rotted sill plate and the install of sliders took so much of the vinyl siding that we are doing hardiplank and the install of the new sliders requires repair of Sheetrock etc. We used oil based stain paint can’t remember the name and oil based porch and floor-ok but I don’t like the tan color I wish I had used black. White sounds nice but 220 lbs of dogs and a ten lb cat shedding-course black probably just as bad. Good luck I know whatever you choose will look great!