Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How to paint plywood sub-flooring to resemble wood floors

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You may remember me telling you about helping my mom renovate her house. The projects are sporadic and come when the money is there. So, sometimes you have to live with something until you have it in the budget to do something else. Like carpet for instance...or lack there of :) This little bedroom that was created out of half the dining room and a closet has been lacking carpet since it's existence. Yes, we could put carpet or flooring in, but we want it to match the rest of the house and the rest of the house's flooring won't be done for at least another year. So, until then, these poor floors have been left undressed. Yep, showing nothing but plywood. Ugly? Yep. But, once again, you gotta live with what you've got :) But, you can always make what you've got a little more palatable.

We decided that for the the mean time, it would be a great idea to paint the plywood sub-floor and make it resemble hardwood. Now, we didn't get into the details of adding lines and what not, we decided to save our sanity and just painted it dark brown. Plus, a rug was going to cover up a majority of the floor anyway.
Make your plywood sub-floor look like hardwood! Great solution when you are waiting to get new flooring but don't want your old stuff anymore
This is how it started. Super dusty and gross.
Make your plywood sub-floor look like hardwood! Great solution when you are waiting to get new flooring but don't want your old stuff anymore
 The first step was to painstakingly take out all of the loose staples. The ones that would bug our feet if walked on. Doing this didn't loosen the plywood, at least in this case. I'm sure if they were all pulled up, it would probably loosen them up.
Make your plywood sub-floor look like hardwood! Great solution when you are waiting to get new flooring but don't want your old stuff anymore
 Next was getting a mop and mopping the floors, getting all the dirt and dust off the floor.
Make your plywood sub-floor look like hardwood! Great solution when you are waiting to get new flooring but don't want your old stuff anymore
 Once the floors were dry, we started painting. We began in the corners and along the baseboards.
Make your plywood sub-floor look like hardwood! Great solution when you are waiting to get new flooring but don't want your old stuff anymore
 We went along all the edges.
Make your plywood sub-floor look like hardwood! Great solution when you are waiting to get new flooring but don't want your old stuff anymore
 And then finished up painting in the middle.
Make your plywood sub-floor look like hardwood! Great solution when you are waiting to get new flooring but don't want your old stuff anymore
 Such a difference! But I wanted to make sure all this hard work wouldn't get scraped up...
Make your plywood sub-floor look like hardwood! Great solution when you are waiting to get new flooring but don't want your old stuff anymore
 ..so, polycrylic to the rescue! Since we used a latex based paint, we went with a water based poly.
Make your plywood sub-floor look like hardwood! Great solution when you are waiting to get new flooring but don't want your old stuff anymore
 To apply it, we used a long stick attached to a foam like brush. This gave it a really smooth finish.
Make your plywood sub-floor look like hardwood! Great solution when you are waiting to get new flooring but don't want your old stuff anymore
 We went in the same order as with the paint, applying the poly to the edges and corners first and then to the rest of the room.
Make your plywood sub-floor look like hardwood! Great solution when you are waiting to get new flooring but don't want your old stuff anymore
It does take quite awhile to dry. We did 3 coats of poly with at least 24 hour dry time between each coat.
Make your plywood sub-floor look like hardwood! Great solution when you are waiting to get new flooring but don't want your old stuff anymore
 The shine of the poly is the perfect finishing touch!
Make your plywood sub-floor look like hardwood! Great solution when you are waiting to get new flooring but don't want your old stuff anymore
 This room came together so nicely, it's a shame that we live so far away or else I would have our kiddos visit and stay over more often. They love this room!
Make your plywood sub-floor look like hardwood! Great solution when you are waiting to get new flooring but don't want your old stuff anymore

Oh, and just an FYI, this does not count as flooring. A home evaluation was done in the process of doing this project and they dinged the value for not having flooring in this room and one other room. Even nasty dingy carpet has a higher value than this :)

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Make your plywood sub-floor look like hardwood! Great solution when you are waiting to get new flooring but don't want your old stuff anymore

10 comments:

  1. I love it. I am so tempted to paint my concrete.

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  2. Thank you! I needed this tutorial as I get my keys to my new place today! I'll have the plywood floors and I had no idea how to help them. I can't afford new flooring yet so this is PERFECT!! We'll look professional yet still be thrifty. Thank you thank you thank you!

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  3. Actually this is not a good idea to paint a sub floor as it will warp after time and could ruin the sub floor enough to where it would need to be replaced before deciding to apply actual flooring. I have been a professional for nearly 4o years and would not recommend doing this, but then this is entirely up to you as the home owner

    @Art-Faux Designs and Painting Inc we tried this once and never again. The floor buckled really bad in a few places. Ended up after about 2 frustrating years of living with an uneven floor .... we had to replace the entire subfloor in the...
    Sandi Farrell-Briscoe

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  4. Love it! The whole room is perfect!

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  5. I did this in one of our rooms a couple of years ago but I used white paint....not the best colour as it has discoloured but it definitely holds up over time.

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  6. Hi! I was wondering what color of latex paint you had used? It is such a beautiful color! Thank you!

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  7. I forgot to add that I also have subflooring and later plan to put wood flooring down when we can afford to!

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  8. After constructing wood floor we don't even think that all the works are finished; it needs some extra attention like painting, polishing, finishing and many more. More even people are put more stress on painting their wooden floor. Here also we have found some good stuff on how to maintain a wooden floor. Thanks for such a wonderful article with amazing tips.

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  9. My subfloor is, Heaven forbid, a type of particle board, I am just wondering if I would dare try this.

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    Replies
    1. I would say, if you're dead set on it, a couple of coats of primer might do the trick, just to make sure it doesn't warp with the moisture. Use a thicker primer too! Give it a good sand with 120 sandpaper before and after priming to make sure the primer and paint will adhere properly. Good luck if you go ahead, let me know how it goes!

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