Do you have a floor you hate, but can’t afford new flooring? Maybe tile or a counter-top that just doesn’t work for you? Just paint it! I have painted just about every type of flooring you can think of in my day, and it has always worked out beautifully! I’ve painted counter-tops, tile, furniture, glass! My feeling is that if it doesn’t work out as planned, or doesn’t hold up as planned, I can then go ahead and invest the big bucks in new flooring, but so far, it’s always worked out for the best.
My first flooring experience was a home with my ex. Filthy drug dealers had lived in the home we were buying through a lease-to-own contract. The carpets looked like they had poured used motor oil on them, they were so filthy. We couldn’t afford to redo the flooring throughout the whole house. What to do? We decided to carpet the upper floor of the house, and I decided to paint the foundation of the main floor. I had just seen it done in some Hoity-toity homes in Fairbanks Ranch, so I figured, if it was good enough for the millionaires, it was good enough for me. This was a few years back, before you really had you-tube to tell you how to do things. So, I just winged it, and made it up as I went. I used Home Depot’s “oops paint” because I really couldn’t afford to do the whole thing with floor paint. I made the floor look like it was 24″ travertine tile. I guess it worked pretty damned well, because when we had the house appraised a few years later, the appraiser described the flooring as “beautiful 24” travertine marble. Damned good for my first attempt! Was it perfect? No. The paint in the kitchen would show wear occasionally, so I’d just go in and repaint a few of the “tiles” as needed to freshen it up. It lasted us for the 5 years or so we were in the house!
Long before it was fashionable, I painted the counter-tops in that same house. They were original Formica 30+ year old counter-tops, which the drug dealers had burned with cigarettes here and there. Again, I didn’t know if it would hold up, and no one I knew had ever heard of painting your bathroom counters, but I figured, why not? When I drip paint on the suckers it doesn’t want to come off, so why not try? I “marbled” the counter-tops, again, using leftover and “oops” paint, and they lasted the whole time we lived there!
So- hence, upon moving into my current home, the kitchen and baths had linoleum which I HATE, but I didn’t want to invest in new flooring in those rooms until I could afford to redo the whole kit-and-kibootle, so I decided to just go ahead and paint them to tide me over.
As you’ll see from the “before” pictures of my bathroom, it was pretty boring. The only hint of color when I purchased the house was the dated trim around the tub, which was kind of “mauvy”…… not what I wanted. Therefore, I decided to paint the tile and trim around the tub at the same time, giving my whole bathroom a black and white “marble” theme. I didn’t take time to read or research anything, figuring it would probably work out. And again, if it didn’t, worse case scenario, I’d have to redo the bathroom sooner than originally planned. A few years later, it’s still all working out!
Here’s what I did- For the floor I gave it a REALLY good cleaning, making sure to really get down and scrub it, and get all of the corners uber clean. Then I gave the whole floor a really good base of two coats of floor paint. I used white, since that was one of my 2 main colors. Once I gave the floor the base coat, I let it dry for about a day, so it had time to really “set” before I started the design process.
In the past when I painted my other floor in a travertine pattern I had used pinstriping tape to make my “grout lines.” This time, since my linoleum had previously had a tile pattern, and you could still see the shape of the “tile”, I just free handed my painting, and didn’t actually even leave a “grout line” of paint. My “tile squares just butt right up to one another.
I went from the back of the bathroom, to the front, adding a bit of marbling to every other tile, to become my “carerra marble”. You’ll see it in the following picture. Please excuse that the photo is blurry. When I took the picture, I had no idea I’d be doing a blog- I just took the photo to show a friend what I was doing!
Then, once that all had time to dry, I went back and filled in the remaining squares with solid black, to look like black marble. I had thought I might add a bit of white marbling to those when I was finished, but decided I really liked the solid black, so I just left it at that point.
After doing a bit of touch up here and there, adding a bit more marbling on the white spaces where I thought it might need it, I then went over the floor with a few coats of Polycrylic by Minwax, in a semi-gloss. It runs about $17.00 for a quart. It gave the floor a nice gloss finish. The floor also cleans up REALLY well with just a quick mopping. I’ve had the floor done now just exactly 2 years and it has held up really well! My one tip for using the Polycrylic is make sure not to glob it on, or allow drips to dry. You will end up with a yellowed area when that happens. Better to do a few thinner coats!
This shows the bathroom after it was finished. You can see the vanity, which I repainted, and the tile and marbling around the tub. I stenciled some of the tiles, so it gave a bit more “interest” than just plain white tiles. It has all held up really well, using the same gloss finish on all surfaces! With this little project, you’ll see that, as I mentioned, I also painted the tile trim, the bathtub surround, my little vanity table and my mirror which I brought over from another house. It pulled the whole bathroom together for a dramatic look.
My vanity table was a table I picked up from a store going out of business about 12 years ago or so. Remember Bombay Company? This was supposed to be a little hall table, and was marked down to $15.00 at the very end of the store’s run. It has been my vanity in a number of homes over those years. Since it was cherry, I decided to paint it black with a marble top, and changed out the handle. Turned out pretty well, and again, is still holding up FABULOUSLY! I also painted the natural finished wood chair black to go with the theme. Thank God for paint!
You can also see in the back of the room, next to the toilet a “towel holder” I created. This was originally supposed to be a planter I got at Home Goods about 3 houses ago. I never seem to have a bathroom with adequate storage for towels, so I use this. It was a green for my original home, so I painted it black, with the silver “wash”, and added the crystals on the front to go with my last black and white bathroom. It fit right in here when I did this bathroom! I love it when you can re-purpose items for various homes!
This bathroom “make-over”, including the new blinds I put up, the new handle for my vanity and the paint was all done for under $175.00. Looks pretty good, all things considered, huh?
If you have something in your home you really don’t care for, why not try and give it a coat of paint? After all, what’s the worst that can happen? Paint is so inexpensive and it’s easy to use to switch things up! It’s worth a try, rather than having to put out the big bucks for a complete replacement, right?