I can hardly believe I painted my own floors. Crazy, right? With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint actually.
It was surprisingly easy once we wrapped our wits around it.
This is the traditional way that most DIYers will share on how to paint checkered floors, but I have to confess that my husband had a quicker way that we ended up using when we painted checkered squares in the kitchen which actually took 4 hours from taping the floor to the first coat of polyurethane.
But this post doesn’t cover that method. You can find that one here.
The main difference between these two methods is the taping process.
Supplies & Materials:
- Scotch Brand 3M Painter’s Tape
- 9″ Paint Rollers
- Painter’s Trays
- Padco Floor Trim Pads (Floor Sealer Applicator)
- Annie Sloan Decorative Chalk Paint (Old White and French Linen)
- Varathane High Traffic Floor Finish in Satin Finish
First things first:
When we painted these floors, we first determined a control line. This is the line that we felt would be most visually appealing and draw the eye. In our case, the line goes from our front door (which you can’t see in this picture because I’m standing just inside of it and to the left). But we wanted a clear line from the front door to the back window. That “line” needed to go down the center of a row of squares on the diagonal.
We penciled in the actual lines before taping, but I could not get a photo that captured that on the gray floors, so I’m showing these photos for illustration purposes first.
As you can see in the photo below, going across the area, there are 3 full diagonal checkers per row, then a half square-2 full squares-a half square, then 3 full squares, etc. The yellow arrow going from left to right shows the line closer that I show in the photo above. The line going from top to bottom is dead center of the middle square (diamond at this angle) in the row with 3 full squares.
There are actual pencil lines that we used before taping.
We determined aesthetically which squares we wanted to paint; in this case, the outside half squares to create the illusion of a border. Note that we did not paint an actual border on these, so this was important.
Each square is 20″ on each side, and from diagonal corner to corner is 28″. We actually used a t-square once we established the lines that create the border to draw each square.
We added blue painters tape to the t-square at 20″ so we could see the measurement at a glance. We also added a piece of tape on the end so we could easily lift the t-square off the floor.
We put single squares of tape in each square that we were not painting. If you look closely near the bottom, you can see that the tape is along the INSIDE of the square on each of the ones with a piece of tape in the middle.
It is vitally important to run the tape along the entire inside of the squares that are not being painted (every other square) as this is how you create a checkered floor where the actual squares touch on the corners.
If you just taped straight lines, there would be a gap between each square at the corners and it would not look like an actual checkerboard.
An important word about the tape.
The brand you use matters. I know a lot of bloggers recommend the green stuff, and I know they have a program for bloggers. I even bought it and tried it myself because of a blogger, but I found that the paint leaked underneath creating uneven lines. This blue tape is the Scotch 3M Brand Painter’s Tape and it has NEVER let me down. My lines are crisp and clean and the tape doesn’t lift until I lift it, and it’s gentle enough to leave the paint behind. I don’t know if 3M has a blogger’s program or not (that would be awesome), but I would highly recommend them anyway. It does exactly what it says, and the packaging is more eco-friendly.
Once the floor was fully taped, I painted each bigger square using a 9″ paint roller. I opted to use the darker color as my base because I was willing to have the darker color bleed through and create a distressed look. The coverage is excellent though, so there was no bleed-through.
The paint dries within 15 minutes of application, so as soon as I finished painting the first coat, I started over immediately and applied the second coat. Another 15 minutes, and I was able to remove the tape.
The quicker method I mentioned earlier does not involve individually taping the squares, so is more accurate and less time-consuming. The result is the same though: Gorgeous floors!
Look at those crisp, beautiful lines! I’m telling you, use the blue tape. Perfect!
Once the floors were dry. I put on a clean pair of white socks and used a Swiffer mop head with old t-shirts instead of a pad to ensure that there was no lint on the floor.
I followed the instructions on the can of Varathane and used a floor trim pad which is specifically designed for applying sealers with the least streaking and bubbles.
I poured the Varathane into a painters’ tray. I did not shake it or pump it, I just ran my brush gently into the tray and then in single strokes from the far end toward me, I applied the Varathane.
The important point here is to not move too quickly because you don’t want to create bubbles in the sealer. This is really explained well on the can of the Varathane and I can not stress enough how important it is to read the directions and follow them.
I started at the far end of the room, and “painted” my way to the exit.
I applied 4 separate coats, allowing each to fully dry before the next coat was applied. After the final coat, I waited 48 hours before moving my furniture back in.
And here was the final result of the room after putting all the furniture back in:
The white squares are an equal mix of 1:1 French Linen to Old White.
The gray squares are a mix of 3:1 French Linen to Old White.
Easy to clean up. Beautiful. And perfect for sock skating.
Are you planning on painting your floors? I’d love to see what you do. Let me know in the comments below.