Faux Painted Floor: How Do You Protect It?

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Art on MoMA´s Floor in New York City

Art on MoMA´s Floor in New York City - Image by nahkahousu via Flickr

So in the last two months I’ve had several people write in that they were painting their floors.  GREAT IDEA! Painting is easy to do and inexpensive.

You could paint your floors to look like tile, or marble (check out Debra’s faux marble/granite video if you go that route) or even WOOD!  Yeah…how about painting your concrete floor to look like wood?!  Again…you might want to check out Debra’s video on faux wood if you do that one.  And yes…those are shameless plugs for Debra’s videos because they are so awesome!  Lol!  ;)

Anyhoo…Do you want to cover up your ugly floor?   But not with an expensive rug?  Wouldn’t you love to paint a finish on your bathroom or kitchen floor that would liven up the space?   But… you worry  it will wear off or be damaged by water?  Well, you aren’t alone.

This question was recently asked by a reader:

Hello, to start I want to say I love your site.  Now the question. I am doing a faux tile finish on a bathroom floor. Can you tell me what I put on top to keep the paints from being worn down or damaged by water. Thank you, Sheree

You know that we try to avoid recommending an exotic product.  We avoid difficult products that are “painful” to use and deal with.  So..as usually….we have an easy answer for you.  Yay!!!

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First make sure you read the articles on painting floors.  Do your prep work, paint it and then allow the surface to dry completely.  I mean super, dooper dry!   Then seal with 3 coats of water based urethane clear sealer
in “gloss” finish.   Follow manufacturer’s directions when using all products.

Basic sealers from the “Big Box Stores” will work.  You’ll find them in the paint aisle.  Oil-based sealers create a deeper shine than water-based sealers, but most develop a slight amber tint over time.  They’ve reformulated them so they aren’t supposed to but…  I wouldn’t bet the farm on it…just in case.  And the water-based sealers remain completely clear, but are slightly less durable than oil-based sealers.  It’s a quandry.

Another option is that you could use floor wax, but that WILL turn amber – very quickly – and they don’t provide the best protection.  Last time I painted a floor I used a water based urethane clear sealer and it worked GREAT.

I painted the concrete floor a base color (grey – for my faux tile “grout”), after prepping it, and then cut a piece of dense foam about 18″ x 18″, glued it to a larger piece of form core board and used it like a giant stamp.  I stamped faux tile leaving an inch wide “grout” space between them.

I used a couple of shades of “terra-cotta” so it looked more authentic. Then I went back in and added some highlights and shadows to the edges to give it depth.  It was PERFECT! And easy.  :)

Hope this helps.  Now get out there and SPLASH some paint around!!

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  1. Goldie Barrett says

    I have found that the best water based sealers are the ones made for wood floors. I used a Woodsman sealer over a concrete painted kitchen floor, 2 coats, and after over 2 years, it is still holding up well.

  2. tammy rockwell says

    Hey Ms. Debbie, I’ve been using glazes for many years in my professional business & am very successful. I mix the glaze as instructed…4-8 parts per 1 part. I still have difficulty with it drying quickly. Yes, only over top of eggshell or satin. Mixing the glaze with anything but flat. I’ve only used clear glaze from Lowes. I’m not happy with most store bought brands. Do you have any suggestions. I somehow make it work but this last job made me crazy. If properly stored, does glaze get old? And can you recommend a brand you like? Thanks for the e-mails! Tammy

  3. THAT Painter Lady says

    Hi Tammy -
    We like Behr Glaze and yes, it does get old. :o/ Darn it anyway! The first glaze we used was made by a craft paint company and was like pudding. It was FABULOUS but then the whole faux finishing thing took off and everyone jumped on the bandwagon. Behr is less expensive but still rated high by Consumer Reports. Ralph Lauren makes a nice glaze, too, but … I’m on a tighter budget these days and don’t want to spend that kind of fundage when the Behr brand is just as good… in m opinion.

    Hope this helps!

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