Monday, February 16, 2009

DIY: how to paint hardwood floors in a bathroom

We are in the process of a bathroom transformation. Phase 1, to be exact... those following along with my bathroom project may share our excitement in that we are almost done! I am finished with the floor, and Steven is working on baseboads and installing plumbing fixtures!

Our floor was completely trashed out, and we had to start from scratch on a new one. Since we don't have the budget now for the totally pimp sea glass hex tile I wanted, I had to compromise. We decided on a hardwood floor since Lumber Liquidators has dirt cheap white oak lumber.

Hardwood in a bathroom? Am I crazy? Well, possibly. I do have 4 insane male children. But hardwoods CAN work in a bathroom... and I thought I would share with you my process for making my hardwood floor as watertight as a dolphin's butt. I shall dub thee "Bathroom with Robin's Egg Blue Floor."

1. Here you see our subfloor which was just installed over the 1 x 12 planks.

2. The subfloor was covered with 15 pound asphalt felt. This comes in a giant roll from the hardware store for under $30. Overlap the seams by 3 inches, and a few staples to tack it into place and you're golden. 3. Install the hardwood floor. We had such a small space to do, we decided to hand nail everything in rather than rent a floor nailer. Just remember to pre-drill the holes because hardwood floors are, indeed, hard. Steven broke so many bits on this little project. There are entire sites devoted to installing hardwood, so go there if you need excrutiating detail.

4. Use wood filler on your counter-sunk nail heads. Then sand!

5. Clean your floor 800 times more clean than a floor has ever been cleaned. If your wood has some type of coating on it, use Simple Green or a TSP substitute to get the grease off.

6. Primer. I like Kilz, but Zinsser or Bin are fine, too. I like water-based paints. Hey, oil-based are being discontinued anyway.... So a primer meant for latex is always good. They even make mildew resistant and all that. I did 2 coats of primer.

7. Paint. I used a high gloss enamel paint. Here's the deal... I used floor paint in my kitchen, and you could totally use that. I went for high gloss enamel since I knew I was going to be sealing it anyway. The floor paint can will say "no need to seal." Yeah, that's a load of bull. I didn't seal my kitchen floor and in 6 months it looked like crap. I did 3 coats of paint. Because I am obsessive and I don't want my floor to look trashed in 6 months ago.

8. Sand. A super fine grit with a palm sander worked just nifty.

9. Clean again like you've never cleaned before.

10. Seal. I used high gloss Varathane. I know some people use polyurethane on their floors. I wanted something super resilient and, dammit, this is a bathroom. Varathane is specifically made for floors and I wanted that super-deep gloss finish. The floor is the statement in my bathroom, so it has to be just right. I did 3 coats of varathane. You could do less, but the more coats you do, the "deeper" the paint looks. Sort of like the difference between a paint job on a Ford Focus and a Porsche 911. I don't want my floors to have the "krylon touch."

11. Do a happy dance on your new floor. And be terrified every time you have to give the dogs a bath and their nails go clackety-clack across your gorgeous floor.
Next we will have pictures with baseboard and plumbing... Stay tuned!


Helen said...

I, for one, am quite impressed with what you are doing!!!

solsticehome said...

great job! I've painted bedroom floors before in a previous home and loved it. I used porch and floor enamel. Will do again, but would like more of a high gloss this time, worried it maybe too it?
thanks sue

Trægulve said...

This article is so beautiful and so excellent. Pictures, it shows really really great home. Thank you for sharing.

Leonard said...
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Leonard said...
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Ailith Blesington said...

Hi Puck! Crazy children? Ha! Tell me about it. It reminds me of how my kids grew in Indianapolis. Anyway, your work here is quite different. Hardwood flooring in the bathroom, huh? Wow! Wouldn't there be any leaks or something?

Alana Geikie said...

Yes, hardwood is unusual in bathrooms, but not if you have a good coating and absorbent rugs to keep the floor free of water. Hmmm, better not do a happy dance once you have the floor up and running!