How to Paint Faux Wood Grain Floors

Althea Tower

I have been dreaming up my showroom space for quite some time now and a very important part of it was a great space to take photos. I work hard to create beautiful pieces and I wanted a space that would show that off! When I found the space that is now the home of Riveted Woodworking & Design I knew the space next to all the natural light would be perfect for that. But now I had a rough looking old mill space to transform. And on a budget I might add. 

I researched many options for the floor from laminate flooring, to foam squares, to paint. I landed on paint for a few reasons but mostly cost. There are some uneven areas of the cement and I knew it would take quite a lot to level them out so I determined disguising them would be my best bet. Originally I had purchased an awesome floor stencil to create a herringbone brick pattern. (Check that out here, I'll be doing another project with it later!) The reason I decided against it is because one of the walls is brick and it would clash too much. So in addition to my shiplap wall I built, I decided to do the wall opposite the brick as faux brick and that I wanted a wood look on the floor!  Here is the finished product, that I'm obsessed with!

faux wood painted floor

I did a lot of  research on how to create the wood look. I found a cool and inexpensive tool on Amazon to help with this process. You can find that here. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to pick up the technique. First things first, cleaning the floors. As I mentioned my workshop is in an old mill. So we're talking years and years of dust and grime...oh yeah cleaning that floor was as fun as you can imagine. I did about 547 cycles of sweeping and vacuuming. I then scrubbed any spots that looked like oil or any other type of grime with steel wool, alcohol and/or Krud Kutter. I vacuumed some more and then washed the floors with TSP. Twice. 

The prep work is very important so that the paint adheres properly. I honestly could have washed the floors three more times. When it came time to paint I chose the Behr Garage paint from Home Depot. Here is the paint I used - there are many colors to choose from. I chose the color Pacific Fog for the base coat. Since I knew I was doing the stencil on top, and was okay with texture I only applied one coat. Had I been leaving it solid, it definitely would have needed a second coat. I let that dry for a few days. Picking the top color was a bit trickier for me. I wanted something to mimic some type of wood tone but I didn't want something too warm or red. The color I chose was called Pebbled Path and I liked that it was a grey brown and I think the two colors mixed well. 

The next steps were using the faux wood tool. The directions were simple; using a paint brush paint a small section with the top coat paint (Pebbled Path). Then, dragging the tool, rock it forward and back so that it creates different texture in a strip, similar to a piece of hardwood floor. Here is a short video explaining and showing the process.

It's important to do small sections, wide enough that you can get 3-4 widths of the tool in aka 3-4 boards or planks of "hardwood floors". I happened to be doing this on a very hot day and so my floor dried very fast. However, remember to start in the furthest corner and work your way out of the room.

That's it! pretty simple and looks pretty awesome for two gallons of paint, a small tool and some elbow grease. What do you think? Have a space you could try this on?

farmhouse table showroom

*Now just a note: I have had this done for a couple of weeks. I will say, as mentioned above, I believe I could have cleaned the floor a little more. There is also an option for another primer to add before painting. The paint I used is a paint and primer however, when I put a piece of paper down with painters tape to paint my wall, it did in fact remove some of a my base paint. It does say to give it at least 30 days before scrubbing or cleaning so that could have been either because I didn't clean it enough before or didn't wait long enough to mess with it. So, moral of the story, don't put painters tape on it a few days after painting it.

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