Adding Decorative Touches to Your Home

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Home Decor

Painting Your Floor With Decorative Patterns

If you want to add a new look to your old wooden floor, consider painting it with decorative patterns. Before painting, use masking tape to define the edges of the area you want to paint. Start with painting the larger areas first before moving on to the details.

In just a few simple steps, you can turn an old and ugly wooden floor into a beautiful work of art. The outcome will surprise you, and the effort required is minimal.

Tools and Materials:

  • Measuring rule
  • Screwdriver
  • Bucket and sponge
  • Scrub brush
  • Putty knife
  • Hammer
  • Nail set
  • Sanding block
  • Rented floor polisher with steel wool pads
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Soft pencil
  • Chalk line
  • Single-edge razor blades
  • Paintbrushes (size and number depend on design of floor)
  • Oil-based interior gloss or semi-gloss enamel
  • Polyurethane varnish
  • Graph paper
  • Household cleaner
  • Clean rags
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Plastic wood
  • Grade 000 steel wool
  • Tack cloths
  • Light cardboard
  • Masking tape

The time required to complete the project depends on the complexity of the design of the floor. For a simple pattern, it will take about one week, including drying time.

Planning the Floor Design

To paint your floor, start by measuring the room and carefully planning your floor design. On graph paper, make a floor plan of the room, and mark the doors, windows, and any obstructions on the floor. Draw your floor design in color on the plan. The easiest design to paint is a plain one in a single color. But you can paint stripes, checkerboard or crossword patterns, borders on a plain ground, painted-on fool-the-eye rugs or tile patterns, supergraphics, art nouveau borders, or anything else you can think of. The only limitation is the amount of time you want to spend on the project.

Select your paint after deciding on the pattern and buy only as much as you need. Use oil-based interior gloss or semi-gloss enamel. If you need special brushes, buy them at the same time as your paint. Buy enough polyurethane varnish, preferably in a gloss finish, to give the floor three coats. Read the label to figure out the coverage.

Preparing the Floor

Before painting, remove the furniture and prepare the floor. Remove any floor registers. Wash the floor thoroughly with a strong solution of household cleaner. Use a scrub brush if necessary to remove all old wax. As you wash the floor, use a putty knife to scrape off any paint or putty spots. Rinse the floor carefully to remove all traces of soap. Wipe the floor with a clean rag and let it dry completely.

Examine the floor and correct any irregularities. Use a nail set to drive protruding nailheads into the floor. Sand any rough spots with fine-grit sandpaper. Fill cracks and nail holes with plastic wood, smoothing it in with the putty knife, and let the patches dry thoroughly. To ensure the new paint will adhere to the old finish, use a rented floor polisher loaded with steel wool pads. Scour the edges of the floor lightly by hand with grade 000 steel wool.

Vacuum the floor thoroughly to remove dust and bits of steel wool. Close doors and windows to keep dust out. Wipe the floor down with a tack cloth for a final cleaning.

Transferring the Design

To transfer your design to the floor, use a soft pencil to mark light outlines. Be sure to wear clean, soft socks so as not to damage the floor. Measure the distance carefully from the walls and snap chalk lines to mark long edges. For complex patterns, create a grid on the floor that corresponds to your graph paper diagram. Transfer the pattern from the graph paper diagram to the floor, correcting mistakes as you go. For simple repeating patterns, cut stencils from light cardboard with single-edge razor blades and trace the stencil design lightly onto the floor.

Painting the Floor

Paint one color at a time or one area of the room at a time, depending on the complexity of your pattern. Use one brush for each color. If the floor will have a solid background color under a pattern or border stripes, paint the background color first and let it dry completely before proceeding, for at least 24 hours. Wear clean, soft socks while you work.

Mask large areas of color and separate stripes and borders with masking tape. In general, paint large areas first and let them dry; then paint small patterns and detailed edges. Allow each color to dry before applying another color directly next to it. Once the entire design has been painted on the floor, let it dry for 24 hours while keeping the door closed to keep dust out.

Varnishing the Floor

After painting the floor, seal it with polyurethane varnish. Wipe the floor lightly with a clean tack cloth while wearing clean, soft socks. Apply varnish along the grain of the floorboards, brushing it on slowly to prevent air bubbles. Let the varnish dry for 12 hours and apply another coat, again brushing slowly along the grain of the floorboards to prevent air bubbles. Let it dry for 12 hours and apply a third coat of varnish. Let it dry for at least 24 hours and replace the floor registers.

Allow the floor to dry for 2 or 3 days before moving furniture into the room. Polyurethane hardens over time.

Now that your floors are revamped, consider learning how to paint a wall mural next.


1. What are some easy ways to add decorative touches to my home?

There are many simple ways to add decorative touches to your home. Some ideas include hanging artwork, using decorative throw pillows and blankets, adding plants and flowers, using decorative lighting, and incorporating unique decorative objects.

2. How can I make my walls more interesting?

You can make your walls more interesting by adding wallpaper, painting an accent wall, hanging artwork or photographs, or using wall decals or stickers. You can also incorporate shelves or decorative wall hangings to add depth and dimension to your walls.

3. What are some ways to incorporate plants into my decor?

You can incorporate plants into your decor by using hanging planters, displaying them on shelves or tables, or using them as centerpieces. You can also incorporate plants into your decor by using unique and decorative planters.

4. How can I add texture to my home?

You can add texture to your home by using textured fabrics such as velvet, faux fur, or woven materials. You can also incorporate textured objects such as decorative baskets, wall hangings, or sculptural pieces.

5. What are some creative lighting ideas?

Some creative lighting ideas include using unique floor lamps, pendant lighting, or string lights. You can also incorporate decorative lampshades or use candles to add ambiance to your space.

6. How can I make my furniture more interesting?

You can make your furniture more interesting by using decorative throw pillows and blankets, incorporating unique furniture pieces, or using decorative hardware such as drawer pulls or knobs. You can also use decorative slipcovers or reupholster furniture with interesting fabrics.

7. What are some ways to incorporate color into my decor?

You can incorporate color into your decor by using colorful throw pillows, blankets, or curtains. You can also use colorful artwork or decorative objects, or paint an accent wall in a bold color.

8. How can I add personality to my space?

You can add personality to your space by incorporating unique and meaningful objects such as family heirlooms or souvenirs from travels. You can also use artwork or photographs that reflect your personal style and interests.

9. What are some ways to make a small space feel larger?

You can make a small space feel larger by using light colors, incorporating mirrors, using multi-functional furniture pieces, and minimizing clutter. You can also use furniture that is the appropriate scale for the space.

10. How can I incorporate vintage or antique pieces into my decor?

You can incorporate vintage or antique pieces into your decor by using them as focal points in your space, such as a unique antique mirror or a vintage rug. You can also use vintage or antique furniture pieces as statement pieces or incorporate them into a gallery wall with other vintage or antique objects.

11. What are some ways to create a cohesive look throughout my home?

You can create a cohesive look throughout your home by using a consistent color palette or incorporating similar materials and textures. You can also use similar decorative objects or artwork throughout your space to create a cohesive and unified look.

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