Current Crush: Painted Floors

Since seeing the wonderfully talented Lauren Liess’ painted ivory floors I’ve been obsessing over the look of white floorboards. I recall Lauren saying she probably would not do them again (I can imagine with four kids it would be hell to keep up) but I can’t keep myself from typing “white floors” into Pinterest.
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Lauren’s floors are Farrow & Ball Ivory Floor Paint (see more here- also, her incredible house is for sale!)

This look is especially fetching in older homes with original flooring.  It’s a great solution for floors that need to be redone but perhaps it’s not in the budget to lay new ones. You can find info on how to do this properly here.

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In my opinion it looks best to have the floors and the trim be the same color with the walls being a contrasting color (if white, a shade or two lighter or darker than the trim)

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The more gaps in the floor boards the better. :)

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So clean, serene and amazing, no?  I’d like a little room just for myself done like this. :)

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I’m surprised at how few rugs are actually shown in these pictures- with lots of rugs down (sisal looking particularly fetching)

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I also am obsessed with painted checkerboard floors which are a little easier to keep up but also look incredible with some patina (i.e. scratches, stains, chips…ya know, LIFE.)

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This entry in house by architect John B. Murray is my DREAM.  This Old House has a great step-by-step on this laborious process.  It looks great in mudrooms, sunrooms, entries and other smaller spaces- but also killer in a kitchen.

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Doing them with one color and letting the wood show is also an amazing look (a smidge more country).

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Anyone have white floors and love them… or hate them? I’d love to hear your feedback!

 

 

 



29 comments

  1. I have light grey in my entire upstairs and love them. Had the hall done in a chevron, which looks amazing. So clean and happy!

    1. Btw, I think that the type of paint and finish change the whole upkeep issue. I did porch paint in a matte finish, and it has worked fine.

  2. While I love my the painted white floor in my bedroom, you can see every speck of dust (and dog hair!) Not for neatnicks!

  3. ah, lovely. I think the thing making these so successful is the patina and age. We are completing a new house and while it has been fun I’m already missing the history of even a 20-year old home. I wonder if you’d ever do a post on adding character and age to a new build? love your blog, have a great day!

  4. I love the look of white painted floors too – but we lived with them for about a year before we sold our previous home. They were a NIGHTMARE to keep even remotely clean – and my standards aren’t even that high. Maybe it’s because we have pets and kids but I was always wiping them down. They were beautiful when they were clean though!

  5. I painted our sun room floor white (somehow during a ’90s addition they laid the floor on the diagonal, as opposed to the adjacent rooms – drove me crazy). I have two kids, and it is no big deal to keep them clean. I think pet hair would drive me crazy but we don’t have pets.

  6. I must be in the minority because this was the one thing she did that I was confused by. The wood floors in the before picture were beautiful and in great shape. I didn’t get it. I understanding doing it when your floors are in bad shape or really ugly, but I didn’t think her floors were either. Plus she was just going to re-sell the house. I would think that would hurt the re-sale value.

  7. I painted the floors in our sunroom BM Par Four and then had a durable coat of poly put on top. Stains wipe away in a flash and it looks fresh with white shiplap walls and a pale blue ceiling. An “outdoor” interior!

  8. I can’t help but wonder if the white floors are the reason Lauren’s home has not sold as fast as her previous 2. Who has time for the upkeep? I speak from experience, had a white floor in my last house (kitchen and breakfast room). I was so glad to tell those floors goodbye!

  9. I am NOT a fan of painted white floors! They look great in pictures but in person, they look cheap and highlight every flaw…which is strange because I would have thought they would have softened the flaws like white paint does on furniture. The checkerboard floors are lovely though.

  10. I love light ,bright and white, but there is no way I would have white painted flooring. A cleaning nightmare, beautiful for a photo shoot, all clean and pristine, but if you are a neat freak, and I am, it would be a constant job for me. IMHO I do absolutely love a black and white checked floor and I had one in my previous home, but it was marble and it was a cinch to keep clean. Keep posting your crushes, we always learn something from you and get inspired.
    Kathysue

  11. I painted the floors white in our open plan living/dining room last summer. I love the look. Before, we had gold maple hardwood which just didn’t work with our mostly natural linen upholstery and white walls. What we have now is so much more light , bright and cohesive. That said you cannot be OCD about the perfect appearance of these floors or you will go mad. I think that it might be less of a problem if I had gone higher gloss on the finish. I did it in a BM porch paint and it was matte. I’m thinking now I might wax them.

  12. Eeeek Nooo. Lovely to look at in pictures but the reality is awful if you like a clean house. A friend of ours had them done and she has now had them sanded back down to natural with a huge sigh of relief. PS I agree they look cheap somehow and living in England if I viewed a newly painted floor I would be hmmm what are you hiding……….wood worm, dry rot ………………….

  13. I had painted white wooden floors when i lived in the 15th century bothy of Harriet Anstruther’s West Sussex farmhouse (i.e., you could find it if you googled). I also had two cats, and it was in the country. Two cats who brought home voles and field mice and the occasional slow rabbit!

    Basically, it shouldn’t have worked – but it did! I did mop most days, but it wasn’t hardcore at all – it was much easier than lugging around a vacuum cleaner to keep the floors clean. A dash of bleach in the bucket of water and any remains of my carnivorous cats were gone.

    I loved the light and the contemporary touch those floors brought to such an old building. I’d do it again in a heart beat.

  14. I painted my breezeway floor black and white and love it. I could have done a better job sealing it, as it hasn’t aged that great but I’m taking a John Derian approach to it and embracing the flaws of it!

  15. I don’t know if this qualifies but I have white tiles and I do love them I just don’t know how to decorate for them. Picking a rug is hard and the odd shape of the living room makes it even harder

  16. i had painted floors in my Tahoe house. when i bought it there was nasty 70s shag + marble carpet everywhere, and i couldn’t afford to lay new wood floors so did it as a “temporary” fix and never changed it. they held up great and i loved it so much.

  17. I had white steps and painted our upstairs hallway (wood floors) white as well. My husband kindly repainted them every year or so to clean them up, but even with that, they were a lot (a lot!!) of upkeep. THey showed every bit of dirt, hair, anything, and I finally painted them a darker color. Reading this post makes me think 2 things: (1) I didn’t repaint the hallway the same as the trim and that was probably bad and (2) I would advise anyone painting floorboards white to make sure it is a room that doesn’t get a lot of traffic. It show even more than you think, very unforgiving, though yes, I loved looking at them when they were clean.

  18. We painted our daughter’s bedroom floor a soft white. While we loved the look, they were impossible to keep clean. They showed everything!

  19. It’s a stunning look. You have about five of my all-time favorite pinterest images on this page!

    And Lauren Liess is amazing. I looked into having her decorate my new home, but sadly, she wasn’t in the budget :-(

  20. The table that’s attached to the wall (the first image) is amazing! That head though does not fit well on such an exquisite furniture. As for painting the floors – I’ve been doing it for a long time now. It’s a rather cheap solution for a frequent floor renovation. When the paint wears off and you want some change, all you need to do is scrape off the current paint and then insert a new one. All in all, it takes a weekend do renew a 20 sq.m room.

  21. At my mom house we had painted floors! Love it! Here we have vinyl floors for cleaning purpose! It is going to change soon! You just inspired me!

  22. Love painted white floors. Twenty years ago my dog ripped up the flooring in my kitchen. I didn’t know what I wanted to put down so I tore up the rest of flooring and painted the plywood white. With no upkeep except what I would do normally that floor is the same as the day I painted it. White. I don’t have pets now or children so the dirt is not a problem. My kitchen is the prettiest room in my house. I found out from painting that floor that a floor is more than something to walk on, it contributes to one’s sense of well being. Thanks for the lovely pictures of other people’s white floors. You do a great blog. Ann

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