Give old kitchen flooring a facelift with paint.
Jazz up an otherwise traditional kitchen by painting the floor in a diamond pattern. If the original wood is in good condition, let its natural color provide half of the color scheme. In this kitchen, the choice of black for the other half was guided by the color of the countertops and the dark hue of the ceiling beams.
These diamonds are about 16 inches on each side, a bold scale that suits the 21x11-foot dimensions of the room. Use the width of your kitchen to help you determine the best dimensions for your diamonds.
Instead of painting the entire floor, paint an area rug in a prominent place to add interest. Use a light hand to let the beauty and grain of the wood show through.
On this kitchen floor, the rug design was applied to bare wood using acrylic paint and taped-off sections of checks and blocks. Light sanding after the paint dries creates the worn, faded appearance.
In an oversize kitchen, a 12-inch grid offers just the right scale. To create the effect of a buffalo plaid carpet, paint the room in 12-inch-wide stripes of cream and green, working across the width of the room.
After the paint has dried thoroughly, paint 12-inch-wide stripes spaced 12 inches apart perpendicular to the cream and green stripes, using green paint. Where the green crosses a cream stripe, it will create a light green block; where it crosses a green stripe, it will create a darker green block.
Give wood or laminate floors a new look by striping them with cream paint. The color of the original stain supplies the dark stripe.
On laminate floors, use a primer for nonporous surfaces on the areas to be painted. Roll on creamy-color acrylic latex enamel, and allow the paint to dry thoroughly.
If the floor is in good condition, tape off the diamonds and sand within each diamond to be painted so the surface will receive the paint. Be sure to vacuum up all the sanding dust and wipe the surface with a tack cloth.
Seal the painted diamonds with polyurethane so they'll match the glossiness of the stained floor and stand up to normal wear.
Discover tips from editor Eddie Ross on what to know before you paint your wood floors.
Add color to plain white ceramic floor tiles with paint. First sand the tiles lightly to roughen them, then clean with TSP, rinse, and let dry. Apply a primer formulated for glossy surfaces.
To achieve a mottled effect, brush on oil-base paint thinned with mineral spirits, and use a rag to blot off some of the color. Use two contrasting colors to create a checkerboard.
After the paint dries, paint the entire tiled surface with white oil-base paint thinned with mineral spirits. This tones down and softens the colors. After the paint has dried, apply two coats of clear polyurethane to seal the finish. You'll need to reapply the sealer every year. Be careful not to drag furniture across the painted tile floor.
If your taste runs to the contemporary, paint a modernist-inspired floor rug down the center of the kitchen. Work out the pattern on graph paper first, then measure and tape off the squares following your pattern.
Put color and pattern underfoot with a large painted "area rug" centered in your kitchen space. This fool-the-eye rug is painted directly on the stained floor using porch paint for solid color coverage.
In this cool blue-and-white kitchen, using warm red and creamy white for the diamonds pulls your eye to the floor and emphasizes the island as the center of attention. As a result, the lofty room feels warmer and cozier.
Revive a tired vinyl floor with paint and stenciling. Choose a quiet color scheme--too much color and pattern can call attention to flaws rather than hide them.
Clean the floor with trisodium phosphate (TSP) to remove grease and grime, then sand with 220-grit sandpaper to dull the shine. Also apply a liquid deglosser to ensure good adhesion. This preparation plus a stain-blocking primer will help ensure that the painted finish will be durable.
You can use either high-quality latex paint or modified epoxy latex paint on the floor. Protect the surface with several coats of polyurethane.
If you like more color than wood normally provides, take the leap and paint your oak floors. To determine whether you'll like the effect of solid color underfoot, paint a large piece of foam-core board with the look you want to try and live with it on the floor for a week or so.
Choose primers and paints designed to withstand the hard use of a kitchen. A high-quality primer topped with floor enamel or with standard latex paints and several coats of polyurethane are two possibilities. The second option allows you to add stencils over the painted floor.
Paint can give an old wood floor fresh character. This soft pine floor was first painted sunny yellow, then large white diamonds were added. The colorful border around the peninsula came last.
Wood flooring looks gently aged when it's stained to let the grain show through. The same process works with paint. This graphic painted floor makes use of a diagonal pattern to repeat the backsplash design. The gray-and-white motif lightens the room.
Diamonds roughly 36 inches square are laid out in long rows from a hallway through the dining area to the kitchen. This bold scale has an expansive effect, making the connected spaces feel even larger.
Tape off the diamonds and apply a translucent finish of black furniture paint mixed with glaze. This allows the wood grain to show through. Then seal with polyurethane for a durable finish.
Painted wood floors continue the color scheme on the walls, and stripes make the room seem wider. For an opaque look with no wood grain showing through, use a high-quality stain-blocking primer and self-leveling paint or porch paint.
Stripes are a relatively simple pattern to apply. Paint the entire floor the base coat color and use painter's tape to mark off strips of the desired width for the remaining colors.
Diamond patterns for floors go back to 17th-century Europe, when aristocrats chose elaborate wood parquets for their palaces. The middle class imitated the look with paint.
For durability, choose a latex porch and floor enamel or a high-performance floor enamel. These paints are formulated to take the heavy wear and tear a floor is subjected to, they're available in a range of colors, and cleanup is easy with soap and water.