Text by Bethany Adams
While the ceiling is sometimes referred to as a “fifth wall,” benefiting from bold treatments like patterned wallpaper, the floor is too-often forgotten when it comes to designing a home. To help it have its day, we’re showing off a few of our favorite painted floors, along with practical tips for utilizing this under-appreciated design element in your own space.
Splash of Style
Statement walls and ceilings are always a sight for sore eyes, but what about statement floors? If you’re looking to make your space really pop, you might opt for a bolder shade underfoot—and with floor paint now available in tintable varieties, the possibilities have become endless.
Tip: Selecting the right color for your floors is just as important as choosing the right shade for your walls. Take your time considering undertones and complementary shades—ideally, test out your favorites with paint samples and see how they change with the light.
For a low-maintenance but beautiful option on the porch, paint is appropriate for both wood and concrete floors. In spaces like this, it can even highlight the beauty of your outdoor furniture and reinforce the serene, relaxing atmosphere you want to create.
Tip: For outdoor spaces exposed to the elements, opt for a paint formulated for porch use. For spaces where rain is a concern, look for a brand that includes anti-slip material, or purchase it separately and mix it into your paint of choice.
Clean, glossy finishes are a perk of painted floors, but if you’re looking for something a bit more shabby chic, consider creating a weathered look. Contrasted with bright-white walls and ceiling, it’s an attractive option that packs a punch of personality.
A few coats of paint in a utilitarian space can serve as both brawn and beauty—holding up to regular use, spills, and more while also offering a venue for color or pattern. This potting shed perfectly showcases the advantages of reaching for the paint roller in your creative space.
If your style incorporates a signature shade, your floors can be the perfect place to show it off. Matching the hue of your floorboards to furniture, artwork, or even your favorite antiques can infuse your home with your personal style in a fresh and unique way.
Compare and Contrast
Utilize painted floors to delineate different spaces and create charming contrast in your home. Here, a natural wood finish gives way to a room that glows with a sunny, serene atmosphere and leads the eye naturally to a collection of beloved antiques.
Improved with Time
Worried about upkeep? If your home leans into vintage or timeworn style, consider embracing the patina and letting your floors become more beautiful over time.
Tip: If you prefer a long-lasting surface, top your floors with a polyurethane finish. Opting for an oil-base primer, sanding between layers, and allowing sufficient time for curing are also crucial for creating a finish that will stand up to time.
Flex your creative muscles while staying under budget by taking a page out of this homeowner’s book. With an artistic touch and a paintbrush, she grounded her sunroom with a faux slate finish atop the existing concrete.
Show Your Stripes
The same design principles that apply to other elements also transfer to your floors—as beautifully demonstrated by this space. Stripes in a low-contrast palette help lengthen the room, drawing attention to the view that waits outside.
Tip: Take the size and shape of the room into account when designing your floor. Light colors will contribute height to low-ceilinged spaces, stripes can help guide the eye, and dark shades pack a punch in rooms that lack architectural interest.
When your home is filled with collected treasures, you want to make sure they shine. In this home, designer Barri Thompson opted to painted everything—from ceiling to floors—clean white in order to show off the homeowners’ extensive collection of French antiques.
Mother of Invention
These homeowners turned to paint as a temporary fix until they could replace their water-damaged parquet floors. By the time they were finished, however, the feature had become a focal point. Follow their lead by using paint to highlight, rather than hide, your floor’s best features.
A Helpful Hack
Want something elaborate, but you’re short on artistic skill? Stencils allow for a wide array of options, regardless of time or talent, making it easier to design a floor that fits your unique style.