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How to Paint a Plywood Floor

For a durable and beautiful floor on a budget

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Paint this pattern on plywood

Paint this pattern on plywood for a real challenge!

Photo: Quinn Shanahan

For floors that any budget can afford, why not try plywood floors - painted to suit your style. Yes, plywood. You can make common plywood into something special!

  1. Safety. Remember safety first! Put on your dust mask and safety glasses! Then sand those dents, dings, holes, and other assorted problem spots. Rent a pole sander for a day to cover large areas. And remember to sand with the grain of the wood, even if the wood is scruffy! Use wood putty to fill those major potholes!
  2. Clean. Clean up all the sand and dust you created by wiping up any residue with a damp towel or two - or three!
  3. Primer. When the floor is dry, paint on a coat of primer or use self-priming paint. Don't paint yourself into a corner by starting at the entrance of the room. Start at the far side of the room and paint the primer on with a paintbrush. Let the primer coat dry.
  4. Paint. Paint the floor using a roller. Again, remember not to paint yourself into a corner! Begin at the corner farthest from the door. Always roll from a dry area to a wet area to minimize marks and leave a smooth coat.
  5. Pattern.Let the paint dry thoroughly before painting your pattern. Use your imagination to come up with geometric shapes, flowers, the look of faux tile, faux stone or even a faux rug! Freehand or stencil the pattern depending on your ability.
  6. Cure.Let the paint dry or cure for at least two days after you paint the last pattern coat. No one should walk on the floor until it dries - no kids, no pets, and no adults!

There you have it - a beautiful floor embellished from your own creative efforts!

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