Let me start this post with a confession: I didn’t expect this project to turn out as well as it did.
I’m normally a planner and a researcher when it comes to DIY projects, but this carpet was disgusting to the nth degree and needed to go ASAP. My sweet little rescue rabbits had some stomach issues (I’ll save you from the gruesome details of the hopping chocolate fountains), but this was an emergency carpet removal mission. I had no intentions of spending hundreds of dollars on the space, so I did some fast and furious Pinteresting/Googling and came across this faux painting technique.
I ripped out a small test square of carpet and padding in the playroom to give the technique a whirl. After I saw the results below, I tackled the entire room with a nothing-to-lose attitude, using old paint that I found in our basement, making the cost ZERO. Start to finish, it only took me 6-8 hours to complete.
Before I get into the method, here are some of the pros and cons that I have found with this flooring option:
Pros: Fast and easy (6-8 hrs); affordable or even free, if you have paint on hand; easy to customize colors, textures and plank width; durable.
Cons: Rougher surface than traditional hardwoods, loud, cold, has an obvious faux look.
Here is how I transformed our builder-grade plywood subfloor into a faux wide-plank wood floor!
First, I removed the carpet and padding.
Then I went over the entire floor, countersinking nails, removing padding staples and filling any large gaps or unwanted holes with wood filler.
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I left some nail holes to add character. I also filled the large vertical cracks that separated the sheets of plywood. I left the horizontal cracks and used them as a reference for my planks. Then I painted the floor with two coats of paint/primer in Benjamin Moore Gingerbread Man eggshell. Any mustard color will work for the base coats.
I then measured and marked my plank widths and used painter’s tape to mask the planks.
Once my planks were marked, I mixed my paint. I used leftover exterior satin paint in Behr Baronial Brown for my main color, but any chocolate brown will work. I mixed 2 cups of paint with 2 cups of water and mixed well. The accent color for the board edges and knots was 1/4 cup of craft acrylic paint in dark chocolate, mixed with a teaspoon of black acrylic, mixed with equal parts of water (1:1 paint to water ratio).
I used a wide foam brush to apply the brown to the entire plank, then used the brown/black to outline the plank and make small circles for knots. Then I ran my natural bristle brush against the grain of the plank, pushing it and twisting it to create knots and blend the plank outline. I used vertical pieces of tape to tape off my plank lengths. In retrospect, I think it would have looked better to use a darker brown base color and skip the knots.
It gets tedious at times, so I called in for reinforcements. Maybe they will keep the room clean since they have an investment in the floor? We’ll see…
At the halfway point, I stepped back and made sure that I was properly staggering my joints and creating various board lengths to give a more genuine appearance.
After the paint had dried, I wasn’t sold on the overall appearance, so I decided against putting a polyurethane protective finish on top. If you love yours, make sure you put a protective poly coat on top! I’m hoping that the exterior satin paint will provide more durability, but for a temporary fix, we are thoroughly enjoying the appearance of the “new” floor!
We will eventually install hardwood or carpet in the room but I’m happy with it for now.
Best of all, the girls have discovered that the absence of underlayment makes for some dramatic acoustics! Therefore, it was only fitting that the karaoke machine and microphones were the final touch.
Before you attempt this, be sure to watch the master of subfloor painting on the YouTube link below! I watched this video several times before starting my project. I’m pretty sure he is a real artist, so his flooring turned out AMAZING! Happy painting.
As always, if you dive into this project, I would love to see how it turns out for you! Happy painting!!