since posting about our floor renovations, i've had some questions as to how exactly i painted the floor. i'm going to lay out as best i can the steps i took. keep in mind, i'm not a professional and there may be better ways. this is just how i did it.
above is a photo of the pattern i cut out of foam core (which i'll talk about it more detail below). i think it's beautiful just on it's own. unfortunately it doesn't exist anymore which is why i took the photo. as i got to the edges of the room i had to keep cutting it down until there was nothing left. sad, sad, story.
how to: (prepping the floor)
- start with a freshly sanded or smooth floor. when the refinishers sanded the maple floors, we had them do this room as well so i had a fresh palette to work with.
- i applied a single coat of primer to the floor to start. it wasn't a very thick coat, you could still see the grain of the wood through it.
- i applied 3 coats of the base coat color. i used glossy finish porch paint because i wanted it to be easily cleanable since it's a high traffic area. (fyi, home depot is discontinuing this paint and is only going to be offering matte finish....bummer.)
how to: (creating the stencil)
- to create the stencil, i found a pattern i liked. i then recreated the pattern in illustrator and made adjustments. (ie. i made the center flower larger, took out some small line details, spaced the flowers out more etc.) if you don't have a program like illustrator, you could do this with graph paper, or something similar to ensure your pattern is perfectly symmetrical etc. (or you could ask a good friend that has access to such a program) ;)
- i scaled the pattern to the exact size i wanted it to be on our floor. make sure you have something in your design that you can use to line them up to create the pattern on your floor. for me, i could line up the dots from the previous flower to know exactly where the next one went.
- i then printed it out at full size. (most programs offer the tiling function so it will print the design on multiple pieces of paper that you can then tape together)
- i purchased the largest size of foam core from hobby lobby and taped the printout to it.
- using an hobby knife, i carefully cut out the pattern. this is not easy, especially with a rounded design such as mine was. it would be much more simple with a straight-lined design. i chose foam core since it was a big project and i wanted something that would hold up to multiple uses. i was afraid matte board or the like would end up getting soggy.
how to: (painting with your stencil)
- i measured my room to find the exact center and started there. depending on your design, this may or may not be the way you want to do it. for me, i wanted the design to run off the edges of the room from left to right, but then end short front to back, so this step was important.
- using a small artist brush i started painting in the stencil. again, i used glossy porch paint in white. for mine, it would definitely take 2 coats to get a solid color, however, we stopped at 1 because it was the look we were going for.
- after each flower, i would line the stencil up to determine where the next one went. having a floor with lines also helped ensure that i kept my stencil straight. if you did this without something that was lined, you might need to lay down a starting line to make sure your first one is straight. after that, if you line everything up they should continue being straight.
that's basically it! one tip i would suggest: if you use foam core, coat the cut edges with a couple coats of paint. i found that once it got coated with paint, it smoothed out and took care of any little imperfections there were in my cutting.
i hope that answers everything. if not, feel free to leave a comment. i'm happy to answer any questions! if you paint something, be sure to send me a link to some photos! i'd love to see!