When it’s Time to Paint Your Ugly Floor

how to paint a floor

laundry before

It’s time.

You know the room, that wall, that floor, that space that would be so much better if you just had the budget for it and if only your husband was a contractor? That is all of my rooms.

Let’s stop waiting. Let’s do something about it now so that we can start enjoying the space even before it’s perfect. Who knows, maybe Good Enough will be good enough.

Here’s how it happened for me….

A few months ago we painted the walls of this, the back porch/laundry room/most often used entrance to our house. We have three different types of walls in here (cedar siding above the washer and dryer–this used to be the exterior of the house, pine panels and beadboard). To make it all work together we primed it all with a coat of primer and then covered that with a coat of white paint (just run-of-the-mill white paint out of the can). This post has more details about the walls and such, for now, let’s talk floors.


Chad used the sprayer to paint and prime the walls and ceiling and we ended up with some white paint on the floor. But we didn’t really care because we hated the floor anyway.

Don’t be afraid to ruin something you already hate.


A few months later, the over spray paint from the walls was still holding strong on the floor and I knew that meant it would probably hold paint in the color of my choice.

So I mopped and swept the floors as good as I could.

You are going to ask me if these floors are linoleum or vinyl and I don’t know. I just know I didn’t like them and they are one big sheet of flooring.

painted floors

I taped off the walls at the floor (so I wouldn’t get the grey floor paint on the baseboard) and I started off with a coat of white Kilz primer. First I used a brush and cut in all around the edges of the floor (including the bathroom there on the left, that has the same flooring).

bathroom painted floor

painting floors

Y’all, I didn’t even paint under the bottom of the hutch. It’s here for now, I painted around it. Same with the washer and dryer, just painted around it. #That’llDoForNow #FamousLastWords

This project is about getting it done, not about getting it perfect–this room needs a ton more work that I’ll tell you about later. The truth is we need a new floor, but ‘for now’ this’ll do. Amen. I trust no one is going to come and arrest me for doing it all wrong and ending up with a much prettier space.

paint that floor

Painting (& priming) floors is the funnest!

You just pour the paint right onto the floor and use a roller on an extension. It’s like magical mopping–my favorite kind!

paint that ugly floor

Once the primer was dry (an hour or two) then I grabbed the floor paint–I used an off the shelf pre-mixed color because I am the most impatient person in the world and didn’t even want to wait an extra eight minutes to have someone mix a color for me and all I cared about was that it was gray. I happened to use Valspar Porch and Floor Paint in “Dark Gray”. Any porch and floor paint should do and most of them can be mixed into a custom color.

how can I paint my kitchen floor

floor painted

I used one coat of primer and one coat of paint.

This is a major walkway for our house and like any solid color floor, dirt is gonna show, so I’m in the market for a good rug. I broke all the rules. We walked on the floor later that night. Our animals all use the back porch and the dog door. We didn’t have the luxury of waiting around for something to cure (did it even need it? I have no idea).

It could look horrible in six months. But did you see the before? It already looked horrible–I was taking ZERO risks! I don’t mind scratches or rubbing off–I actually like that look, but if it peels that will drive me crazy.


What’s the worst that can happen? I have to get a new floor before I really want to? That’s a pretty great worst case scenario. Can I get a high-five?

So many of us simply live with an ugly floor that we hate. Instead we could be taking a risk where it’s quite possible that we could end up with a floor we really like and where the worst case scenario would be that we have to once again live with an ugly floor we hate.

You can’t ruin what you already hate.

Do you get what I am saying? It’s almost risk free! BE  HAPPY about your ugly floor because the ugliness gives you permission to risk ruining it!


before floor painted

painted floor

painted floor

painted floor



And don’t you dare feel bad about your currently lived in laundry room because you think that my laundry room is sitting all cutely and cleanish like this….laundry rooms are hard working rooms…


Naturally, four minutes after I took that last photo our dryer broke and it’s been sitting like this and will continue showing us it’s wire-y insides until the part gets delivered.


May you go forth and risk ruining something you already hate.

Related Posts:

Progress of Redemption: Why We Painted over “Good Wood”

$175 Laundry Room Makeover in our rental house

Because You’ve Always Secretly Hoped that Perfect Wasn’t the Goal

hope big


  1. I TOTALLY have your back on this! Sometimes it just needs to be prettier and done… right now.

    The changes are looking awesome, except that last dryer picture;) Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love, love, love it!

  3. Fabulous!

  4. I think you are wonderful, you always give me courage to do what I keep putting off! That’s the cutest laundry/mudroom ever!

  5. Ah!! You are my hero! This is so fabulous!

  6. Love it!

  7. We appreciate your honest, but seriously.


    • Lora Greene says

      Honey, I told my husband that I was going to call the Health Dept. on myself if I didn’t clean my house..He just laughed and said if he didn’t get Ebola, the plague or some other deadly disease he wasn’t concerned with junk and clutter. Here’s to the lovers and the life they live that makes a house a home…

    • You’re mean:(

  8. Baileywife @ Irishman acres says

    I wouldn’t mind that being the entry that is used the most, simply gorgeous, the painted wood walls are my favorite! Good luck with your dryer, I know with a large family that everything comes to a standstill when mama can’t get laundry done ✋~Kim

  9. I LOVE this! Just what I needed to read. Love your finished laundry room. I have several paint projects that I need to do. I have a hard time getting started though. Thanks for being an inspiration!

  10. I want to paint our laundry room floor so badly but I keep waiting for it to be perfect before I do! Maybe this is the inspiration I need!

  11. Very cool! Thanks for sharing!!

    The Office Stylist

  12. Brittney knight says

    This is why I love you! The beautiful pics followed up by real life-Thank you friend!

  13. LOVE it! This gives me such hope for those hopeless spaces at my house : )

  14. Love that your ideas and concepts are the same as they were when I began reading your blog years ago. Love the makeover and so glad it’s not perfect because it’s absolutely beautiful as is. This isn’t HGTV presto chango…this is real life! #idhtbptbb

  15. What I love is that you are answering the question in my mind right after I’ve asked it! Now that is knowing and loving your readers. Full of courage now, and cannot wait to show my husband the floor not painted under the hutch! Yipee!!

  16. I love it. It turned out beautifully! Now I want to go find a floor to paint. Unfortunately I can’t because we’re selling in a couple of months, and my husband is a “don’t paint anything!” kind of guy, while I’m a “paint all the things!” girl. Ooh, I know: I can paint my basement stairs! Maybe ;-) I have a lot of other tings on the to do list before I can tackle that one.

  17. I love the look. I love the way your personality shines through you words and may I say I wholeheartedly agree with you about the making it look better and not fearing to ruin what you hate. Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. I looooooove that you didn’t paint under the w/d or the hutch!!!!

  19. Sharon McMartin says

    Beautiful! And great advice! I don’t know why I wait for “perfect” because I know it won’t ever be perfect, which is ok. Other peoples imperfections are cool and no big deal to me. Why are our own imperfections not ok with ourselves?? I’m gonna start taking risks and love my house….imperfections and all!!:)

  20. I love it! I wonder if you can paint real tile… ??? hmmmmmm

  21. Kelly, at View Along the Way, painted her laundry room floor (which was then featured in Better Homes & Gardens) – http://www.viewalongtheway.com/2013/01/how-to-paint-vinyl-or-laminate-flooring/. She mentioned that five months later, there wasn’t even a scratch. Apparently Porch and Floor paint is the golden ticket! LOVE the gray – amazing how paint can transform and inspire!

  22. we painted our fugg ugly vinyl kitchen floor. Grey & burgundy stripes which came out great. Still going strong after a year. Peeled a bit under the dog’s bowl, which is now hidden under a mat, so she can slobber all she wants.

  23. LOVE the outcome. I currently have a room with damaged carpet from the puppy chewing the top off of a bottle of gear oil and also chewing up a tub of yellow craft paint. I hate that floor but don’t have the money yet to replace it with hard wood. I’m thinking now that living with a painted subfloor for a year just might be an improvement after all. Thanks for the inspiration.

  24. Esther @denofsix says

    Lol! You are super awesome!! It looks 100% better and I love that you spill the guts about your real diy adventures!

  25. Oh how I love this! Now trying to think of a space I already hate that I can try to possibly ruin with paint!

  26. Loving EVERYTHING about it!

  27. I heart you. I love my own house so much now thanks to the courage you’ve given me to live imperfectly free in my home. Your laundry/mud room is beautiful!

  28. Don’t forget — you also changed to a fabulous light fixture rather than the ceiling fan :)

  29. Oh how I wish I would have seen this post about 6 years ago! We lived with a horrendous brick linoleum (or maybe vinyl) for way too many years in our kitchen. I ended up covering it with tile, and then that became a mess because the grout cracked … and then the tiles started cracking. We thought we did all we needed to do to make our old floors even … well, apparently not! Anyway, we JUST ripped it all out to find old wide plank hardwood floors underneath it all … hallejuah! Long story why the wood floors were not discovered earlier … anyway, I would have most likely just painted the floor after reading this! It looks great!

  30. Nester … I love you. You have such a great take on things and you have helped me not worry about being perfect. I have used your tagline more than once and it makes me very happy to know that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  31. Wow, words fail me. Short of writing a blog post in the comments, let me just say that I have been wanting to paint my- already painted but not with floor paint half-scraped linoleum so every time I mop paint and more linoleum come up with the dirt that the flippers who flipped our house kindly left for me- kitchen floor. We bought this house 6 years ago and so I’ve been wanting to paint the floor for 5 years and 9 months :-) but the only way to the (only) bathroom is thru the kitchen. #howtheydidthingsin1903…orwheneverpumbingwasinvented. it never occurred to me until I read that you just left the armoir and painted around it, that I could do the same thing and then we could climb on the furnature hot-lava game style to use the bathroom while we waited for the paint to dry. The kids would be delighted and I would be over the moon. Brilliant, I tell you. Everything about this post is just brilliant!

  32. Looks great! I love that you don’t wait until everything can be perfect…your posts are so encouraging!

  33. Amen, sister. If it’s already awful, you don’t have anything to lose. I’m looking at you, soon-to-be-red front door!

  34. Yes, yes, yes! I’ve done this, and in the worst case scenario I just hated something less.

    (And that something was a nightstand that really should have been “put out to pasture” but got one last chase at a rodeo.)

  35. Our school room carpet is so cheap, nasty and stained I’ve been dying to do something crazy. At first I thought I’d find OSB subfloor and thought I could paint huge squares on the diagonal over THAT, but my husband just informed me it’s probably a slab since we have in-floor heat upstairs in that space. I’ve heard they have all kinds of wonderful concrete paint! You’ve just inspired me to go lift a corner of that carpet RIGHT NOW……!

  36. Is that a bright yellow vent cover in the corner!?? Because that looks fabulous with the grey floor and white walls! Why isn’t it featured more?

    PS So sorry about your poor appliance!

  37. Jennifer Thornton says

    You are so ADORABLE- thanks for inspiration and honesty! Can you share the source for the coat rack- it’s exactly what I am looking for! :)

  38. I love it! Good risk. I’ll bet it touches up good too, if it ever needs it.

  39. It’s adorable and so chic! My floor is an ugly tile and I guess I cannot do this but.. seriously… you are the queen of thrifty elegance!

  40. Nester once again I want to hug you.

  41. Awesome post! Such a lovely difference that paint made!
    I’m in the process of painting some things I don’t like, and I’m already pleased with the improvement. We have very cheap hollow core door with a rough surface (why? I don’t even know how that would have happened). I recently painted all these interior doors a soft gray to contrast with our newly-painted white walls, and I LOVE it!

  42. Hello–
    Looks great! I also love your “footed” cake stands and your coat rack! Care to share the sources? Thanks:)

  43. hi Nester, thank u for keeping me updated..especially on this one !!!!! I LOVE IT.
    our basement/family room/laundry room/gonna be a man cave ! was flooded last yr. we tore up all the carpeting and that is as far as it got ….. I have said several times that I thought painting it would be a geat idea only to be met with a “hmmm” I love the way urs turned out, it looks awesome ! so thanks for all ur awesome ideas…and I thank u to for the “it doesn’t have to be perfect” coming from a frustrated used to be what I thought was a “perfect” girl….things are changing around here !! xoxoxxo

  44. My husband would freak out if we had all that wood and I painted it white! Lol- glad I know this, I will never buy a wooden house, because I love the white!

  45. Painting the floor…genius! It looks awesome.

  46. The room looks fabulous! Love what you did with The walls and floors! My husband keeps threatening to rip up our old carpet and leave the subfloor until we can afford new carpet, which I would be ok with, except it’s pretty much the WHOLE house. I said he could If he was willing to buy area rugs (we live in CO and have vaulted ceilings . . . And it’s Feb). He isn’t. I love your perspective on the situation though, it helps me keep perspective on our situation.

  47. yesyesyesyesyesyes YES! We have the butt-ugliest lino in our entryway… It’s 1970 pink and “marbled” and just the ugliest thing ever. I’ve often thought of ripping it up, but there are a couple of closets involved and I just didn’t want to have to deal with everything. But now — NOW — I see a solution. Thank you!!!!! And, I love that you didn’t paint under the hutch!! And… Have you considered painting the laundry room ceiling sky blue? I think it would look so pretty!

    • I just painted the basement ceiling “breath of fresh air” blue and it’s So Beautiful, I love it. Benjamin Moore.

  48. Lauren Holbrook says

    Awesome! I’m going to do this exact thing-it looks so similar to my place! I was wondering what color you used on the door??

  49. Love this!! It really does surpise me how much people get paralized by fear. I jurt recently did a complete gut-job makeover of my closet. It was so terribly disfunctional and now it’s beautiful. I painted the floors in there after I ripped up the carpet. Eventually, the tile from the bathroom will run in the closet. But for now, I have a closet that makes me smile as I enter. A closet that I can acutally keep neat and tidy, with painted floors. I shudder to think if I had waited in misery, with a sloppy, unorganized closet because I wan’t ready to invest in new flooring.

  50. That’s some serious rock star vision you’ve got going on. You are the house whisperer! Every room looks so happy now! Btw, what color gray is on the doors? So pretty.

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