In our latest DECOLab: Surfacing in The Big Ideas Issue 95, we show you the newest techniques, the smartest buys and the most practical tips when updating or renovating floors, surfaces and walls. On page 43 we look at clever ways to update your wooden flooring, through stains and stencils.
You can create a unique effect by stenciling hexagons or triangular shapes, or paint existing hardwood flooring in any shape or design using stains in modern colours, such as Harlequin’s Bluemoon and LimeWhite.
We show you how…
Day to Day Guideline
Day 1: Sand and clean the floor; paint the base colour or lightest shade of the chosen stains.
Day 2: Lay out, tape and paint the darker parts of the pattern.
Day 3: Apply a second coat or translucent sealant/varnish as desired.
DIFFICULTY: Moderate depending on the chosen design and number of repeats
Tools & Materials:
long metal ruler
fine grit sanding paper or a sanding machine
2cm masking tape
5-6cm wide paint brush
mini paint rollers
cheap plastic picnic plates as drip trays for the paint/stain
multiple pairs of latex gloves
clean damp cloth
chalk or a pencil
paint thinner or stripper
2-3 paints/stains (lighter base tone and 1-2 darker shades for the patterns)
translucent satin or gloss patio, floor or showroom paint
polyurethane for the top coat, as well as a satin finish if you desire a more matte finish
Before you start:
This job is messy and dusty so be sure to protect and move any pieces of furniture far out of the area and/or cover them in sheets. Pay special attention to speakers and electronics as the ultra-fine dust particles will find its way into every crevice.
It’s essential to wear protective gear such as gloves, safety goggles and clothing you don’t mind get stained or damaged. When sanding the area it’s best to double up on gloves as latex gloves tend to be fairly thin and splinters may penetrate the surface.
Strip and sand the entire area so it is dull and clear of any paint or varnish. Be careful to sand very close into corners and near the edges to ensure an even result .
Follow the directions on your paint thinner can to remove any existing stain or varnish.
Use a metal paint scraper to scrape as much of the varnish off as possible.
Vacuum and wipe away all the dust with a slightly damp cloth to free the area of dust particles. Allow sufficient time for the area to completely dry.
For squares or diamonds it’s best to decide how many squares you want across your floor starting the process as this affects how much tape you will use as well as where your pattern starts.
Try always starting in the middle and end on a full or mid-repeat. Take your width measurement and divide it by how many repeats you want.
Then do the length measurement and divide your desired number of repeats into it.
1. Paint the base colour around the edges of the floor with a wide paintbrush. Using a paint roller, coat the entire prepared area. Be sure to start opposite the door so that you paint/stain yourself out of the room. Let the first coat dry completely. If necessary, lightly sand the floor, again wiping the residue away with a damp cloth, and apply a second coat. Let the paint/stain dry overnight before taping out the pattern and applying the darker colour.
2. Setting a hexagonal or diamond pattern on a diagonal looks dynamic and makes the room appear bigger, however the pattern will look a lot more effective and professional if it ends mid-repeat at the walls. Figure out which wall is least visible and start measuring and marking the pattern guides from the opposite side of the room.
3. Calculate the number of repeats you want to fit across the center wall of the three most visible walls. Divide the length of the wall by the number of repeats. With this measurement, mark the wall from corner to corner using chalk or a pencil. Then make the vertical markings in accordance with the number of repeats required lengthwise.
Tip: Chalk is naturally easier to clean however when using a pencil it is best to rub markings clean using a damp cloth rather than an eraser as the eraser may fade spots of the paint/stain used beneath.
For a diamond pattern the lines will be drawn matching the first horizontal marking on the left to the first vertical marking on the left followed by the first horizontal marking on the right to the first vertical marking on the right. Immediately you will see the diamond pattern formed. Mark each diamond to be painted with an ‘X’ either in chalk or a small piece of masking tape. Using the masking tape, mark the insides of each X-marked diamond as these will be the areas that remain lighter.
To draw hexagonal patterns draw horizontal chalk lines alternating between 10-12cm and 20-24cm starting at 10-12cm from the centre wall. Draw short lines starting on the left meeting the lower line to the first initial horizontal marking (indicating the width of each horizontal repeat), back down to the lower line and back up to the next horizontal marking along the centre wall continuing right across, it will form a shallow zig zag. Repeat this in the opposite direction between the next two lines skipping the 20-24cm space each time. So if the first shallow chevron started up, the next will start downwards constantly alternating. Once all the shallow chevrons have been drawn in the 10-12cm parallel spaces, join each peak in the 20-24cm spaces together with a line. You will instantly notice this forms a consistent hexagonal pattern. Mark each hexagonal to be painted with an ‘X’ either in chalk or a small piece of masking tape. Using the masking tape, mark the insides of each X-marked hexagonal as these will be the areas that remain lighter.
4. Be sure to rub down and precisely trim the ends of each strip applied to the floor using a box cutter along a metal ruler to prevent the paint/stain from bleeding or obstructing areas to be stained.
5. The tape outside of each repeat to be painted/stained is an excellent guide for painting however an uneven wood floor is often a difficult surface to tape. To help keep paint from bleeding under the tape, paint the edges of each diamond/hexagonal inwards with a brush. You can speed up the remaining area with a mini roller. Roll the paint/stain on in the same direction as the floorboards for a consistent, professional finish. Continue painting each diamond/hexagonal in this manner until the floor is finished.
Tip: Clean up drips or mistakes by wiping them up with a damp rag while they’re still wet, this avoids having to sand small areas again leaving fresh blotchy marks once paint/stain is reapplied.
6. Remove the tape before the paint completely dries but not while it is still fresh so that it doesn’t pull up any of the lighter base colour with it. Peel the tape away from the paint at an angle to leave a clean edge.
7. Patio, floor and showroom paint is incredibly durable but for high-traffic areas consider topping the
finished floor with a coat of polyurethane. After the paint has dried for a full day, use a roller to apply the polyurethane evenly across the floor. If you would like to use a second coat of paint, lightly sand the first coat before putting the second one down.
Tip: The higher the gloss on paint or polyurethane, the more durable it is. If you want the resilience of high gloss without the shine, put on a top coat of satin polyurethane to tone down the gloss.
Compiled by Stefanie Lee Titus