artsy fartsy,  crafts gone wrong,  crazy stuff,  domesticity,  how-to's,  I'm an idiot,  painting,  the sticks

How Not To Paint Your Floor


What do you do when you are buried with work, deadlines are falling all around you like giant redwoods in a timber harvest, you have guests coming in from out of town and you decided to have a great big fiesta on Saturday with lots and lots of friends? Do you knuckle down and get your work done so you’ll have plenty of time to clean your house and get ready for the party before your guests arrive OR do you walk around your house and dream up some impossible last-minute DIY home-improvement projects? The latter of course!

Because you wouldn’t want your guests to see the bathroom floor looking like this:

mint floor

The horror! Actually, it looked much worse than that. The paint had come up in spots and it was soooo dirty. Muddy kid bathing, running-over sinks (that’s another story) and dogs with hair and claws do not do well on painted pressed wood (not to be confused with plywood, that would be a step up). It was the floor that could not be mopped. Oh, I tried to mop it. Believe me. But scrubbing seemed to just make it worse. You know you have a problem when you moisten the wood and it just comes up in crumbs in your hand. It was icky.

So I decided to paint the floor! Giant deadlines be damned. (Don’t worry clients, all’s well in the end.) My mom had taken all the girls over to her house for Camp Grandma so I decided to attack the floor with wild blood-shot-eyes of craziness and then get my work done on the side. That’s how we get things done around here.

wild blood-shot eyes of craziness

Oh yeah.

painting my floor

First, I was just going to paint some flowers to distract from the ugliness of the dirty mint green paint. I drew them in with a sharpie and was quite pleased. Then I painted the flowers and leaves and some odd purple paisleys around the toilet area and discovered that the new fresh paint made the old dirty mint green paint look like a hot mess of awfulness. It didn’t detract at all! It pointed instead and screamed, Look! Look! It’s dirty in here! You’re probably going to catch something awful if you walk in here barefoot!

Oh woe is me.

Did I mention that I was using old house paint from a craft project from a long time ago and I didn’t have enough paint to cover the whole floor and definitely not enough for more than one coat? Good thinking, that thar me. But I tried anyway. I tried and tried to skimp out every last scrape of “lemon icing” paint to cover the ugly mint green but there was just NOT enough.

This is about the time I started walking around my house naked doing a one-woman stand-up comedy show all by myself for myself and the dog. I really wish I could have recorded that because I think I am pretty funny. But there was nakedness and blood-shot craziness so no recording was going on.

I did jot down some notes for this post though. I’m such a blogger like that.

Here are my notes:

1. Don’t have a dog, with hair when you are painting your floor. No matter how hard you sweep and wipe up the hair with a wet paper towel, you will miss about 80 thousand of them. That is why they call painting white wash. You are washing the hair with paint. Check your OCD at the back door.

2. Don’t paint with old paint from a past project because you WILL run out and you won’t be able to match it with your home stash of acrylics or the kid poster paint.

3. Do not leave the phone on the counter where you can’t reach it later without stepping in wet paint.

4. Do not forget to paint behind the door. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

5. Do not paint in your favorite nightgown.

That’s all I wrote down but I’m sure there are about 95 more things not to do when painting your floor. In the end I went to Home Depot, shelled out 88 trillion bucks for a gallon (They don’t sell smaller containers. Gah!) of “lemon icing” matched paint and a gallon of epoxy garage floor paint for cement to put over the top and hopefully make the whole mess more mop-able. I really hope it works and doesn’t peel up my masterpiece when I roll it down Friday morning.

$88 dollars later

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention how drying times had to be factored in. You know how I am so great at math. Ha ha. Imagine me with a calculator and smoke coming out of my ears. It turns out I do have enough time to get it all done before the party on Saturday (when my guests will mostly likely need to use the restroom!!) but it was close. So close in fact that I had to step aside and painfully not paint more detail so that I could give it a whole 24 hours to cure before laying down the garage floor epoxy laminate clear coat, or whatever that stuff is called. It was hard stepping aside. I desperately wanted to add more flourishes and scallops and maybe some tapered dotting but I started stepping in paint in places I couldn’t cover up and I knew it was time to cut my losses.

almost done!

My original plan was just to paint some flowers as a temporary measure until I could put some groovy old 70’s linoleum down but now I’m kinda liking the flowers. They’re bright, they’re crazy. They make the rest of the bathroom look like an old lady running away from a flower child on acid but I kinda dig it. If this clear coat thing works out, they might stick around for a while.

At least so I can tell this story over and over.


  • Ashley

    Creativity oozes from you and proof is that floor! I never, ever would have thought of that and i never would have thought it would turn out as cool as it did!

  • bethany actually

    This is like me ignoring my messy house before company comes to bake rainbow cupcakes. I understand perfectly. :-) Glad the drying times all worked out! And you know, there’s always the bathroom at Paulette’s studio next door if we need it.

  • SAJ

    Dad, I hope you didn’t think I hated your paint job. Because it was WONDERFUL compared to the ugly stained wood it was before. And the mint green color was just a silly snafu. I loved it, really.

  • Keely

    I love it! It looks great! My 1st order of business before getting ready for a party is to clean/re-organize my closets. Makes perfect sense to me. :)

  • bethany

    it looks fab!! and i understand the rationale perfectly … morning of fynn’s 5th bday bbq, with food not finished and supplies still not all bought, i HAD to make him his darth vader cape. despite discovering the sewing machine was on the fritz and it had to be done by hand. it was finished, but i was in the shower when the first guests arrived … cest la vie around here!

  • Nothing But Bonfires

    Wow, I love it! Looks fantastic. I’m exactly the same way — a few years ago I had a party and I decided to PAINT THE HALLWAY the day before everyone came, and not just beige or something but a deep, dark charcoal. I mean, honestly — there would have been nothing wrong with just buying some pretty flowers or something to liven up the hallway, but I decided to go one step further and paint it. (It turned out wonderfully and I loved it, but still. I think it was still a little wet to the touch when my guests arrived. “No, don’t lean on that wall! No reason! Just….yeah, just don’t.”)

  • Karen

    I love it! I now like to rip up some of my old grody lino just so I can try my hand at painting what is underneath.

  • sizzle

    The floor looks fantastic!

    I tend to look for distractions when I have looming deadlines and am generally feeling overwhelmed. Usually I’m like, “Now is the perfect time to reorganize the pantry! To correctly file all my photos on my hard drive!”

  • Kuky

    That came out cool.

    And I’m reading along and then I get to the naked part. Ummmm how did you come to be naked? Was it that you got paint on your favorite nightgown? Though I guess it does make sense to paint naked, no clothes to get paint on. Ha ha ha! :-D

  • carrien (she laughs at the days)

    1. I love the floor. It’s very fun.

    2. I refinished and painted a table before the last party I threw, so I know how that goes.


  • Jody

    Not sure I’ve ever commented before, but I read your blog just to see posts like this – how you take something others would think too ugly, too depressing, not worth using/fixing/keeping – and make it beautiful. Love the floor!

  • TexasLea

    So stinkin cute!!!! Just be aware epoxy paint fumes are strong and you may have to use a fan to air the place out awhile. You can come to Texas and paint on my floors anytime though SAJ!

  • Heather

    While I love the painted floor, it is too bad we live on opposite sides of the country. I have more than enough “70’s” era vinyl (remnant bought at Home Depot for a small project) to cover your bathroom several times over. I simply can’t toss it and have moved it from one house to the next.

  • gingermog

    Your floor looks great. Sorry that you were stressed while painting but your not alone in starting emergency projects in tight slots of time. Meet my lovely husband who starts dragging out the wood and tools half an hour before a party begins. He did make a lovely bench for people to sit on a few hours later though. Creatives get things done in their own way. ;) xx

  • Susie

    Looks fantastic! How did the clear epoxy work out? I’ve been fantasizing about doing something kooky to one of our floors ever since Crafty Chica’s glitter floor. (Did you see that? If not, you should check it out. AWESOME.)

  • Susan

    WOW Super BRENDA has done it again! It looks absolutely wonderful, what a fantastic idea, I love it. And I know it will seal perfectly too.