Techniques

How to Paint Floorboards with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan

Painting floors and floorboards is easy with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan! Chalk Paint® is an extremely functional furniture paint that can be used on almost any surface; making it the perfect solution to update and refresh floors. Here, Annie will show you what to look out for, the quickest ways to fix any issues, and how to guarantee your beautiful new floor lasts for years and years.

Firstly, you must test how Chalk Paint® and Chalk Paint® Lacquer perform on your flooring. Floorboards are often old with no previous known history of exposure to varnishes, spillages or stains. When you apply Chalk Paint® Lacquer to a surface it can draw out old stains from your flooring, through the Chalk Paint®, and mar your finish.

To test the flooring, apply two coats of your chosen Chalk Paint® colour (here Annie has chosen Old White) in a few small areas. Annie recommends testing several different areas of the floor to give a better estimate of its condition: some areas may have different stains or additional water damage.

Once dry, apply a coat of Chalk Paint® Lacquer to each of the patch test areas. This is the really important step. As demonstrated in the video, Chalk Paint® alone will cover stains etc; it’s only when Lacquer is applied that any damage to the floor will become apparent. The chemicals in Lacquers which make it such a durable, hard wearing finish for your floor have the unfortunate effect of pulling stains and spills through Chalk Paint® and to the top of the surface, where a yellowing effect can occur. It is therefore crucial to apply Lacquer to all the tests to ensure no stains come through.

When they’re dry, check your test patches. If they look clean and clear, then you’re ready to paint. If they have yellowed or drawn out a stain; fear not! Here are your options:

1. Use a dark Chalk Paint® colour such as Graphite, Aubusson Blue, Athenian Black, Amsterdam Green or Oxford Navy. Here, Annie has demonstrated with Chalk Paint® in Athenian Black. A stain previously showing through Old White does not come through on the black paint. This is a quick and easy solution to the issue, although we would still recommend testing the darker colour for reassurance.

2. If you want to stick with your initial design plans for a light Chalk Paint® colour, your course of action should be to apply a stain blocker to your flooring. These usually come as either transparent or opaque and can be purchased from most hardware stores. Annie prefers transparent stain blocker. Apply all over your floor, and then follow the next steps.

Once you have done all your relevant testing, what’s next? Make sure your floors are clean! Use warm soapy water and a sponge. Do not use products containing harsh chemicals such as bleach when pre-washing your floors, as these can prevent Chalk Paint® and Lacquer from performing properly.

Application! You can either use a paint brush or roller to apply Chalk Paint® and Lacquer to your flooring, but many people find a roller easier.

• TOP TIP: try an extending handle or even attach the roller or brush to a long stick to save your back and posture during the painting process.

Start by painting the edges of the room, applying Chalk Paint® with a brush along all the sides and corners, cutting in a few centimetres. Then paint the rest of the floor. Depending on the colour you’ve chosen you may need two coats of paint. Apply the second coat in the same manner as the first.

• TOP TIP: Start from the furthest point away from and work backwards towards the door so you don’t literally paint yourself into a corner.

Once the Chalk Paint® is completely dry, apply Chalk Paint® Lacquer. Stir the Lacquer thoroughly before use. Apply in the same manner as Chalk Paint®; using a brush for the edges and a roller or brush for the middle section. The Lacquer is faster drying than Chalk Paint® so be sure to work semi-quickly and be aware of over brushing. Try not to brush or roll over drying Lacquer as this may drag the finish.

Chalk Paint® Lacquer is available in both a Matt and Gloss finish. Gloss varnishes/lacquers are always stronger than matt because the additional matting agents can affect the strength of varnish. Both finishes will work, however do bear this in mind if your floor is a particularly high traffic area. The matting agents in matt lacquers can also sometimes cause a cloudy effect on darker colours. Therefore, if you are applying Matt Lacquer onto a dark colour we would suggest a coat of Gloss first.

We advise applying two to three coats of Chalk Paint® Lacquer for full coverage, strength and peace of mind. The more coats the better! Leave plenty of time between coats for the Lacquer to fully dry. Once touch dry, the Lacquer will go through a further curing process over about 14 days where it will fully harden. You can use the floor during this period but please be gentle with it.

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