Introduction

a bedroom painted in a beige and white diamond checker pattern
Photo: Kolin Smith
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The burgundy red floor in the master bedroom of Sara and Andrew's Massachusetts farmhouse didn't fit the fresh and energetic personality of the newlyweds. But refinishing wasn't an option on a limited budget. So to update the space, they painted the floor in a light checked pattern, using beige and white to warm up their cool blue walls. Recently, This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers used their techniques to create a similar floor in his own house. Here he shows how a little measuring and a couple of coats of durable floor paint can add a little personality to a room for a small price.

Floor paint: Bay Harbor Beige and Patio White by Benjamin Moore
about $39 per gallon
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    Tools List

    • Sanding Sponge
      150-grit sanding sponge
    • paint roller with extension
      Paint tray and roller frame with extension pole
    • straight edge
      Ruler or yardstick
    • framing square
      Framing square
    • putty knife
      Putty knife
    • roller frames
      Mini roller frame
    • paintbrush
      2½-inch polyester-nylon paintbrush

    Shopping List

    1. porch and floor paint Stands up to foot traffic and scuffs better than wall paint. One gallon covers 300 square feet; you'll need enough base color for two coats and enough pattern color to cover half the floor with two coats.

    2. painter's tape Get tape labeled "delicate," which is the least tacky, so it won't pull up the base-coat paint when removed.

    3. ½-inch nap roller

    4. 3-inch mini foam roller

    5. water-based polyurethane (optional) For a top coat of added durability. Satin finish will look best.