Step 9: Paint the Pattern

starting to paint the dark squares in a checkerboard pattern on a wood floor
Photo: Kolin Smith
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The tape around each square is an excellent guide for painting, but an uneven wood floor is a difficult surface on which to tape. So to help keep paint from bleeding under the tape, cut in the edges of each square with a brush. You can speed up the finish with a mini roller.

Using a sanding sponge, lightly sand the squares to be painted and wipe them clean. Using a 2½-inch paintbrush, apply paint around the edge of the square. Start each stroke on the tape and pull it into the square so that the color doesn't push under the edge. Coat the entire perimeter of the square this way. While the edges are still wet, fill in the field using a mini roller. Roll the paint on in the same direction as the floorboards. Continue painting the squares in this manner until the floor is finished. Clean up any drips or mistakes by wiping them up with a damp rag while they're still wet.
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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.