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painting our kitchen floor

Our kitchen floor is painted black and needs to be re-sealed. As you can see in the pics, the wood is becoming more and more gouged. There are splinters as the wood keeps chipping, and the look of it has gone way beyond shabby-chic distressed.
My wife and I moved in a year ago with the floor this way, so we don't know how they did the job originally. How should we repaint the floor? What works best to fill in the gouges? Do we use oil paint...? Do we put a coat of polyurethane over that?
Any advice would be much appreciated! This will be a major weekend project for us!

Re: painting our kitchen floor

Looks rough. Best way would be to rent a floor sander and take it down to the bare wood. Then use a good wood patching compound to fill the deepest gouges. Another way if a painted floor isn't absolutely necessary is to cover the entire floor with flooring luan. It is thin luan wood covered with little "X's". You staple or screw into each X into the old floor. Then you get the compound made especially for this job and trowel it smooth. When it's dry in a few hours you can lay vinyl flooring or tile. Don't forget to remove the base moulding first.

Re: painting our kitchen floor

Thanks so much for your reply. My wife really prefers the look of the painted floor. I'm hoping that I should be able to fill in the little gaps and gouges with wood filler, and then re-paint the whole floor. Talking to people, it seems like there are strong opinions about wood floors that are painted -- people either love the look or hate it. I think I'm going to try wood filler, paint, and then a coat of polyurethane. I'll check This Old House archives for any advice first. The worst case will be that the paint job lasts only a short while before beginning to chip and gouge again, and I'll have to start thinking again about what to do...though, I do face one limitation -- they built the cabinets and counter in such a way that no appliances can ever be pulled out. :(
If anyone has any more thoughts, I'd love to hear them. Have a great day.

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