clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Budget-Wise Makeover

Paint not only refreshes the walls of a room but can also do wonders for the surface below your feet. Don't over look the opportunities to jazz up plain flooring with colorful patterns. See 11 paint ideas and find downloadable templates for upgrading worn-out wood, boring concrete, stair treads, and more.

Checkerboard Pattern on Wood

Photo by Kolin Smith

If a limited budget doesn't allow for refinishing, try turning a worn-out wood floor into a warm cottage classic with a simple checkerboard pattern. This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers used a little measuring and a couple of coats of durable floor paint to add a touch of personality to a room for a small price.

Here are some pro tips on How to Paint a Floor in a simple checkerboard pattern.

Compass Rose and Stripes on Wood

Photo by Jean Allsopp

Give a room a patriotic lift with a stylized compass-rose motif and lots of ocean blues. Shown here, the white, navy, and ocean-blue design lends energy and graphic punch to an otherwise restrained color scheme.

See the step-by-step instructions and download the template at How to Paint a Compass Rose and Stripes on Your Floor.

Broad Bands on Brick

Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Give your brick porch or patio large stripes to add definition and make a small space seem larger. Start by softening the all-brick look by uniting the floor and walls with a base coat of gray-tinted exterior stain. Then add wide bands of stain in a contrasting color.

See How to Paint Broad Bands on Your Porch Floor.

Hardwood Floor Medallion

Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

A painted framed medallion can enhance the beauty of your hardwood and ease the transition where two types of flooring meet. The trick is to add color to a floor without covering up the beautiful wood. This open cloverleaf design is one pro's solution.

See these pro tips for How to Paint a Floor Medallion.

Big-Block Basketweave on Concrete

Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Enhance a plain concrete floor in an outdoor room with an interwoven design that mimics the look of floor tiles. Here, an enlarged brick pattern was painted using charcoal-gray and a pale-gray-tinted concrete sealer. A diagonal orientation "stretches" the length of the room and contrasts with the organic shapes of the stones in the fireplace surround.

See the step-by-step instructions for How to Paint a Porch Floor With Big-Block Basketweave.

Colorful Outdoor Carpet

Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

A real carpet may be impractical on a porch or sunroom floor, but you can still add a decorative touch with a permanent painted rug. Here, warm gray is the backdrop for a modern chain-link design filled with patches of pale orange, blue, and green.

See the step-by-step instructions and download the template for this chain-link carpet design at How to Paint a Colorful Carpet on Your Porch Floor.

Oversize Blossom Design

Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Cover scratched porch floorboards with a large floral design. Use the planks as a built-in ruler to save time measuring. Here, a four-petal blossom template was coordinated with the width of six planks and an oval template with the width of two planks. Alternating the two patterns created the pattern.

See the step-by-step instructions and download the template for How to Paint Oversize Blossoms on Your Porch Floor.

Geometric Porch-Floor Pattern

Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

A large-scale pattern, such as this octagon-and-diamond motif, works well in a narrow space. The trick to keeping the geometry crisp is outlining the shapes very carefully and using plenty of painter's tape.

See the step-by-step instructions and download the template at How to Paint a Geometric Porch-Floor Pattern.

Stenciled Pattern

Give a battered pine floor a makeover using primer, paint, and a stencil. Here, after the floor was sanded, a coat of primer went down, followed by three coats of glossy yellow porch-and-floor paint. Next, white paint and a small paintbrush were used to fill in the pattern. For final step, two coats of polyurethane were applied for scuff protection.

See the steps and download the template for How to Stencil a Pattern on a Floor and see the transformation of this sunroom.

Painted Stair Runner

Photo by Di Lewis/EWA Stock Photo Library

Let a lively pattern add new dimension to your daily climb up the stairs. This trick-of-the-eye runner, its pattern reminiscent of a patchwork quilt, gets its 3-D quality from the way it flows over the steps. The most difficult part is sectioning off each shape with painter's tape and allowing each color to dry before applying the next.

See how to Use Paint to Create a Stair Runner.

Six-Pointed Star Pattern

Photo by Mark Samu

Transform old flooring with a smooth new finish, and use up leftover paint from other projects with a colorful hand-painted pattern. It's perfectly fine to use mix sheens, because you'll finish the project with polyurethane.

See the steps and download the template to see How to Paint a Six-Pointed Star Pattern on a Floor.