How to paint wood floors white

Updated February 21, 2017

Wood floors look strikingly beautiful when they are brand new. Unfortunately, over time, these floors can begin to show the weathered signs of long-term duress. If you would like to rejuvenate your old, worn-looking wood floors by applying a coat of white paint, focus heavily on proper preparation, or you will end up with flooring that will eventually shed paint. In addition, you need to select the appropriate type of coating that will provide durability over an extended period of time.

Remove the glossy varnish or sealer coat from the wood floor using a power sander equipped with 120-grit sandpaper. Sand the wood floor until it appears dull.

Remove saw dust from the sanded wood floor by wiping it with tack cloths.

Roll on a base coat of oil-based primer only if the wood floor is stained. Roll on a base coat of acrylic latex primer if the wood floor is not stained. Wait two hours for the primed wood floor to dry.

Wash painting tools used to apply oil-based primer with mineral spirits. Wash painting tools used to apply acrylic primer with water.

Roll on a 2 part epoxy paint or acrylic floor paint using the cleaned roller stocked with a brand new roller cover. Use a nap cover to apply acrylic floor paint. Use a shed-resistant roller cover to apply epoxy.


Study the labelling on the oil-based primer to make sure it is suitable for use with acrylic floor paint.


Do not attempt to remove sawdust from sanded wood floors using ordinary rags, or you may leave behind a large amount of dust which will inhibit adhesion. Do not use a latex primer on a stained wood floor, or the finish will fail. Do not paint over an unprimed wood floor, or the paint will not stick.

Things You'll Need

  • Power sander
  • Extension cord
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloths
  • Oil-based primer
  • Mineral spirits
  • Acrylic latex primer
  • Roller frame
  • 19 litre (5 gallon) bucket
  • 2 nap roller covers
  • Roller extension pole
  • 2 part epoxy paint or acrylic floor paint
  • shed-resistant roller cover
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About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.