As we began packing up for our move out of our very first house, I started to get pretty sentimental. Actually, that’s a lie. As soon as we committed to the incoming offer and had to sign the agreement, that’s when I got emotionally sentimental. I cried a little in panic – because I loved that (town)house so much! I’m sure this happens with every single house you buy and sell, but since it was our first selling process, it was new and different and definitely special.
One of my favorite things about our townhouse was the white painted hardwood floors. We didn’t do this ourselves (the previous homeowners did) and I loved the look and feel of it. Andy on the other hand… let’s just say, it was the one big thing Andy let me have without complaining… much.
You’re probably here because you too want to paint your hardwood floors white. Make sure you read my tips first!
Choose a room that isn’t the main room.
Our white painted hardwood floors covered the entire main floor: the living room, kitchen, dining room and half bath. It made photos (and the vibe) amazing, but it was the one place in the house that got all of the traffic. Because of this, you could see the wear and tear quite a bit. Add dogs into the mix, and it was more of a “rugged” look.
If I had done it myself, I would have chosen to do one room, like a guest room or an office/study, that gets less traffic and even a room that you can keep the dogs out of! Also, choose a smaller room that you can clean easier and more often.
Test cleaning products before you splash them all over the floor.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that this selling process was quite an experience and a few things went wrong throughout. One of them was when we got our house deep cleaned before we listed. This time, we hired a professional cleaning crew to come in and deep clean. Well, they used something on the floors that caused them to have large YELLOW swipes right in the middle of the kitchen. I think you can probably imagine my panic…
We never used anything on the floor other than water and a magic eraser. You definitely need the Magic Eraser mop – it’s a lifesaver! Because of the amount of our floor’s surface area, each time I would mop I would use 2 mop heads. Do not use any old type of hardwood cleaner and definitely don’t use bleach. We once put a little bleach on a spot on the floor and it caused it to turn bright yellow.
Touch up and maintain them every couple years.
I’m not sure when the floors were finished before we moved in, but we lived there for 4 years and probably should have touched them up at the 1 year mark. By touch up, I mean completely reapply. Perhaps using the right type of paint/sealant/top coat would help avoid any future touch ups, but I wish we would have improved it at least once.
Use a high quality paint and sealant meant for floors.
Like I said, we weren’t the ones who DIY-ed this project, so I’m not sure the paint and sealant that was used. I think nowadays they make white paint specifically for hardwood floors, and I would highly recommend going that route instead of any white paint from the store. I would also recommend researching the type of sealant or top coat you use, to ensure that it doesn’t yellow or give you the wrong type of finish.
Our floors ended up aging yellow near our glass sliding door; I assume this was because of the unprotected sunshine and weather/wind/warmth from the door being open at times. The floor generally aged a bit yellow in other places in the house, but by the sliding door was very, very yellow.
Invest in rugs.
The floor under our area rug was pristine. I know it sounds counter intuitive to paint your floors a gorgeous white, then cover it up with a big rug, but if you want the paint to last, just do it. All rugs look great on a blank white canvas!
Would I have white painted hardwood floors again?
Absolutely! I would have them done professionally in a studio or office space. I loved how bright and airy it made our house look. The light would bounce off the floors and reflect up which made it so cheerful and all of my interior photos always turned out so nice. I’m really struggling with my photo editing with our new house being so shaded and contrasted, and I miss the white floors at times.
Are you considering white painted hardwood floors? Ask me anything below!