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How to Stencil a Wood Floor

Remember that time it took me four tries to finally produce a kitchen floor I love?  Yup, you read that right, FOUR times…now this sounds like a fun story, doesn’t it!?

It all started about 5 years ago when my husband and I bought our house.  The ink was hardly dry from signing papers and I was already ripping up the old carpet and knocking down walls (true story).  The kitchen floor had tile on it…but my husband I knew there was beautiful original hardwood underneath (like the rest of the house already had)….and we knew that tile had to go!

Once the tile was up, we realized we were faced with the headache of matching the stain from the rest of the hardwood to kitchen floor.  Thing is, I despise detailly tasks like that, and after trying about 15 different stain colors and combinations to no avail, I’d had enough.  "Time to paint it!", I said.

THE FIRST THREE TRIES: 

I won’t spend a ton of time on the first few tries, but I will share enough so you can have a good chuckle on my behalf….so against my husband’s wishes, I spent the better part of a weekend cleaning the heck out of the floor, then I stained it (using a color that was somewhat similar to the rest of the house).   The idea was I wanted to create a diamond shape pattern with the majority of the floor painted a distressed white and the diamond shapes would end up being the stain color.

I stained, painted, taped the diamond deign and after hours of blood, sweat and tears, it was time to reveal the diamonds…I carefully lifted each piece of tape, focusing on every inch to ensure all the lines were super crisp.  After the tape was removed, I took a look at the whole floor, expecting to see a beautiful pattern…only to see a whole bunch of “X” shapes…yup…that’s right….I did not design diamonds, I designed X’s….crap, I thought….all that hard work for crooked and uneven X’s on the floor (#diyfail).

how to stencil wood floor

The "diamond" shape in action...oh, and don't mind Zilla, she had just had a surgery and would not leave her incision alone!  This was many years ago...she's all good now :)

I waited a couple years to give it another go.  I KNEW I had it this time because I was going to use a stencil.  I wanted to spruce things up, so I went with a bold color choice.  I used Heartthrob as the main color and Crisp Cotton for the stencil color. 

Stencils weren’t really my ‘thing’ (typically due to my lack of patience) but boy oh boy was I going to make this work!  So again, I cleaned the floor well, let it dry, and applied 2 coats of Heartthrob.  I only stenciled in a small area of the floor, which helped save time and the headache that I get from using stencils.  And ta-da!  Just like that, floor design #2 was done. 

While I was pleased with the overall look (well, more please than the last look. lol), no matter where I looked in the kitchen, all I saw was red.  The floor color was reflecting off everything! Ok, I said…I won’t be able to put up with this for long.

how to stencil wood floors

Looks like Trixie liked this floor design best ;)

“Long” was about 12 months and it was time to try again.  I wanted light, bright and airy…so what did I do? WHITE (with a thick light gray strip to break it up :)).  An almost all-white floor…with 2 huge dogs (who pretty much own this house and track mud, dirt, and who knows what else into the house).  White was a terrible idea.  Oh yeah, and my husband and I follow the Keto diet….and if you know the diet, you know how much fat is used to cook – so I was constantly fighting to clean dirt and cooking fat…delightful!

how to stencil wood floors

Apparently, we only takes pictures of our kitchen floor when our dogs are laying on it...here's Zilla again...just finished playing with her ridiculously dirty ball on our white floor!

Once again, I JUST KNEW I’d get it right the fourth time around…and guess what? I DID!! Woohoo! Here’s how it went…

Materials Used: 


I purchased the Calista Tile Stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils.  I had originally purchased this stencil to use on a custom order for one of our business clients.  I must say; this stencil was FOOL PROOF.  By far the easiest stencil I’ve ever used….it has changed my entire view on stencils.   

Oh, before I forget.  The best thing about painting my floor four times?  I never had to sand, strip OR prime the floor before I started.  Just a thorough cleaning of the floor with soap and water and removal on the kitchen cabinet kick boards and I was ready to go.  That’s the beauty of Furniture Paint! 

Back to the application…using a Krex bristle brush, I applied 2 coats of Crisp Cotton to the floor.   Once it was completely dry, I eyeballed where the stencil pattern should start to make sure the pattern would end up even on the floor.  If you’re looking for a mathematical equation on how I started the pattern, unfortunately I don’t have one…. nine times out of ten, I rely on eyeballing things, verses measuring out.

Using a foam roller and tray kit, I layed down the stencil and rolled on a VERY thin layer of paint.  I chose Blueberry Lane for the stencil color.  I found the less paint used, the less the stencil would bleed. 

Note: some use stencil glue spray to help with the bleeding of paint....but I found simply applying in thin coats worked well.

I found it better to do two VERY thin coats verses trying to get full coverage the first time.  As far as the stencil application is concerned, using a foam roller and applying in thin coats are the best tips….otherwise, it was a straightforward easy process. 

What I like most about Cutting Edge Stencils is that each stencil had the start of the next pattern cut on it.  This made it easy to line up and keep the pattern straight on the floor.  I’d still step back and look every couple of rows to make sure the design didn't look crooked.  Side note, I am not an affiliate nor do I receive credit for recommending Cutting Edge stencils….I just really enjoyed using this stencil!

photo credit: cuttingedgestencils.com

Last step is protecting the paint.  This is a critical step.  So I grabbed our Protective Finish and, in total, applied three coats, allowing each coat to dry fully before the next coat went on.  I went with three (versus the average of 2) because it is a floor that gets a lot of use. I used the same foam roller to apply the Protective Finish.

Another key factor is dry time and cure time of the Protective Finish.  Last time, I had to start using the floor as soon as it was dry and I think I did it too soon – I noticed a couple of spots that collected dust/dirt/cooking fat and it’s almost as if it settled into the Protective Finish…so this time around, Cully and I were headed for a rafting trip and the floor had 3 full days of not being touched.  That time helped tremendously as I don’t see any settling dust or dirt on the new design.

There you have it!  The full story on why I painted my kitchen floor four times!

And now, some after photos....

how to stencil a wood floor

Ahhhh, so much better!

 

 

how to stencil a wood floor

Even Zilla loves the new floor! :) 

Questions about this project?  Leave ‘em in comments below!

Until Next Time,

Krista


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