Today’s Mad About . . . is more of an inspiration than a shopping list. I just love painted floorboards and never seem to tire of looking at them. My entire house has white painted boards (Wimbourne White by Farrow & Ball since you ask).
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Firstly no I don’t think it’s impractical. In our last house we had pinky/brown slates and a chocolate coloured carpet on the stairs. It was basically mud-coloured so that two small boys could run around and it wouldn’t show the dirt. But the problem with something that never looks dirty is that you never quite feel the need to clean it. So I think ultimately it IS dirty.
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This time round, in a quest for light, bright interiors, we overruled builders, friends and family and painted everything white. And I am convinced it is much cleaner because when it looks dirty we clean it. On the other hand, if you are a fan of things being perfect, this won’t work for you. The paint will chip in areas of high traffic and it will get marked as children drag chairs and toys about. But I don’t mind that. It all adds to the character of a space. In addition, in our kitchen, which is all stainless steel worktop and white cupboards, a bit of scuffed floor contrasts well with the high tech modernity of the units. At least I think so.
So, if you are going to paint your boards (or have them painted) how do you go about getting a good result? You will need to sand them. We didn’t sand our sitting room floor because it looked smooth enough but the paint is not sticking as well as it is in other rooms. This is partly down to the dirt and partly because a freshly sanded floor will just soak the paint up better.
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Now, the paint. Buy the best you can afford. It will come under heavy usage and let’s be honest, you really can’t face clearing out the whole room for three days while you wait for it to dry all over again can you? If you’re still not convinced my builder dropped round the other day . . . one of his other clients, having visited our house as a reference for him, had decided they also wanted white boards. They bought cheap paint. The builder told us that less than six months later it was flaking off. Three years on and ours is still doing well, and bear in mind it was the same team that prepped both floors so it can only be the paint that varied. So, somehow all the weeping over the cost of the paint turned out to be worth it.
Having said that, dark stained or black painted floorboards also look great too. Which ones do you prefer?
For more images of painted boards visit my Pinterest board .
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