Whether you’re after a subtle foundation to a scheme or a beautiful feature floor, painting a floor can work in any room and is within the abilities of most DIYers, plus it gives the opportunity to create endless looks. ‘Creating a feature of your floor is an easy yet impactful way to immediately change the feel of a space. To create impact, use an all-over vibrant single color, smart stripes or even a checkerboard pattern in bold bright shades,’ says Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene. If you’re thinking of new flooring ideas then these painted floor ideas are guaranteed to get you inspired, plus the great thing about them is they can suit all looks from contemporary to traditional.

Painted floor ideas

If you’re considering painted flooring ideas it’s important to take into account what the floor is made of. Most surfaces can be painted, from wood and concrete to ceramic tiles and even vinyl, but different paint ideas and materials will require different treatments so it’s important that you do your research.  ‘When painting any floor, it is essential to use a specially formulated floor paint that will be durable and hardwearing,’ says Ruth Mottershead of Little Greene (opens in new tab).  Painting wood flooring is a wonderful way to give it a new lease of life and can bring an entirely new dimension to a room. Floorboards are usually made from soft wood such as pine which can easily be painted. ‘The one thing you must do before you start is to do a test,’ advises Annie Sloan (opens in new tab).  To ensure the best possible finish thorough preparation is essential. ‘Before applying floor paint, we recommend preparing the surface. For softwoods, knots should be sealed with primer to prevent staining,’ says Ruth Mottershead.  Finishing is also important to ensure longevity. ‘You must use a lacquer on the floor because obviously, it needs to be hard-wearing, I would probably do two coats because that makes it extra strong,’ says Annie Sloan.

1. Bring life to a kitchen

Painted kitchen flooring is a fabulous way to bring zest and energy into the hub of the home. When it comes to kitchen color ideas, it is a bold move to paint cabinets or walls in a vibrant color, but creating a feature floor is a brilliant way to bring personality without overpowering a space.  Here, Benjamin Moore (opens in new tab)’s San Francisco Bay blue brings bring a color pop to this tranquil kitchen and sets the tone for bringing in extra color accents through accessories.

2. Create a playful pattern

Chequered floors are a big decorating trend right now and are a fabulous way to bring interest into smaller spaces such as bathrooms which can lack personality.  This sunshine yellow bathroom flooring idea by Salvesen Graham (opens in new tab) is guaranteed to put a spring in your step in the morning plus is more affordable than traditional bathroom floor tile ideas.

3. Complement your decor

Painting a wood floor in the same color as your walls is a great way to unify a room and make the space feel bigger, plus it can help create a versatile and neutral backdrop for showcasing more decorative furnishings and fabrics. In this grey living room the plain grey living room flooring brightens the space but also helps draw attention to the statement patterned rug.

4. Create a chic, modern look with black

Painting a floor black is a great way to anchor a room as well as bring sophistication and drama but it can also be a very practical choice. Decorating with black works with nearly any color so can make a versatile foundation, but it will also cover any marks and blemishes. When painting floors in light colors, remember that they can be susceptible to staining, especially if the floorboards have been painted or varnished previously.  ‘A dark color will cover any staining, whereas any light color will always change slightly,’ says Annie Sloan. 

5. Create a quirky kitchen

If you love bohemian kitchen decor then painting a floor is an easy way to create a unique, colorful look.  ‘This kitchen is my kitchen and I wanted to bring in everything I love: painted floors, bright colors, gingerbread details, European lighting, whimsical hardware, and all of my favorite flea market collections,’ says Alison Kandler Interior Design (opens in new tab).

6. Paint a tiled floor 

Can you paint a tiled floor? The answer is yes, it can be a great way to breathe new life into existing floor tiles, prolonging the need to replace them. However, it is not the most hardwearing solution for busy areas and should be seen more as a short-term solution or used in rooms used infrequently such as cloakroom. To make tiled floors more durable be sure to apply several coats of lacquer or seal with epoxy.

7. Brighten up a space with a white floor

Painting a floor white is a quick and easy way to brighten up dark spaces as they help to reflect the daylight back into the room.  In this attic bedroom, the white floor makes a wonderful foundation for a soft pastel scheme. Hard floors can leave bedrooms feeling cold, so be sure to add in plenty of bedroom rug ideas.

8. Paint a hallway floor

When it comes to hallway flooring, durability is important, as they are areas with a high footfall, however, being the first place people enter, it’s also important that they make the space feel uplifted and welcoming. Painted floors can be a brilliant way to satisfy both needs, plus it is affordable too, which is particularly important if you have a large hallway as paving in solid stone or top quality solid or engineered wood can be costly. Vanessa Arbuthnott (opens in new tab) chose a light mint green for her home which provides a fresh contrast to the dark wood furniture and helps set off her large collection of artwork.

9. Let texture take the lead

While a lacquer or vanish will make painted floors more durable, the worn texture can be a sought-after look, especially for country decorating ideas.  ‘Part of the charm of a painted floor is the patina and character that comes through as you live with it. The cottage feeling really comes through as you see wear and tear – which I think is the best look,’ says Rudy Saunders, interior designer at Dorothy Draper & Co (opens in new tab). If you’re looking to create a rustic look or Scandinavian decor ideas, you could also try whitewashing a wood floor to highlight the beautiful natural grain. 

10. Create a striped effect

For a fun kids’ bedroom paint idea try painting each floorboard in a different color. You could use different tones of the same color, or choose a variety for a rainbow effect.  Unlike carpet, painted floors are easy to wipe clean which is handy in kids’ rooms, but be sure to add in a rug to make it cozy.

Is painting a floor a good idea?

Painting a floor is a good way to instantly transform the look of a room as they can be very durable and hardwearing provided the right paint finishes and processes are followed for the type of floor you are painting. ‘Use the proper paint and then protect them properly,’ says interior designer Jennifer Hunter (opens in new tab), ‘I suggest using either porch paint or a paint specifically for floors and then doing multiple coats of polyurethane. ‘I like either doing a geometric pattern using natural floor stains contrasted with a neutral paint color like off-white, or painting the entire floor a single color for that wow factor.’

What is a good color to paint a floor?

The color you paint a floor is essentially personal preference and will depend on the light levels and orientation of the room as well as the look you are trying to achieve. Light colors will help rooms feel larger white dark colors will bring the space in so may be best if you are looking for a more cozy, cocooning feel.  If you like decorating with art, bright furnishings or patterned fabrics then choosing a neutral color will provide a timeless, versatile backdrop for layering statement pieces.