During the Easter bank holiday, Jules and I committed to staying at home for three days whilst the rest of the family went down to Devon to celebrate (they took Otto, too) so that we could paint our floors. It was a mammoth job that covered our living room, kitchen and hallway that were all previously carpeted (except the kitchen where lino was laid). We had decided to buy a beautiful oak floor but after a £4000 quote we decided against it as we don’t plan on staying in this flat forever and other costs sprung up that took priority. However, it was important we got rid of the carpet, that I have always hated, as I can cope with nice, new, clean carpet but old, dirty, wrecked carpet is too much to bear (Otto is to blame for the wreckage!).
So, I impulsively ripped up the carpet in the hallway, saw that good quality MDF boards lay beneath, did a paint test and it worked! Decision made. Today, I want to share with you how we did it just in case anyone else out there is considering it to save themselves the cost of a new floor.
Sorry about the rubbish photos – when your hands are covered in paint it’s not very easy to take good shots.
Step one: Removing all furniture
This is the old carpet (shamefully dirty where the sofa was!). We had to put every single bit of furniture into the two bedrooms for the three days it took to paint.
Step two: Remove carpet and underlay
Step three: Lightly sand and hoover floor thoroughly
Doing a really light sand – we used a hand held orbital sander – helps the primer adhere to the MDF but it’s not entirely necessary.
Step four: Tape skirting boards and do two coats of MDF sealer/primer
It’s really important to use a sealer on MDF as if it absorbs water it swells. We used Johnstones MDF White Primer, which acts as a sealer and primer. You have to wait about two hours between each coat as it is a quick drying paint.
Step five: Three coats of floor paint
Ideally I would have like to have painted the floor white but with a lot of traffic and a very muddy dog we decided it would be far more practical to go for a pale grey as this would disguise some of the dirt. We used International Floor Paint Palest Grey. This is a quick drying gloss paint so we only had to wait six hours between each coat (during which time we had to stay in the bedroom – a lot of box sets were watched!).
Step six: Wait three to five days to put your furniture back on the floor
We had to live in the bedroom for three more days, which wasn’t that fun, but worth it for the amount of money we saved.
I had always planned to buy a rug for the living room, which was easier said than done as I found it very difficult to find the perfect rug. However, after HOURS of trawling Etsy I finally found the perfect rug! I searched for ‘vintage Kilim rugs’ and they have an amazing selection.
And here is the finished floor with the rug…
I will show you the hallway in a separate post as it is STILL not finished as I’m STILL chasing the elusive perfect runner rug! However, for the last couple of months the new floor has been brilliant: hard wearing, easy to clean, water resistant, perfect blank canvas and makes the space feel so much bigger and brighter. Also, painitng it grey rather than white was definitely the right call as it does disguise a lot of the dirt. BOOM!