How to Paint a Subfloor

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Things You'll Need

  • Wood putty

  • Sand paper

  • Primer

  • Paint

  • Paint rollers and brushes

  • Polyurethane

How to Paint a Subfloor. Too often, subfloors get ignored in the decorating process. If you don't have the money to install new carpets, or the inclination to lay wood flooring, painting a subfloor can be an inventive and simple finishing solution. A painted subfloor can last years if painted and sealed property.


Step 1

Fill all cracks, crevices and openings with wood putty before you start painting your subfloor.

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Step 2

Sand lightly to remove any splinters and provide a nice smooth surface to apply your finish to. Remove the dust with a tack cloth or a damp rag. Be sure to clean thoroughly or your paint can bubble and flake.


Step 3

Paint with a high quality primer. Plywood and particle board, the two most common subfloors, are both very porous and will need multiple coats of paint to finish if not primed first. If you are painting a dark or bright color, have the primer tinted to match. This will drastically reduce the number of coats you need to achieve a high quality finish.


Step 4

Apply final paint color. You may need to apply more than one coat. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Step 5

Finish with a protective surface such as polyurethane. This provides a durable finish to your subfloor.


If you are painting a faux finish on your subfloor, practice on scrap lumber to perfect the technique prior to applying. The more coats of polyurethane you apply, the stronger your final finish will be. Remember to sand lightly and tack clean prior to adding another coat.


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