3 Reasons Painting Your Wood Floors Is Not as Crazy as You Think

You’ll never see them do it on a TV design show. You won’t hear a contractor propose it. And you sure won’t find an aisle devoted to it at your home improvement store.

In fact, it feels a little bit naughty to talk about – almost a taboo. But you should consider it anyway: painting your wood floors.

I know it sounds crazy, but there are good reasons and a solid historical precedent for skipping refinishing in favor of paint.

Why paint your floors?

Style. We pretend that stained wood floors never go out of style, but they’re just as influenced by design trends as the colors on your walls or the drapes in your living room.

Sure, midtone gray wood is popular now, but espresso was all the rage five years ago. Before that? Honey oak, cherry, and any number of other stain colors.

If your hardwood flooring isn’t compatible with your home’s look, paint’s a great way to fix that. Dark or light tint, warm or cool hue – with paint, you can quickly align your floors with the rest of your decor.

Photo courtesy of S + H Construction.

Historic precedent. Painting a floor, particularly in an old home, may seem unusual today, but it was a common and preferred way to finish floors in the past.

Farmhouses from the 1800s, Victorian mansions, English estates – you’ll find painted floors in old homes ranging from rustic to ultra posh. It added color and protection to rooms and stairways prior to the development of modern wood sealants.

Photo by Chris Stout-Hazard.

During the Victorian era, many homes were covered with paint. You can ascribe this explosion of color to the sudden mass-market availability of a wider range of hues.

Builders put those new colors to work on every surface, often adding detail to a room by painting borders or patterns on the floor. Kitchens were adorned with diamond-check patterns, stairways had contrasting runners, and upstairs bedrooms were coated in pale tints to brighten them and stave off winter gloom.

Photo from Zillow listing.

Practicality. Perhaps you’re ready to concede that painted floors can give your home the look you want. Isn’t it still smarter to refinish the wood?

Not necessarily! Floor refinishing is a major – and majorly messy – undertaking. Sanders throw dust everywhere, so rooms must be emptied, sealed off, and deep cleaned afterward. Plus, the subsequent staining and sealing takes days of applications and drying.

In comparison, painting a floor is a much quicker project – a light, low-dust sanding prior to priming, then one to two coats of paint that dry in mere hours.

Additionally, there are circumstances when paint offers superior performance. Old hardwood may have already been refinished multiple times, resulting in a floor too thin to survive another sanding. Because painting doesn’t require that deep sanding, you can keep your floors rather than replace or cover them.

An opaque coating can mitigate other common problems in older homes. Many older floors were patched as walls were opened up, radiators were removed, or broken planks were repaired. Paint resolves the color and grain variations from patch jobs, leaving a cleaner, more polished end product.

Photo by Chris Stout-Hazard.

Of course, when it comes to painted floors, the first concern people raise is scratching. But this is less of a problem than you might think.

Use primer and a tough grade of paint, and you’ll likely prevent scratching or chipping. Porch paint works well in high-traffic settings, and higher sheens will dry harder than matte sheens.

Photo by Chris Stout-Hazard.

When you do get a scratch, you can quickly and seamlessly touch it up with a brush – something you definitely can’t do with stained floors. And like stained floors, painted wood floors can be mopped and scrubbed, with no polish required!

A few tips on floor color

  • Lighter is better. Brighter painted floors will reflect more natural light than brown wood.
  • But not too light! Going with a true white floor can be a risky move. It will show every dark speck that drops onto the floor, along with grime and stains. Go a few shades darker to a pale gray for a similar, more practical effect.
  • Black can be dramatic, but, like white, it will show dust. A deep charcoal is an effective compromise.
  • Buttery yellows are traditional favorites for kitchens, mud rooms, and hallways.
  • Need some interest in your formal living room or master bedroom? Try a deep green, merlot, or navy.
  • Mix colors. Stick with a neutral for the bulk of the floor, and offset furniture with a colorful painted area rug. Or highlight the room’s edge with a wide stripe of color running against the baseboards.
Top image by Chris Stout-Hazard.

Related:

Home Improvement – Zillow Porchlight

Featured East Metro Atlanta Homes

3 Reasons Painting Your Wood Floors Is Not as Crazy as You Think was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

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8 Beautiful Home Projects Using Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood can be recovered from a wide variety of sources, but it most frequently comes from timber framing and decking used in old barns, factories, and warehouses. Some tell-tale signs of reclaimed wood include nail holes, manufacturer stamps, and markings. Other unique qualities, like variation and depth of color or unusual patterning, can be a result of it being stored in vessels like wine barrels, beer casks, and other containers.

Additionally, reclaimed timber is usually cut from strong, mature trees (unlike the younger, weaker trees used today for lumber), and is less prone to splitting. Because of these aspects, many designers choose to use reclaimed wood rather than virgin timber in their projects.

Here are eight different projects that incorporate reclaimed wood in distinct ways.

Ceiling turned to walls

Salvaged wood from multiple origins come together in this project in Buenos Aires by architects Teresa Sarmiento and Nicolas Tovo. They designed the home for their own family with the intention of celebrating recycled materials-floor boards of repurposed Brazilian pine and wall boards from the ceiling of a tenement in a local Buenos Aires neighborhood. The boards were cut down to size and oriented vertically to bring the eye upward to a clerestory window and small white beams.

Photo by Cristóbal Palma.

Repurposed staircase

A small, efficient home in Seattle designed by SHED Architecture & Design incorporated wood on the exterior and interior of the home, and even used salvaged wood from the residence that had previously stood on the site. Although the 100-year-old bungalow was demolished, the treads of one of its staircases were repurposed in the new home as a modern, open-riser stair that lets in light from the windows beyond.

Photo by SHED Architecture + Design.

Entryway elegance

Even a few pieces of salvaged lumber can have a big impact. This entryway in a Brooklyn townhouse, renovated by Bangia Agostinho Architecture, reused hemlock fir joists from the existing building structure as casework around the main entry door. The trim has a simple, modern profile, ensuring that it makes a contemporary statement. In the entryway is another repurposed piece of wood that was charred in a fire more than 100 years ago. It has since been painted and repainted – creating a unique patina and texture – and transformed into a bench.

Photo by Pia Ulin.

Accent wall and headboard

In a project in Quebec, Canada, a 1924 building was renovated by Bourgeois Lechasseur Architects. The renovation sought to modernize the apartment while preserving the historical elements – in particular, reusing wooden boards that were salvaged during demolition. The unfinished boards act as a rustic, earthy accent wall and headboard, while the surrounding white walls and crisp bed linens keep the room contemporary.

Photo by Adrien Williams.

From flooring to doors

This loft in Brooklyn, New York, used almost all reclaimed, recycled, or diseased wood for everything from the flooring – salvaged from a barn constructed in the 1800s in the Allegheny Mountains in Ohio – to the doors, which were saved from a mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. Shelving, walls, and ceilings throughout the apartment are covered with wood that came from butternut trees in a blighted forest in Vermont, where worm infestations created intricate, unique patterns in the diseased wood. Although the apartment is located in New York, the different pieces of lumber inside come from all over the country.

Photo by Kevin Cooley.

Structural elements and beyond

Different types of reclaimed wood, each from different sources, steal the show in this residence in the Scottish countryside by Glasgow-based architect Andrew McAvoy of Assembly Architecture. Thick, deep oak beams were reclaimed and reused for structural elements, while the maple flooring was salvaged from an old school in the nearby rural village of Aberdeen. The reclaimed wood was a critical contributor to the goal of sustainability in the home.

Photo by Andrew Meredith.

Posts and beams

As barns become obsolete, they become fruitful sources of salvaged wood, like this house in the Catskills in Bovina, New York. Architect Kimberly Peck designed a home for a Norwegian couple that was looking for the perfect mix of warm, Scandinavian design and mid-century modern. The wood boards on the walls and the posts and beams are all reclaimed, but from different sources. The structural elements were recycled from a barn built in 1840, and the reclaimed planks on the walls were stained with a gray wash to match the other wood.

Photo by Torkil Stavdal.

A fine library

High ceilings and natural light prevent this small library that’s clad in reclaimed wood from feeling overwhelming or oppressive. The wood, a salvaged spotted gum, is a durable wood that’s native to Australia and is often used in structural, exterior, and interior applications. It ranges from a deep, reddish tone to a much lighter, almost yellow-white color. The library was part of a renovation of a family residence by Melbourne-based architects Andrew Maynard and Mark Austin of Andrew Maynard Architects.

Photo by Peter Bennetts.

This article was written by Kate Reggev and originally appeared on Dwell.  Check out more of their content on Dwell.com.

Related:

 

Home Improvement – Zillow Porchlight

Featured East Metro Atlanta Homes

8 Beautiful Home Projects Using Reclaimed Wood was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

7 Tips for Maintaining and Repairing Wood Decks

It can be a cookout space, lounge area complete with a brightly colored umbrella, or a display of potted plants. For whatever purpose you use your wood deck, it requires regular maintenance and upkeep to be able to provide you with years of pleasure.

The key to preventing long-lasting damage to your deck is spotting and repairing the most common problems early on. With a little attention – and this helpful checklist of maintenance must-dos – you can keep your deck looking as good as it did the day it was constructed.

Keep it clean and dry

Leaf mold, spills, and tracked mud diminish your deck’s good looks and can attract unwanted flies and insects. Promptly scrub away stuck-on debris with warm water and wood-safe oxygen bleach (mixed as directed on the bleach container), then rinse clean. Perform these steps and spot treatments as needed throughout the year.

You should also clean the entire deck at the start of every season using either the approach described above or a power washer at its lowest pressure setting to quickly spray away dirt and grime.

It’s fine to let your deck air-dry on its own after cleaning or a rainstorm, as long as you remove outdoor accessories that retain moisture on the deck’s surface. Make sure that outdoor rugs or doormats are quick-dry rubber, and always place saucers underneath potted plants.

Rejuvenate natural wood

Do you remember how your redwood deck looked and felt when it was first installed? Its color was warm, and the wood was soft and smooth underfoot.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.
Photo from Zillow listing

Over time, natural woods, including redwood, cedar, and teak, can start to feel rough and turn silvery gray. Fortunately, the original hue is merely hiding just beneath the surface. Simply sanding a deck made of natural wood will remove its weathered layer and restore the original color.

Protect and seal

Apply a penetrating sealer annually after a thorough cleaning to protect your wooden deck from the elements for the next 12 months.

Wait until the deck has completely dried and been sanded (if desired), then use a product that repels water, offers UV protection, and contains a mildewcide. Make sure you get the right kind of sealer for your deck. Natural woods require specific sealers.

If your treated-wood deck looks faded, you can opt for a combination sealer and stain to refresh its appearance and protect it at the same time.

Replace old nails with screws

Wood decking swells and moves with humidity and temperature fluctuations. As a result, nails used in deck construction can become loose, resulting in raised nailheads.

Instead of hammering the nails back down, pull them out and replace them with decking screws.

If your deck is made of treated lumber, use plastic-coated ACQ-compliant screws. For a natural wood deck, choose screws with a corrosion-resistant coating.

Swap out warped and rotted planks

Even when chemically treated, wood can warp over time. This problem is particularly common with longer boards like decking planks. More than simply detracting from your deck’s appearance, these defects can cause guests or family members to trip or get a splinter.

Replacing the entire plank is the best choice. However, if only a small section is affected, you can get by with cutting the plank back to the center of a joist and installing a replacement section.

Secure rickety railings

Weather extremes, loose fasteners, and kids’ horseplay can all take a toll on a deck’s railing. Once a rail is wobbly, it takes more than just a few screws to stabilize.

For beefed-up lateral support, add a vertical post between existing support posts. Secure the new post by bolting it to the deck’s rim joist and to the railing.

Fix up failing posts

A deck that settles, tilts, or slopes is showing signs of post failure. Inspect posts positioned nearest the lowest point of the deck. Your next steps will depend on the extent of the damage.

For a slipping post: If a support post has slipped downward in the center of a concrete footing, jack up the deck until it is level and bolt angle iron support brackets at the post’s base.

For a rotting post: If a support post is rotting at the base, you’ll have to jack up the deck and completely replace the post. Mount the new post in an iron post bracket secured to the top of the concrete footing.

To reduce the risk of post rot in the future, pack vinyl concrete patcher around the base of the support post to form a bevel that drains water away from the wood.

See deck design inspiration on Zillow Digs.

Entertaining outdoors this summer? Add festive accents to make your gathering extra special.

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Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

Originally published on June 17, 2016

Home Improvement – Zillow Porchlight

Featured East Metro Atlanta Homes

7 Tips for Maintaining and Repairing Wood Decks was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home

9 Ways to Use Reclaimed Wood in Your Yard

You’ve seen reclaimed wood used for furniture, but did you realize you can use it outdoors, too? We love the look of it in a backyard because it adds a historic and classic feel. You can find the wood yourself or hire someone to landscape with reclaimed wood for you. Either way, we love this eco-friendly technique.

If you are landscaping yourself, just be aware of where you’re sourcing your wood. Most reclaimed wood comes from old buildings which once upon a time could have held hazardous materials like asbestos. Also, beware of old screws and nails hiding in the wood.

If using reclaimed wood is something you’re interested in, but you just don’t know how, continue reading for some inspirational landscaping ideas.

1. Outdoor Shelves

Plain and simple, use the wood to create weathered outdoor shelves for anything from gardening tools to plants and more.

Reclaimed Wood Outdoor Shelves

2. Space Dividers

If you want to create designated spaces in your yard, stacking planks of reclaimed wood is far more interesting that a solid wall or canvas.

Reclaimed Wood Compost

3. Artistic Fence

And speaking of dividers, if you’re building a fence look into reclaimed wood. Anyone can build a fence, but when you mix in other materials like ceiling tiles for an artistic feel you create a fence unique to your home.

Recycled Wood Fence

4. Vertical Garden

Vertical gardens are very in, and with a recycled wooden pallet they’re very easy! Just use a non-toxic backing like landscaping fabric, plant small plants or herbs and you’re good to go! Plus they have the added benefit of keeping your garden out of reach from pests.

Vertical Garden

5. Artwork

You can try to DIY this, but there are many artists out there who use reclaimed wood to create outdoor art. They can be custom made and transform your yard into an old-world fantasy.

Reclaimed Wood Artwork

6. Outdoor Station

If you love entertaining, you can also use the wood to create an outdoor bar. It’s a great alternative to installing a full outdoor kitchen and are the perfect spaces to serve drinks and snacks. Another option could be an outdoor gardening station as well.

Outdoor Kitchen

7. Garden Gates

Make your guests and family feel like they’re entering and old country garden by using reclaimed wood for your gate.

Reclaimed Garden Gate

8. Patio Frames

Instead of using new wood to create a frame or ceiling for your patio, use reclaimed wood for a country feel. Maybe even plant some climbing vines that will grow beautifully on the old wood.

Recycled Patio Frame

9. Retaining Walls and Garden Beds

Make your raised gardens or backyard walls feel less installed and more natural with the knotted look of reclaimed wood and reclaim your backyard.

Reclaimed Wood Garden

 

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The post 9 Ways to Use Reclaimed Wood in Your Yard appeared first on Pro.com Blog.

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9 Ways to Use Reclaimed Wood in Your Yard was originally published on Southern Classic Realtors – Nivla Calcinore – Bringing You Home