Kitchen Inspiration: Painted Floors

Alternate title: My Kitchen Sucks, and Why That’s Kind of Awesome

The first time I was in our new kitchen, I felt like it was a pretty decent kitchen. With different paint on the walls and cabinets, it could even be a great kitchen. Fifty bucks, one trip to Lowe’s, one weekend with a paint brush–golden.

And then inception happened.

That’s the only explanation for how I thought the unthinkable thought that this perfectly good kitchen should be gutted.

IMG_5847 IMG_5848

Well, that’s not entirely true. It’s actually entirely false. There is a logical for explanation for how I came to that conclusion, and it’s that I looked around. I started to notice things.

I noticed, for instance, that the counter tops are kind of low-end, and they don’t fit totally precisely into the space (there are gaps in places between the counter tops and the wall, for example). I noticed that the cabinets are old, and some of the shelves are bowing. The layout of the cabinets also needs help. There are no drawers at all in the main kitchen area, so we have to go into the sun room to access our silverware. Excepting the microwave, all the appliances are dated. The the refrigerator not only stores alcohol, it’s also old enough to legally consume it. The wine chiller flat out doesn’t work, but if we take it out, we’re left with a big ol’ hole–and really, we don’t need a wine chiller (and definitely not a hole), we need some more drawers!

None of this makes the kitchen terrible, but slapping some paint on it isn’t going to do the trick. Generally speaking, if you make good choices where style, function, and cost are concerned, a kitchen reno is a good home investment, so we’re going for it!

In a few years. Even a proud penny pincher like me can’t turn a $50 budget into $10,000 overnight.

Which leads me to my inspiration! Since we have to live with the kitchen as is for a while, of course I want it to look good. As it turns out, a kitchen that kind of sucks and needs to be gutted actually comes with an unexpected perk–stylistic freedom! Most homeowners would probably agree that renovation choices are made partially with resale in mind, and sadly, what prospective buyers might think puts a damper on a lot of awesomely creative and individual style choices. But when you know that a choice is temporary, you can do anything you want, and what I want is to paint my wood floors! Because aren’t these rooms fabulous?

(credit: Remodelista)

(credit: Residence mag)

(credit: Remodelista)

(credit: Holly Marder via houzz)

In a way, a painted wood flooring breaks one of my own decorating rules. Generally speaking, I subscribe to the idea that quality wood in good condition should not be painted. However, my floors aren’t great quality or in great condition, so they’re ripe for technical exemption from this rule. Plus, if they’re probably going to be removed in a few years anyway, it’s not totally sensical to preserve them in pristine condition up to the point that they’re torn out, right?

We’re going to stick with a white/cream palette elsewhere in the kitchen, so I’m really excited about the impact a colored floor could make! To see more painted floors in funky, fresh, and fabulous colors (and patterns!), hop on over to my Pinterest board.

Do you like the look of painted floors, or would you ever consider it in your own house?

PS – If you missed the grand tour of our new house, it’s still here, right where I left it. Which is a lot more than I can say for my keys, socks, or chihuahuas. Isn’t the internet lovely like that?


19 thoughts on “Kitchen Inspiration: Painted Floors

    • Thanks, Giedre!! There are greens in the kitchen counter top, and frankly I’m just a very green kind of gal anyway, so I definitely have a soft spot for the pic with the deep forest flooring. Plus, the paint will also be on my sun room floors, and I like the idea of continuity or connection between the inside and outside. Finding the right shade will be the key! Gotta get some samples and start testing!


  1. I like the idea of painted floors! I do think that I would worry about it being a fairly permanent thing that I wouldn’t necessarily love long term, so it seems like your situation is the perfect one to give them a try. I mean, maybe it will end up being a timeless trend and you’ll want to keep it for the next 20+ years, but maybe in 2 you’ll be over it and then it’s time to get new floors anyways.

    I think that normally the reason I would be hesitant to paint floors is because they’re so expensive and intensive to replace that I would want something neutral. That does seem a bit odd coming out of my mouth though given my intense love of all things bright, colourful, and patterned!

    x Kathryn
    Through the Thicket


    • I’m entirely with you! I almost surely would not attempt this if the floors were staying. I actually wavered on it quite a bit when I started thinking, “what if we never get around to this reno?” But we’re pretty sure the original hardwoods are under this flooring, and I REALLY want to find out whether they’re salvageable. Plus, I never take any risks–not that this is THAT big a risk–and this feels like an opportunity to try something different and exciting! Throwing caution to the wind here, lol!


  2. how exciting for you! we are redoing the kitchen this year, hopefully. we live in the city, in a condo and it’s a galley kitchen and there isn’t much that we can change in regards to layout. our goal is update the main stuff with quality, as well as add a dishwasher.


    • How exciting for you! In truth, I don’t cook all that much, but for a foodie I’m sure an updated kitchen makes a big difference–especially a dishwasher! I have always always wanted to live in a city and never have, so you are living my dream in a way. I grew up in northern Arkansas, and where I live now in southwest Missouri, the cost of living is super cheap, which makes it harder to think about relocating to an urban area.


  3. I really like the idea of coloured floors! Usually kitchens can be quite boring, as they seems to always be about the white colour scheme, so I think colouring the floor adds a pop of colour that’s not to in your face as it’ll be covered with other furniture and such.


    • So true about all white kitchens! I definitely wanted either colored cabinets or colored floors, but I’d like to try to sell my cabinet faces when we replace the cabinets, and I figured it would be easier if they were white, so floors it is! I very much like the pop of color aspect, too. It’s kind of unexpected!


  4. Pingback: Kitchen Update | 1 | One Room Challenge | white dog vintage

  5. quick question–are these floors different than the wood floors you just refinished? any reason why you didn’t refinish these, as well? just curious…love your blog!


    • Thank you, Wilma! Good question. Yes–they are different than the floors we refinished. The floors we refinished are original to the house. These floors are on top of the original hardwoods. There are a few reasons why we didn’t refinish them. One is that there’s a lot more prep work to refinish than to paint, and it’s way messier and more exhausting. Another is that the wood in these planks just isn’t that beautiful; they wouldn’t have looked nearly as good refinished as the originals in the living and dining rooms. A third reason is that I like the look of painted floors and thought it would be a good opportunity to give them a try. Eventually we would like to remove these floors and uncover/refinish the originals. We can’t do that now, though, because the would require the cabinets to be removed as well. Hope that answers your question! I did think about possibly refinishing, but painting seemed like the better option considering our future plans. Thank you for reading!


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