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How to ReDo Your Kitchen Floor for Passover
That's my new floor on the right!
With Passover right around the corner, many of us are starting to clean every corner of our houses. While being able to eat off your floors does leave one with a sense of satisfaction, all that scrutinizing can also bring to light many of the things around the house that need replacing or repairing.
“My ceiling needs a new coat of paint”…”I really should think about replacing my kitchen cabinets”… these are just a few off the proverbial to-do list. While many home repairs are out of reach for the average person (who among us is crazy enough to get up on a ladder and paint their own ceiling? *wink, wink*), there is one quick and easy update that’s inexpensive, makes a world of difference and lasts for years. I’m talking about painting the floors.
I recently got married and so had the pleasure of renting and decorating my first apartment. As with any apartment, there were many repairs to be done and plenty of design decisions that I was all to happy to make. One of the first things that had to go was the kitchen floor. The linoleum tile was truly no less than horrific. The pattern, which was odd to begin with, had over the years become cracked, faded, stained and just plain disgusting.
One look at it and I thought, “No matter how much I mop and sweep this thing, it will always look dirty”
Now, replacing linoleum flooring with new wood is quite an expensive undertaking, and certainly not something I’d be willing to spring for to spruce up someone else’s home. So, instead, I turned to paint. As a rule, any surface that’s properly prepared and finished can be painted. It didn’t take too much time and wasn’t very difficult. The results are fabulous, and every time someone comes over I love to brag about how I painted the flooring myself. It’s fun to watch their jaws drop. Having the floor painted also makes the rest of the room look nicer and more pulled together. Read on for how-to instructions for this inexpensive and easy renovation.
1) Sweep and mop the floor. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to mention for the simple fact that whatever is on the floor when you paint it will be forever stuck there. You really don’t want dust and debris making their permanent home on your floor.
2) Sand it down. Uneven spots, dirt that was immovable by plain sweeping- you want it all gone so that the paint will adhere nicely to the floor. This was the most time-intensive part of the project, and to save time and effort you may want to invest in a power-sander. If not, embrace if as a workout or get someone to help. Remember
to sweep and mop once again after you finish this step.
3) apply a coat of oil-based primer to the floor. Use a roller attached to a long handle and you won’t even have to bend down! This was extremely easy. and took less than ten minutes. Just remember to make sure to apply the primer evenly and smoothly everywhere. Make sure you use oil-based materials so that mopping the floors later on won’t wear away and chip your work; the oil will help repel water.
4) after the primer has dried (a few hours, but the best would be to wait one day), apply two even coats of oil based paint in the color of your choice using, again, a long handled roller. Of course, you may want to create a design on the floor instead of one simple color. For more detailed instructions on this, see http://www.designspongeonline.com/2011/03/diy-project-stenciled-floors.html
5) Wait at least a day for the paint to dry, then seal it with any oil-based varnish (that long roller will start to seem like your best friend). Polyurethane is best, however, the fumes can be quite overpowering and even harmful. Leave windows open for ventilation.
That’s it- just five steps and you have a new floor! You may want to walk on it in socks for a while until it fully dries and hardens. If you follow each precaution, the paint job will last for years. You can buy all of the materials for this project, from the power sanders to the varnish, at www.homedepot.com or www.loews.com.
Obviously, this project requires a general avoidance of the room being painted for a good few days. A good idea is to either wait until right before you go away, or to paint it in small sections at a time. Try taping off small areas to remind your family not to step on your work, or better yet, let them help.
Good luck and enjoy your new floors!
Until next time,
Lenore (Mizrachi) Cohen