Laurel Street Blog

The Once & Future Floor

Posted on: April 22, 2009

Cute, no?

Stained kitchen floors - but not in a good way.

Our current hardwood floors are original to the house – you gotta love that.  150+ years old. However, in the kitchen they have been badly stained over the years. I’m considering painting them black – is this crazy? Take a look at this concept in a kitchen I saw in Kitchen and Bath Ideas magazine:

Painted black floors? Yes? No? Maybe?

Painted black floors? Yes? No? Maybe?

The reason I ask if you might think I was crazy is that Richard actually recoiled in horror when I mentioned that I was thinking of painting them (even though he knows that they cannot be rescued by sanding & refinishing at this point)! The floors look wonderful  in the rest of the house, though. We were lucky there.

Okay – a few more painted floor treatments. I favor the black in our temporarily ‘modern’ kitchen but I thought these were just a treat to consider…

Soft Green Checkerboard (via Country Living)

Soft Green Checkerboard (via Country Living)

Another green checkerboard - with a border. Hmmm.

Another green checkerboard - with a border. Hmmm. (via Country Living)

Or plain white?

Or plain white? (via Country Living)

Okay – so when we do the actual big renovation, I’m thinking tile. The room gets a lot of biped and quadruped traffic and I do need something durable. I won’t tile the whole thing – it would look out of place with every other room in the house. BUT! Could I somehow blend tile in? Here’s what I’m thinking (of stealing, wholesale, from this house in Traditional Home):

Not crazy about the rest of the room, but I love these floors.

Fun room, not my style, but I LOVE these floors. A blend of tile and hardwood would connect the future floors to the rest of the hardwood in the house.

More floors, please!

More floors, please! The secretary is adorable, too, I think. Floors.... one day.

But in the meantime, I’m thinking… paint ’em. I just need to soften the blow somehow for Richard.

11 Responses to "The Once & Future Floor"

okay, black floor look amazing in design magazine pictures . . . that’s why I had my kitchen floors done in black.


every spec of dust, every piece of lint, every bit of everything you’ve ever touched is visible. I must clean that damn floor 3 or 4 times a day trying to keep it from looking like I have livestock in there.

and, the old floors look amazing.

my 2 cents.

I am torn.

In theory, I love the painted floor look. Martha Stewart had a painted floor feature (before the magazine totally jumped the shark – hello “Ten Things to do with a Fork” article) and they can look incredible.

When airbrushed.

In reality, even if the painted floor isn’t black, there is no paint on earth that can withstand continual daily beating in the kitchen – so the painted floor can acquire a patina of “cottage filth and sturm and drang” in no time. I know this because I painted our wood stairs in our basement and they look like a dog chew toy.

But you have such nice taste that whatever you do will turn out fine and dandy.

I so want to paint my kitchen floors as well. They are wood and original to the house so that means circa 1939! They don’t look so great. I keep trying to convince myself that if I saw them in Anthropologie I would love them, but it’s so not working anymore.

I wanted to do white, but hubby nixed that. Then we were going to go dark and do a charoal grey, but then I remembered an amazing Windsor Smith kitchen and I want to do them in a jadite green!

I hope I win this battle and start on it sooner than later.

We have near black kitchen floors, and while it just kinda works for us, it would be a disaster to anyone who minded seeing every piece of dirt, mud, dog hair….

Can you tint polyurathane (sic)?

Just visiting first in your site. I found that you have a wonderful and idea rich blog.

Am stuck here and browsing every posts you had & my thoughts full of ideas to apply in my poorman’s cottage §:-)

THanks for sharing. Have a happy w/end ahead!

Greetings from sunny Stockholm…

Black wouldn’t work for my because I can’t manage to sweep every dang day.

But painted floors in general? Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Erika of Urban Grace painted her office floors herself and might have some good insight if you need it.

And that tile/hardwood in Trad Home? Beautiful! Never would have thought of that.

I love your floors just as they are now! I guess I’m the odd person out on this subject, but in the photo they have a wonderful patina and aged look. If you’re concerned about the stains, why not lightly sand them and then use a satin water based polyurethane to protect them. It’s that Martha Stewart approach to old floors in historic homes.

You have won a major award. Thank you for making our day.

I consider your floor to have great patina — and we often pay that extra bit to get something with patina. I would NOT paint them — black or otherwise. I agree with tartanscot that they would be a nightmare. I have my back stairs painted and it amazing how worn they get in a short period of time — and they are NOT used all that much — way less than my kitchen!

My upstairs hall stairs have screws in them and when we refinished them we left the screws — they’re part of the house!

And I LOVE your floors!

I have been reading your blog from afar, but I live right around the corner! I know you’ve already backed down from the ledge, but DON’T RUIN THOSE FLOORS! That is why we live in these houses! That wood is fabulous, stained and all! We lived in Arizona for a year, and we so missed the worn in, aged, HISTORIC homes of NOLA :)

[…] In a room with built-ins like cabinets, your checkerboard floor colors can match or not, depending on the sort of look and feel you want to achieve. (via) […]

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Laurel Street Blog

Nate and Louis

Well, hey there. I'm Nathan and this is the Laurel Street Blog. It's a place for talking about design, decor and DIY (with small amounts of snarkery snuck in). I'm a pretty restless guy who loves house projects and lives in a 150+ year old cottage on Laurel Street in New Orleans. Since the house always has something going on with it (or falling off of it) I'm subsequently blessed with a never-ending supply of Web content to share. Oh - and you can drop me a line anytime Enjoy!

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The Laurel Street Cottage

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