[ WHITE FLOORS: UPDATE ]
It’s been about seven months since we painted our dark wood floors white. I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about how they’ve been holding up, so I thought it was time to give an update.
First off, let me say that I have absolutely no regrets about going white. Our primary goal was to lighten our space in order to make the dreary Seattle winters more bearable and it really has helped (maybe not as much as sun would, but it’s the next best thing).
The second thing we had hoped to achieve was simplifying the color palette. The ceilings, floors, and baseboards were all different shades of wood. Add to that white walls, black doors and beams, and burnt orange painted window trim, and we had quite the hodgepodge. By painting the floors and baseboards the same white as the walls, we’ve eliminated a lot of competing elements. We’d still like to paint the window trim black, but that will probably be a spring or summer project.
If white floors sound like they are high maintenance, I can assure you, they are. But here’s the thing, they are no more difficult to care for than ultra dark floors. They both require daily sweeping and frequent mopping. We still have dark floors in the bedrooms and bathrooms, and I clean both colors at the same time. When I’m done, the white looks considerably cleaner than the dark.
I don’t want to be misleading—they have had their share of faults, too. One of the first problems that we ran into is scuffing. We are a shoes-off type of house, but there are always the random times where someone does come in without removing their shoes. Not all shoes scuff, but there are plenty that do. It’s not just shoes, either. In fact by far the most problematic scuffs have come from toys (presumably cars being raced at ghastly speeds). Most of the scuffing is very light and only really noticeable in bright lights.
The other problem we’ve discovered is that the paint is chipping in the cracks between the boards. The wood is an engineered click-together bamboo with about 1/8” dip between each board. When we sanded the floors before applying primer, we weren’t able to sand down into the cracks, so I’m assuming that’s why the paint didn’t adhere to those areas as well.
The chipping and scuffing are both confined to the heaviest trafficked areas—the hallway and the area near the entry between the dining and living spaces. The rest of the floors look almost exactly the same as when they were first painted. We’d still like to finish the other rooms this summer, and when we do, we might just add another coat or two on the damaged spots. Also, I should point out that most of the chipping occurred in the first few months. We really haven’t seen much change since then, so I would assume that it won’t get that much worse over time.
In the end, I guess I would say that white floors are not for everyone. But for us, they were an inexpensive solution that has made a huge impact on the ambiance in our home.
** Note: both of these photos were taken today in different areas of the house. The second photo is of the most heavily trafficked spot.