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I have painted several wood floors and am preparing to paint another concrete floor in a few weeks.

Put some urethane wood putty in the gouges. Let it cure (shrink), sand again and refill if needed. Sand between fillings.

I'm assuming this is a finished wood floor, just worn. These directions are for a finished wood floor. If you have something else, like concrete, I have other directions.

Enclose the room. If there is no door, rent a plastic wall support. It is a metal stand that enables you to hang plastic like a wall to contain the dust as best as you can. You will get a fine dust with this "sanding".

With a palm sander with a fine grit sandpaper, like 120 or 140 grit , rough up the surface of the finish. When I say rough up, I mean just that. You aren't sanding anything. Lightly run the sander over the floor in the direction of the grain wood. LIGHTLY. You aren't removing the finish, just making it porous enough to give the paint something to adhere to. You are going to have to hand sand the corners and edges of the room.

I would wear a respirator for this. Depending how long this finish has been on the floor, this may be shellac. You sure as heck don't want to inhale that. Other finishes are not going to be pleasant either. When I say respirator, I mean one with little filters. Not the dust mask kind of thing. (this is about $20 - $40 at Home Depot) Also goggles and a shower cap unless you want this stuff in your hair.

Now vacuum with a shop vac Vacuum the walls, ceiling this dust is going to be everytwhere. Borrow one from the neighbors if you have to. Now with a tack rag, go over the whole floor. This will be easier if you put the rag on the bottom of a mop or broom and carefully go over the whole floor. You can do the same thing with a SLIGHTLY damp rag, but this rag should only be SLIGHTLY damp. Like one with another five minutes left in the dryer type of damp.

Once this is done, lay out your design. You can do this with chalk lines, a laser level, painters tape or string tacked down. You can also do this with an overhead projector. (Find a picture in a coloring book or children's book you like and trace it onto a sheet of acetate.) You can rent these for about $25 here in Orlando for a day. Just focus the lens on the floor rather than a wall. Go wild. I have painted a jungle scene and a HUGE rendition of Monet's Water Lillies using an overhead. I also did one with pale yellow and lavendar squares (12") painted at an angle to the room. Then I put pale green squares over the corners. It looked petty cool. I used all-american latex paint. The same kind you get at Lowes and HD. To save some money there, look at the oops table. You can get a gallon of paint for $5. It may just be a color you like.

Once done, I let it dry for a good 24 hours. I put a second coat of paint in the checked squares because I wanted the colors darker, but I could have gotten away with one coat. Once dry, then I applied a coat of non-yellowing urethane on the floor. I let that dry for 24 hours then lightly sanded, tack-clothed it again and then put another coat on. I used the respirator again. I put this on with a lamb's wool applicator (no lint). To do this, first swipe the applicator across the grain of the wood, then go back over it WITH the grain of the wood.

It came out fine. Understand though, once you do this, the floor will be painted forever. There won't be any sanding this off if this is anything but a solid wood floor.

Happy painting.

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