Here’s something I bet you didn’t see coming.
Buh-bye, DIY-stenciled sunroom dots. You were fun while you lasted.
The backstory on this second-time-around-sunroom-floor-painting-balooza has to do with 4 things:
The DIY stencil that I was so happy about last winter and spring was easy to create (you can read the whole DIY stencil tutorial here). Putting the stencil to action and adding a little pizazz to the sunroom was also easy, although it took a few days. More than anything, it made for a reasonably enjoyable porch floor and topic of conversation.
But the flat paint wasn’t ideal. For the record, I had originally wanted a glossy sunroom floor paint to complement the glossy polyurethaned hardwood floors throughout the rest of the house, but a flat version in light gray was the only option by Glidden the day I went shopping. And I had a coupon. So naturally, I couldn’t not use it. And I was in a rush trying to get back to my ex-office after my lunch break; hurried, cheap, and anxious shoppers usually settle for what’s there.
Other things went wrong too. At one point during the summer when I was all busy making barnwood picture frames, I had accidentally glued a frame to the floor. Whoops. No damage to the frame, but there was some damage to the floor.
And furthermore, from a cleanliness standpoint, the flat gray always felt filthy. Furry floors are something you get used to when you have a massive dog friend who sheds 365-days a year, but for some reason it’s more noticable and grating when it’s spotlighted on flat gray porch paint (the poly’ed hardwoods definitely hide it better on days that I get lazy).
It seemed no amount of sweeping would keep the sunroom floor looking clean.
The dots themselves, from a design standpoint, ended up looking a bit too country-kitch for me. I might have been channeling Frank from Trading Spaces circa 2000 when I thought these up, but one good thing can be said from that experience: It’s Just Paint.
Paint comes and goes, so I decided before wintertime to come up with a new sunroom floor. Of course, It meant that I needed to suck it up and invest in new porch floor paint to achieve that glossy finish of my dreams. At $25 a gallon for Valspar porch & floor paint, and a design in mind that would require me to buy both the glossy light gray and the glossy dark gray, this was a $50 project (that ended up being totally worth it to me, but keep reading on to see why). If there was no other reason to validate this splurge, the fact that I would still have 3/4 of each gallon ready for other floor-painting projects, should they arise, is pretty nice.
The new design was going to be more sleek. Totally streamlined. More modern than scalloped pastel polka dots, and more fitting for the room adjacent to the bright gold living room with shiny hardwood floors.
I started with a new coat of the glossy light gray paint to cover the wretched flat, which I did after thoroughly power sanding off as many of the polka dots that I could, washing, and cleaning the floor.
The new coat of paint, dry in this photo, was already doing an awesome job keepin’ up it’s promise of shine, shine, shine. Oh. And you can see some of the dots texture. I’m going to try and not let that bother me, but yes, it’s subtly there.
I should note that the Valspar brand of light gray floor paint was considerably darker than the Glidden light gray I used a few years ago. Not a deterrent for me, but if you’re looking for a durable floor paint in light-light gray, you might want to check out Glidden first.
Design time. We’re not sure what to call the pattern. I don’t want to rely on the general “sunburst” descriptor, but Pete likes to think that we made a compass on the floor.
Call it what you will, it’s fresh.
It involved making this template with the help of a protractor and ruler along the straight edge of a piece of paper, so that I had direction on how to evenly space the lines that would extend outward from the doorway. It took several calculating tries, the final ones flagged with the Sharpie arrows.
Note #1: The center point is off center from the door. That was purposeful because I liked the way it looked; a little bit less exacting seemed like it would be more fun than something perfectly centered on the doorway.
Note #2: The pieces of tape in every other triangle indicated for me which spaces were going to remain light gray in color.
Once the floor was taped, Pete suggested that because the floorboards are lightly uneven, it’d be a great idea to go over each piece of tape with the lighter base floor color that was already applied and dry.
That way, when I applied the darker paint coat in every-other triangle, there will already be a clean paint line sealing up the tape to the floor, eliminating any and all chances for the dark paint to bleed through (which we all know does happen from time to time even with Scotch Blue, even moreso with uneven surfaces or hard-to-adhere-to surfaces).
This worked fantastically, and for the first time ever, I had no spots to retouch.
It really wasn’t a hard project, and I (for once) didn’t even seem to take many photos of the easy steps; once the paint was totally dry, I removed the tape and basked in clean-line-heaven, and a more modern, clean-lined sunroom floor.
And it’s less kitchy and handmade-stencil looking, but it’s still worthy of being a topic of conversation. Not a lot angles I can take photos in that small room, so how about a nice one from the doorway?
Are you surprised?