Current Obsession: Floorboards Painted White

by | Aug 10, 2011 | Little Domesticity, Little Obsessions | 15 comments

Photo by sianuska
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Photo by masha.poppins
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Photo by mpembertondesign
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Since we've moved into the new place, I've made it no secret that while I think vintage wallpaper is the shiz, vintage carpet ain't.

So when my washing machine hose burst out of the confines of the laundry trough and sent water gushing onto our sunroom carpet, it was a confusing mix of "Oh no! We'll have to replace the carpet!" with "Oh yes! We'll have to replace the carpet!"

Sometimes a blessing is a thing in disguise.

I called my landlord to confess to my tenanting sin but then ran the idea past him about possibly restoring the floorboads underneath. We were happy to give the job a go if he as happy for us to give it a go.

Being the best landlord in the known universe, he told us to go for it. I mentioned possibly doing the whole house, room by room, over time. He said sweet.

But as DIY renovators will know, when you start trawling through the web for info about sanding and sealing floorboards you run into a whole lot of confusion. Many people say, "Yeah! Do it! It's not so hard" but just as many say, "DON'T DO IT. Hire a professional. Worst job ever. Wanted to kill myself" – so, like I said, confusing.

 I was thinking we'd do the small sunroom ourselves but maybe look into hiring someone to do the bigger rooms later down the track. Sure, we'd be spending money on a property we didn't own but the thought of being rid of all the old carpet (not to mention the old lino) is so, so worth it to me. Plus, I like the landlord and don't begrudge spending money to help improve his home while we are living in it.

I worried that it was a huge undetaking but room by room, I thought we could manage it.

Then this morning, while reading a magazine, I came across a picture of a woman who had the most amaze-balls bedroom in which she had painted the floorboards white. It was very rustic looking and I immediately thought that it could totally suit the vibe of our little place.

So. White floorboards. Possibly less work because the shabby chic finish would require less sanding and something that might just breathe some light and freshness into this lovely old place which has a tendency to feel a bit dark.

And also, pretty new floors for a pretty new baby? Norshun would LOVE it.

Dust mask and sander, ahoy! I am feeling it, baby! 


Hello friends


I’m Angie!  I mum. I write. I wife. My husband would say this is the correct order.  He’s so neeeedy. I live with my family in Melbourne, Australia, where I complain about the weather for 90% of the year – but I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Except maybe in Lake Como, waving to my neighbours George and Amal each morning.

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  1. Robyn

    Word of warning- floorboards are freaking cold and noisy with little children. My friend had dreams like yours of polishing her floors, but regretted it so much once it was done— however icky carpet is really gross, good luck with it either way!

  2. Randa

    Did I miss something? I read your blog every day so I don’t think I did. Is this an announcement?

  3. debbie

    Go the for the floorboards, babe! I have gross, disgusting old carpet in my place and can’t wait to swap it for floorboards. I’m just lazy… 🙁

  4. MJ

    There was a house that we rented for a couple of years, leaving just just before P was born. Before we moved in, the agent told us that the kitchen floor – the one with IKEA fittings 😉 – was being ‘freshened’ with new paint. Great! I thought.

    Then we moved in, and I spent the next couple of months peeling flecks of white paint off the soles of my feet, and from the floors in other rooms. Like glitter, those white paint flecks got everywhere… and the kitchen floor looked less than fresh in no time at all.

    Maybe it was the brand of paint used? The owners had taken short-cuts with a lot of the home maintenance in general… but I advice caution where white paint and bare floor boards are concerned!

    Good luck with the DIY – sounds like it could be a fun project! Now that we live with carpet, and the youngest is past her crawling stage, I desperately miss having floor boards. SO much easier to clean food off 😉

  5. MJ

    *advise* …duh!

  6. Dani

    never even seen white floor boards, but love polished boards. For your pics above, they look awesome though and im sure would look great in an older house. Goodluck.

  7. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Thanks, Robyn. I have lived with floorboards before and MUCH MUCH MUCH prefer them. Hate tiles, hate carpet. It’s all about boards for me!

  8. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    No Randa, no announcement! You funny bunny. It’s just that WHEN the baby arrives, I will be so much happier if we have different floors.

    I can’t express how much carpet gives me the heebie jeebies. It’s like, what’s in there??? Years and years of god knows what.

    A new baby and old carpet? Do not mix.

  9. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Yep. Floorboards rule. I can’t understand why people would have anything else. I LOVE FLOORBOARDS!

  10. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    That sounds so dodgy, Mad. I reckon they’ve not only used the wrong paint (and probably cheap too) but they haven’t done enough coats. It should not have been flaking!!! That’s ridic.

    I fully expect that the paintwork will become scratched and worn but that’s why I think starting with a rough, more shabby chic finish to begin with means that won’t matter. Restoring floorboards and finishing them with a high gloss finish would be more problematic because I would lament every mark.

    I’ve also read people saying it’s hard to keep them clean but when you have two young boys, what floor stays clean?

    Yep, carpet and small kids who insist on, you know, eating? Annoying.

  11. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Yeah, aren’t they sort of cool? I like something a bit quirky and think it will suit the house for sure.

  12. Victoria KP

    Go for the floor boards! Look into hiring someone first–at least for the sanding part. I did mine before we moved into this house (I was MUCH younger and had no kids :-)). It was a huge job and at the time worth it to me, but I’ve since found out it isn’t that expensive (at least around here) to have someone else do it.

    Carpet is gross. My brother compares it to wearing clean clothes over dirty underwear.

  13. MJ

    Sounds like you’ve done your research! I wouldn’t have a clue, but I’d say you’re right about the paint job.

    I do like the look of white floorboards, a lot – hope I didn’t come across as being a sourpuss before…

  14. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    No, not at all. I think what you wrote solidified for me that I shouldn’t take shortcuts. Although I am wanting a rustic finish, I would like the paint to adhere to the boards! I would imagine that the owners of that house used cheap arse paint but also, didn’t properly prime the wood at all. Even a light sanding would have helped – I’m betting they didn’t sand it first…

  15. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Oh Victoria, your brother is spot on! Carpets are only bearable when brand spanking new – but that moment in time is all too brief.

    I will definitely get a quote from a professional. Seems like it’d be worth it to find out first.


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