How to Seal a Painted Floor
LESLIE: Lisa in Arkansas, welcome to The Money Pit. What can we help you with today?
LISA: Hi. Well, I have painted the floor in our den.
LESLIE: Ooh, what does it look like?
LISA: Well, it looks pretty good. I painted over old linoleum tiles.
LISA: And I primed it with a latex primer and then I painted it with an acrylic enamel which was also latex, I guess. It wasn’t oil-based; it was water-based.
LESLIE: OK. Yep, latex.
LISA: OK? My question is how do I seal that? Do I need to?
LESLIE: Well, you would want to because it’s going to protect that paint from sort of being that top layer that’s seeing all of the most aggressive trafficking. So as long as you’re walking over something that’s in between your foot and the paint then it’s going to stay a lot longer. So you want to go with an acrylic topcoat or a polyurethane; depending on what you want to see there. And with an acrylic topcoat you can go with glossy, semi-gloss, satin. It doesn’t have to be shiny. It can still maintain that sort of smooth, rough-hewn look of just-fresh paint. But you want to put several layers down. Put one down, let it dry; put another down. You know, two or three to really seal in your artwork and make it last as long as you want it to.
TOM: And the best applicator to use to put that on the floor, Lisa, is a lambs’ wool applicator. It kind of looks a bit like a mop. It’s like a piece of lambs’ wool on the bottom of a mop pole. And you use that to sort of mop the polyurethane onto the floor. You don’t want to brush it on because if you use the mop with the lambs’ wool applicator you’ll have no brush strokes; it’ll level out nice; it’ll be real shiny, real pretty and it’ll protect that painted floor.
LISA: Oh, great. Do I need to sand in between the coats of polyurethane?
TOM: No. No, just get the dust up.
LISA: Oh, great. OK.
TOM: Get the dust up. OK?
LISA: Thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.