Behind The Scenes, Interiors

Time To Paint The Floors Again

What I should be doing:  Perfecting my recipe for Thanksgiving stuffing.

What I am actually doing: Painting my wood floors.

Less than a year ago I painted my very scratched, ebony-stained wood floors…white. I’d wanted to do it for ages and they looked amazing.  

For a few weeks.

Then I let my kids roller-skate on them and that was that. They never looked the same. Once the seal is broken – the first scratch seal, that is – there’s no turning back. Before you know it, you’re carelessly dragging chairs and coffee tables, and this is what you get:

It wasn’t pretty. It got to the point where it never looked clean. The dirt was ingrained in it. 

The thing is, I’ve seen painted wood floors that resisted dirt much better than mine did, so I felt like I’d done something wrong. Originally I used porch and floor paint with polyurethane over it. When I rolled on the poly, there were little bubbles in it that popped and looked like lots of mini craters all over the floor. Over time they became little dirt catchers.

(What did I do with all my furniture while I did this, I hear you ask?)

This, of course:

So this time around I did some more research and came across this paint I hadn’t seen before called Breakthrough! (the exclamation point ! is part of the name, although I am excited to tell you about it!!)  It’s supposed to be more resistant to scratching and scuffs. I had a gallon of the glossy kind tinted with Benjamin Moore half silver dollar. (I chose a light blue-grey this time). I got it from Jill’s Paint, a specialty paint store in LA. It cost about $40.

It rolled on so smoothly I couldn’t believe it.

 I thought I’d need to buy a second gallon, but I only used half a gallon in the end. Two coats did it. And it dried really fast. I highly recommend it and no-one paid me to say that. I did not put polyurethane on this time. I don’t think it needs it with this paint.

Pretty good right?

Of course, the proof will be in the pudding. I will keep you posted as time passes and it gets walked on and lived in. However, I am definitely not letting anyone roller-skate in here.

If you’re interested in seeing a full home tour of my place, it will be featured tomorrow Wednesday November 24th on Apartment Therapy.

OK, back to making that stuffing. Happy Thanksgiving!

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply A Flair for Vintage Decor 24 November 2010 at 1:06 PM

    Beautiful job! I have white floors in my little booth/store showcases…and they are all scuffed up- so I will use this product if you find it holds up well! Thanks for sharing! Take care, Caroline

  • Reply מיה 24 November 2010 at 6:20 PM

    I just love your blog. Thanks!

  • Reply Emily Henson 25 November 2010 at 12:56 AM

    Thanks so much for your comments. It means a lot to me, especially since I'm not the most regular blogger yet. I'll get better, I promise!

  • Reply courtney 26 November 2010 at 5:09 PM

    hiya! i just found your blog via the feature in apartment therapy's weekend guide… and i LOVE your style! so excited to see that you blog too, cause i certainly can't get enough of your designs.

    great job! xo

  • Reply Shannon Oertle 27 November 2010 at 1:42 AM

    I also started reading your blog through apartment therapy and love your style! Please keep posting! It's so inspiring. I just had a baby and your style seems to work so well for people with kids! Keep up the good work!

    P.s. – I just started my blog too and it's hard to find the time to post with having kids! Good luck!


  • Reply viviane 8 December 2010 at 5:54 AM

    I love your home!!!!!!!! So colorful and cozy.. I hope to have such a cute place someday!
    I can't wait to have my own house with my boyfriend (next year, hopefully!), and blogs like yours inspire me every day.

    I'm brazilian, by the way! Sorry for my poor english.


  • Reply 24 January 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Thanks so much for the coaching on how to paint floors, I am thinking of doing mine white, but I wonder if white stain will A) have the same effect and B) wear better. Any thoughts?

  • Reply Emily Henson 25 January 2011 at 5:18 PM

    HoHumCards – I don't know much about staining floors white. Obviously they would have to be stripped of any paint or varnish before staining, unless they are brand new floors. I had a friend who had pickled white oak floors and they looked great. I found this link that might help you:

    Good luck!

  • Reply Anna 17 February 2011 at 2:30 PM

    Gorgeous! The house we're renting now has grey floors upstairs and I like them a lot — I would love white floors, but we're not tidy enough to maintain them, especially with two dogs!

    You're inspiring me to think about grey floors when we have our own house again…

  • Reply Frau Haselmayer 21 March 2013 at 9:17 AM

    I wish I had floors that I can paint!

    I'm in love with your yellow sofa! It's perfect and exactly what I am looking for for my studio!

    • Reply Emily Henson 1 May 2013 at 3:21 PM

      Hi, sorry for the late reply. Thanks for your kind words! The sofa is from Urban Outfitters.

    Leave a Reply