Is it better to paint or do the floors first?

This is a very logical answer to the dreaded question - "Is it better to paint or do the floors first?"  During times of renovation in your home is it great to have blogs like these to refer to and aid us in our decisions on the best way to do things to get them done easier and with less stress.  For me - tape before I paint! what's that?  I'm bad, I don't use tape but I do have a steady hand. Everyone should use tape when painting.

hardwood flooring and painting westchester NYMany of my customers are redoing their floors and painting, and the smart customers ask whether it's best to do the floors first or paint first.

 

Many are surprised by the answer...and they are glad they asked.

 

So, to preface this, it somewhat depends on what type of flooring you are doing (as well as demo), what condition your walls are in and who is doing the painting.

 

Assuming that you are getting the work done professionally, it is usually better to do most of the painting AFTER the flooring and most of the prep work BEFORE the flooring.

 

Hardwood and painting order westchester NYThe ideal is to first do any prep work to the walls - e.g.ripping up wall paper, sanding and patching walls, etc.  The reason for that is that this can damage the floors.

 

Also, it's often better to paint the ceilings first, especially given that the ladders will rest on the floors.

 

From there, you should rip up the floors.  Note: rip up can often result in minor damage to walls and base boards.  If just carpet is being removed, this can scuff of the base boards.  If tile, hardwood or laminate are being removed, this can often result in base boards needing to be removed.  Removing base boards from the walls will usually result in paint chipping (so it would be a shame to do this after you freshly painted the walls).  Sometimes, the new height of the floor and base boards are different, and this can result in a gap on the walls where there is no paint...hence another reason to paint afterwards.


westchester county hardwood flooring and paintingNext, you install the floors.  If it's prefinished hardwood, you just nail it in and then take care of the baseboards/quarterround around the perimeter of the room.  If it's unfinished hardwood, then you have to sand and stain the floors.  This process will usually result in scuffing up the baseboards and some stain on the sides of the base boards.  Hence, the base boards need to be painted afterwards. Occasionally, the sanding process will result in minor scuffing to the walls as the guys maneuver the machines.

 

engineered hardwood floors westchester county NYMost of the painters I work with prefer to paint the walls AFTER we have completed the flooring.  They are confident that their guys will cover the floors and do a neat job.  They want the finished product to be perfect and they know this is a better way to achieve this result.  It is also avoids having to come back for a separate trip to paint the base boards.

 

We have also worked with some painters who prefer to paint first, and then they will come back and touch up afterwards, but I believe the above outlined process is usually the ideal as the work product is the best and it takes less time.

 

painting and hardwood flooring westchester county NYI worked with many customers that did not realize this is the ideal sequence of events.  Sometimes, they just painted.  It's too bad, because now they have to either pay the painters to come back again to touch up and repaint base boards, or else they need to do the work themselves.  It's too bad, since it would have been avoidable if they had asked the contractors.

 

Now, if the homeowner is the one painting, I will usually advise them to paint first (since they are less confident in their abilities and more likely to damage the floors) and then paint the base boards after we do the floors.  Also, I have seen many variations on this theme (e.g. prime and do first coat of paint, then floors, then last coat of paint and base boards). 

 

Is it better to paint or do the floors first?

Hardwood Flooring - Carpet - Tile/Natural Stone - Laminate - Refinish Hardwood - Backsplashes

Floor Coverings International Westchester and StamfordDebbie Gartner, President and Owner

"The Flooring Girl"Debbie Gartner - Westchester Hardwood Flooring

Floor Coverings International Westchester County

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Comment balloon 6 commentsBobbie Smith • May 22 2012 04:21AM

Comments

We have always done the floors first and completed with second coat of paint last. 

However the next time we do this we will do the floors last - then the floors will be perfect.

Whenever we do the floors first and then cover them up --- they never look the same - they seem to lose 

the luster they have when the hardwood was installed.

cheers

Nor

www.envoycapitol.com 

Posted by Nor Yeretsian, Envoy Capitol Realty Inc., Brokerage Toronto (Envoy Capitol Realty Inc.) about 6 years ago

I agree with Nor's comment, and unless you are a homeowner I am not a big fan of tapeing before pianting if you are a professional you should be able to cut in, much faster

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) about 6 years ago

I can't imagine anyone doing the floors first.  That should be the last thing.

Posted by Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School, Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor (REcampus Fully Accredited Florida ONLINE & Classroom Training in Destin, Pensacola Florida) about 6 years ago

Nor, Good idea.

David, glad to hear someone else does not like tape (LOL)

Wayne, true, but there are those that do I'm sure.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 about 6 years ago

Good morning, Bobbie.  Thank you so much for reblogging.  Oh and yes, tape is very helpful.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 6 years ago

Good Morning Debbie. My pleasure (to reblog) Tape is very helpful, for sure.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 about 6 years ago

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