Watching paint dry

by Michael Alderete on 5/25/2005 · 10 comments

In the time since the prior photos were taken, the (old) kitchen sink and (new, temporary) cabinet were installed (and the dishwasher dragged into place), the ceiling, walls, and trim have been painted, the electricians returned to install all the outlets, switches, and lights — and our contractor left to go get married on the East Coast.

The day after Ken left, I spent hours and hours pole sanding the putty in the floor seams, and then painted the floor. We can’t actually decide what kind of flooring we want (plus we’re out of money), so we’re just painting the subfloor for now. You can sort of see the dark brown we’ve chosen in the photos below. The paint is polyurethane-reinforced, but the subfloor is soft plywood. We’ll see how well it all works out.

Because of the damn floor paint, which takes 24 hours before you can walk on it in socks, or apply another coat, and takes a week to cure fully, we haven’t been able to really move back into the kitchen. But, with the sink finally hooked up, we’ve been able to do dishes, and that has made us a bit happier — huge piles of dirty dishes have been oppressing both of us for some time.

It’s also nice to be able to flip a switch and get light in the room again. Actually, our old kitchen lighting was a single fixture, with two 60-watt bulbs. Our new lighting is a central fixture, three wall sconces, and a task lamp over the sink (which is the only light you can see fully in the photos above). All told, it’s 13 bulbs, and most of them are 60-watt. It’s as bright as the sun in the room (the yellow paint helps with that effect), and we’re pretty happy with that. Though the central fixture is kinda ugly; a poor decision on eBay, alas.

There’s still plenty to do to finish the room, and then lots and lots to do to move back into the kitchen properly. But we’re really, really close to being able to call it a kitchen again, instead of a project.

Which is good, because we have a party scheduled for the weekend after next. Yikes! Good thing Rochelle has three days off this weekend to work on the house…

mom May 26, 2005 at 9:56 pm

OMG, it’s looking lovely! Nice choices!

Brian Mikol May 27, 2005 at 12:21 pm

Wow - looking really good! Can’t wait to see it. Which, of course, reminds me to find that evite (oops)!

N. Noblett June 11, 2005 at 1:59 pm

Tell me how the subfloor paint worked and what brand you used. I put up a sunroom with subfloor flooring, which I will put a sisal rug over, but plan to just paint the subfloor first. So how did it work out?

Alderete June 12, 2005 at 2:55 pm

So far the floor paint is working out really well. The paint is the “WithStand” product from Pratt & Lambert; it’s a polyurethane-reinforced oil-based paint. Kind of painful to work with (cleaning brushes with thinner, instead of water, the time it takes to dry, etc.), but it’s holding up pretty well. We had 35+ people on it for our party, and it still looks good.

One thing we have noticed is that, because it’s glossy and we chose a very dark color, unless the floor is perfectly clean, it looks dirty. But not too horrible, usually, and the color is really dynamite, so we’re still happy with our choices.

Molly September 27, 2006 at 7:21 pm

I have a sub floor I want to paint. Wondering how your floor looks now…a year later?

Alderete September 27, 2006 at 7:54 pm

@Molly: Good question. Unfortunately, the answer is, not so good. It’s filthy and scuffed. But then, we can’t seem to manage to sweep regularly, let alone mop, so the filthy is really our own fault. And then the scuffs. Well, most of them happened when we shoved the refrigerator across the room and tipped it into the pantry (which is currently two inches lower than the kitchen). Pretty painful to see the scrapes that caused. I’ve told Rochelle that she’s responsible for repairing and repainting. Hasn’t happened yet…

In the end, I would have to say that while I think the decision to paint the floor was the right one (given we couldn’t decide upon or afford a real new floor), the soft plywood of the subfloor doomed the paint job. There’s just no way to make that durable, it’s just too soft itself…

shannon July 18, 2007 at 11:05 am

We are considering painting our subfloor, do you have some pictures that we could see??

Alderete July 21, 2007 at 8:38 pm

@Shannon: Just the photos here on this post. Sorry it’s not the best light or view, but it’s all we’ve got…

Mary August 18, 2007 at 5:35 am

Did you use primer on the sub-floor first? What grit did you use to sand the sub-floor? Do you think a little lighter shade of paint would have hidden the dirt better (or made it easier to see and clean?)? What do you use to clean the new finish? Would you recommend this technique as an alternative to tile or laminate?

I need to do something with our kitchen floor, but might have to leave it this way until I can afford the $100. for the laminate (our kitchen is only 78 sq. ft.). My hubby is absolutely no help, either, and has no interest in any more projects.

painting contractors cape cod February 23, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Alderete they make a product called Flood paint that dries in 3 days and stands up nicely Benjamin Moore sells it. It’s made for outside but doesn’t smell bad doesn’t require primer and is a hybrid paint that only reqires water to clean up.

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