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This blog chronicles my entire kitchen renovation from start to finish. Greentea Design has provided me with their solid wood kitchen cabinets, and I'm taking care of the rest.

If you'd like to be brought up to date, check out the archive in the sidebar for previous posts. I posted recently about some final sketches Greentea created for me and some decisions I've made. Now for the flooring.

One of the steps to this renovation that I was super excited about was getting new flooring. When I first moved into this house I knew I would eventually knock the wall down separating the living room from the kitchen, and continue the same flooring throughout. Since I love the look of painted hardwood, I decided to paint the existing hardwood in the living room (I detested the oak colour) and get hardwood installed in the kitchen and paint it the same colour. I was so excited to see the tiles go that I had lived with since last December (beyond gross). I'll stick a before photo here as a reminder:

As I mentionned in a previous post, the contractor spent alot of time levelling the floor, because it dipped from one end to the other by several inches.

Initially the contractor was going to purchase unfinished hardwood to lay in the kitchen. But when he went to pick it up, he said there were alot of knots showing and was worried it would show through the paint. So he went with finished flooring. And he purchased boxes of various colours that were leftovers from previous customer orders, so it only ended up costing $1.99/sq.ft. When they started laying it, we all got a kick out of the different colours and thought it looked pretty cool.

As you can see in the last photo, because the floor involved some layers to get it level, the kitchen is now a little step up from the living room. The contractor put a nice curved finishing piece on the edge.

I had a dilemma for a while about what colour to paint the floor. It was between white and gray. I ended up choosing gray because I just can't imagine dealing with the fur of 6 cats and the dirt I create on white floors. I would lose my marbles. I went with Pigeon Gray by Benjamin Moore.

I didn't want to use floor paint from Benjamin Moore because each coat needs 24 hours to dry and I had to live in the house with the 6 cats during the painting. Also, I had asked for the cabinets to be delivered on the 14th, and the floors and ceiling weren't ready until late afternoon on the 12th. I asked at the store what I could do that was faster than floor paint. I was told I could just use regular paint and varathane over it. I figured I'd give it a try. And now that it's done I'm regretting my decision for a quick way out. I started with a primer, which doesn't seem to have stuck very well to the hardwood. At Home Depot I asked what I should use as a primer and obviously I should have either sanded first, which I had no time for, or bought a better primer.

After 1 coat of primer I put on 2 coats of the gray, then 2 coats of varathane. Here are the floors after the first coat of gray (in an eggshell finish).

Here are the floors with all 5 coats applied.

They do not seem to be as durable as the floors in my office where I used Benjamin Moore's floor paint. There are also streaks from the special brush used to apply the varathane (but I didn't sand so this is my fault - although I didn't sand my office and there are no brush marks). I think next time I will find a temporary home for the cats and myself and use durable floor paint. For now, I am too tired of painting to deal with it. I'll see how it goes, and eventually I'll probably slap a coat of floor paint over the floors if they get scratched up. In the meantime, I'm going to sit back and enjoy them, because the gray turned out fantastic and exactly what I had in mind.

Next time, a post about the arrival of the cabinets. One word - INCREDIBLE!

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Oh so lovely!
Is that wall paper mural going to go?

I think the floor looks creative. Nice idea to use the left over wood since it was going to be painted anyway. I can just see the next owners scrapping the paint off and finding the miss match flooring underneath!

Maybe your office floor had been worn with time before you painted it and that was almost the same as sanding it. These new planks had a fresh coat of finish on them.

I would have waited until the cab's were in before you painted the floor. Then you do not have to worry about the contractors scratching up your pretty paint job.
Hope they end up being more durable than you think! I don't blame you for wanting to relax. I may have told you already - I hate renovation projects! (I know, no sympathy. :)

You were right. The color of the floor is wonderful. I think it's a light enough gray that it still has the appeal of a white floor. Really gorgeous. Can't wait to see your new kitchen and your stuff back in the living room.
The color is amazing! I bet it makes the cabinets pop. Your pics will be great for the Greentea folks too, because, IMHO, their site has way too much wood on wood, so the cabinets get lost.

The sealer might be tougher than you think. And if it isn't... it won't be so bad in a year or so to fix. The rest of your downstairs will look so great it'd be a mild chore ;)
The floor looks wonderful and isn't renovating such an exhausting process? But, all for the good and end product.

We too went through some of your same dilemma when finishing our floors. We purchase new wood flooring and it had a matte finish. Not thinking, we laid the flooring down then started applying coats of polyurethane straight on the flooring only to have it lift a few days later when we sanded between coats. Big mistake on our part. We couldn't believe we had actually forgotten to sand first before we applied the polyurethane. Even though the flooring had a matte finish, it didn't have any tooth to grab the polyurethane. Same principal applies to paint. I am hoping that your paint stays down for you, you've worked so hard on the floor and it looks beautiful.You can see the process here:

Also, we have used other paint in the past for projects such as Benjamin Moore & Sherman Williams, and always were disappointed. This time, we used Valspar and have been totally thrilled with the results! We used it in our kitchen and have now just painted our bathroom and it is a fabulous paint that goes on easily and levels out smoothly in just a few minutes. We used the Signature Series with a satin finish on the walls, can't say enough good things about it. Hope this helps and I look forward to seeing your new kitchen and the cabinets!
So funny. I made the same comment to Kim when I first saw these pics about the next owners stripping back the paint to show the beautiful floors and seeing mismatched boards.

The colour does look great and the wear and tear will add to the natural look of the cabinets. It's not meant to be perfect. That's the way I want to think about it Kim ;)
I had the same thought about the next owners stripping the paint as well! It's such a great idea though, and the colour looks great too!
momof3, that mural was a purchase I made a few months ago. I love having a forest in my living room.

YIKES maggie - your poor floors! Yep, I should have sanded my floors first but I had no time. Learned a good lesson for next time.

Glad you all like my colour choice. Soon you will see how awesome the floor colour looks with the cabinets. :)
I LOVE that mural! Beautiful!
I am beginning a kitchen remodel in an old house too and have had so much fun watching yours! The floors look great and it has to feel good just to be to this point! Can't wait to see the cabinets!
Thanks Kim and Moulton Girl. It doesn't feel feels GREAT!!
Oh, they look beautiful! I love the grey you chose. I bet it looks stunning against your stairs!
Thanks Courtney! You HAD to go mention the stairs....I think I have to repaint them. They are too off-white and should be white or the grey of the floors. But I'm too tired to deal with it anytime soon.
your kitchen is gorgeous - I love those cabinets! and the basement door - genius! with the cat door!

ok - I'm painting my hardwood floors - will you email me -if you have time - and tell me if you are still happy with yours?

Joni - Cote de Texas

Thank you/1
(It's raining and cold in Los Angeles today so I am enjoying reading all your kitchen posts!)
How are the floors holding up? You were right to switch to latex (it's the oils that cause the yellowing you're seeing in the office -- something about UV light). Heartbreaking about the missed sanding opportunity -- put felt pads on everything! A durable latex clearcoat (the higher the gloss the harder the finish and the easier it is to clean) goes a looooong way toward the life of the paint job and can be refreshed pretty painlessly down the road. And, everyone is right, if it wears a little, it give the room added soul.
I've used the Ben Moore porch & floor paint (latex version) with gloss StaysClear and it holds up extremely well, for future ref.
How is the stray kitty?
Floors are doing really well, but I do have felt pads on everything and I don't wear shoes in the house. But I thought even the cats' claws would leave marks but so far nothing has marked it. So maybe it turned out better than I initially thought. Ask me again when I drop something like a brick on it. You put a gloss over the floor paint? I am so impressed with my office floor that I think the extra coat would have been a waste of time. But the more coats the merrier!

Stray kitty has been pretty much absent the last 3 or so days. I haven't seen him yet today. And it was -30C today (ha - you think it's cold in LA?) so he must have a home or he's found somewhere else with decent shelter. That little guy is stressing me out. He's lucky he's a cutie. I can put up with this crap. :)
I'm going to believe he's found a home.

Yeah, the gloss sticks right to the floor paint no problem! Especially if you're doing the layers in quick succession. I learned the hard way, having painted old wood floors when I lived in Florida and coating them with gloss oil -- they turned completely amber right away under all the throw rugs, etc. It was a bummer. But then I moved. Ha.
I work on floors for clients frequently, and lately have been bummed to discover that with all the new, environmentally friendly formula adaptations, things aren't as tough as they used to be. Either that or my clients drag their knuckles around their houses like neanderthals. The best success, still, is with the high gloss clear latex over your color (which can be any old latex paint product, as long as your primer is very good and you've sanded a bit). Just be glad you have cats, not dogs, or you'd be in tears every day about your floors.

MINUS 30C? I can't even relate to that! Conjures up an old Jack London story of freezing to death in Alaska... Brrrrr.
Thanks so much for all the floor tips Kate!

Yes, it is FREEZING here. Skin-numbing freezing. Car-won't-start freezing. As for the cat, the little monster woke me up at 2 am because he was trying to get onto my porch while some other cat was trying to get off. They were HOWLING at each other. Probably woke all the neighours. So I went out there in my Winnie The Pooh flannel pj's to break it up. LOL.
I love this lovely and beautiful floor. Thank you for posting.
Looks great. Keep up the good job
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