Flashback: Hand-Printed Patterned Floor

Not a fan of carpeting, I recently took the plunge and pulled up the existing carpet in my cabin. What lay beneath is actually some pretty sweet wood flooring. It’s by no means flawless, but since I adore the rustic cabin look (and I don’t have the budget to redo my floors right now), I instantly thought of a project from the pages of CRAFT Volume 09. Grace Bonney, in her DIY Design column, introduced us to a project by Catherine Weis on how to transform a scuffed wood floor into a work of art using custom, homemade stencils and paint. Needless to say, when I saw the picture above, I was totally floored at the simple, yet styely, results. The project is short and sweet, so I’m sharing it with you in its entirety here.
By Catherine Weis

Tape measure
Blue chalk “snap line” for measuring your space and creating a centerline from which to start your pattern
Oil-based floor paint
Paintbrush or roller
Step 1: Measure the room.
Take a measurement of the room and consider the following: how much room do you have to work with, where do you want your centerline, and are there any big pieces of furniture that you want to work around?
Step 2: Sketch your centerline.
From there, figure out where your patterns will fall. Sketch out a full grid on the floor with a snap line (the measuring tape that snaps blue chalk on the floor from a taut string). If you are working with stencils of varying sizes, I’ve found that it helps to measure where the big stencils will go from the centerline of the pattern, and then to radiate smaller stencils out from the larger ones.
Step 3: Make your stencils.
Sketch out your shapes onto the cardboard, and cut out the spaces you want to paint within, making sure to keep an edge of about 5″ around all openings (to allow for paint to accidentally run over and not touch the floor). You can also sketch out the design on the floor itself, if you’re good at filling in the lines; then paint the sketch by hand.
Step 4: Place your stencil, and paint.
If you’re working with cardboard like I did, line up your stencil on the floor grid. I recommend beginning with the centerline of your grid and working your way out to the edges. Then paint away! I used a roller with some wood floor paint in off-white.
Step 5: Repeat.
Lift up the stencil, place it back down along the grid, and paint the shape again. Continue until you’re done with this shape (stencil).
Step 6: Start the next row.
Begin on the outside of your grid with a different or the same stencil and begin painting your next row. When you’ve finished your pattern, allow the paint to fully dry for a day before replacing furniture or rugs.
You can still pick up a back issue of CRAFT Volume 09, the Green Crafting issue, at the Maker Shed.

8 thoughts on “Flashback: Hand-Printed Patterned Floor

  1. angela says:

    did you free hand your stencils onto your cardboard, and do you by chance still have those stencils? I love your floor and would love to do that to mine. My email is chiefjoseph25@yahoo.com

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  6. Pineconeshelf says:

    I’m getting ready to do my first painted floor project. I hope it goes well

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at snowgoli@gmail.com or via @snowgoli.

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