This is what the bathroom floor has looked like the last few years. No matter how much I cleaned it, it still looked dirty.
This was the bathroom when we first purchased our home.
We plan on doing a complete demo and renovation next year so for now, the next best solution was to add more paint 😂. What’s another layer, am I right? I’ve painted kitchen cabinets, furniture, and also radiators before, but have never painted floors, until now!
I didn’t want to just add one solid color. I wanted a fun classic look that would make the bathroom feel welcoming. Here’s how to paint a harlequin floor pattern.
Step 1: Clean your floors
To paint the floor I purchased Rusto-leum Home Floor Coating Kit. It has good reviews and I didn’t want to use latex paint and have it peel over time.
First, Make sure your floors are nice and clean before painting. I vacuumed the floors well, making sure I got every corner. I then moped it using water and vinegar. Lastly, I used the heavy duty cleaner that comes in the kit.
Step 2: Apply a base coat
The Rusto-leum Floor Coating Kit comes with a floor cleaner, a white or dark base coat (depending on which one you pick), and top coat. The top coat comes in either a matte or gloss finish. I chose a white base with a matte finish.
You can have the base coat be tinted at the paint desk. There are several color options to choose from on the box. I chose the color Vanilla Milkshake.
And because we’re doing two colors I purchased a second quart of the white base and did not tint it. Home Depot near me carries the kit but did not carry single quarts. I purchased a single quart at Ace Hardware but you can also order it online at Home Depot. No need to purchase two full kits.
Use painters tape around the edges to protect your baseboard (we didn’t do this initially but then went back and tape so that we can easily roll). Paint the base coat using a brush for the edges and a nap roller to roll the rest.
You’ll need to wait 6 hours for the paint to dry before applying a second coat. Apply a second coat after the paint is dried.
Step 3: Tape & paint your pattern
There are several ways to approach this step. The key on how to paint a harlequin floor pattern is your taping. You want to tape individual diamonds. Some people use a laser level and tape their pattern, others draw it first.
To help me visualize the pattern I purchased an individual 12X12 peel and stick tile that was $1.29, kept the paper on back on, and used it to trace my pattern first.
Your want to start by measuring and find the middle of the room. I wanted my full diamonds to be in the middle of the bathroom so I started in the middle.
If you are tracing like me, after you’ve traced your first tile, use one of the traced lines to guide you to trace the other three sides for the next tile. I went in a diagonal direction.
Instead of tracing you can skip it and just tape around a tile.
Once you have your lines traced it’s time to tape.
I made a mistake and used Scotch Blue rough surface extra hold painters tape and it peeled some of the tape off when I removed it. It clearly said not to use on wood floors, but I didn’t notice until after. I just went back to touch up those areas with paint before applying my top coat. Stick with regular FrogTape to avoid this mistake.
When taping, use an X-Acto knife or blade to cut any overlapping corners. You want to end up with individual diamonds on the floor.
Place a small piece of tape in the middle of the diamonds that are going to remain white, so you don’t mistakenly paint your secondary color in one of them.
Before painting your secondary color, here’s a trick to avoid bleed through and get crisp lines. Use a paint brush or roller and paint your base color over the edge of the tape first. This will creat a seal and when you paint your secondary color it won’t seep underneath the tape.
You would have to wait a little for it to dry (I only waited an hour) but it’s worth it for those nice crisp lines!
Look at that! Because of this method I had no bleed through at all!
Start painting from the furthest spot away from the door and work your way out. Use a roller and carefully apply your secondary color.
I was worried Vanilla Milkshake will be too light but it’s perfect against the white. Depending on the lighting, sometimes it looks grayish and other times it looks beige. I love how the color turned out!
Step 4: Apply your top coat
Make sure your floor is clean. Because there’s wasn’t a top coat and we were doing a white base coat, some of it became a little dirty from our hands and walking in and out the bathroom during the project.
I swept the floor and wiped it with a damp cloth then once I removed the tape I went back and using a roller and carefully painted over the white diamonds.
Use a roller and apply the top coat evenly. You can apply one or two coats. You’ll have to apply a second coat within 24hours of the first. Also, allow 24hours for the top coat to dry before walking on it.
I’ll report back after several months with an update on how the floor has kept up, but for now I am so happy with it! This is a great option to switch your floors up on a budget and the paint works on wood, tile, and vinyl too!
We made other minor changes in the bathroom and I’am so in love with it now!