DIY Painted Plywood Subfloor

painted plywood sub floor diy

One of our most popular posts on Picklee features a wide plank farmhouse floor made from plywood planks.We used the simple plywood planks as flooring at the Picklee shop two years ago and they are still holding up wonderfully!  In fact, we get questions and compliments on them from customers constantly!  I love the plywood floor look so much at the shop that I knew I would eventually do something similar in my own home…well, I finally did!

Brett & I bought our new home this past August and have been working on renovations ever since.  One of our projects was to the remove carpeting from our office (carpeting just DOES NOT belong in an office) and add a hardwood floor.  By now you can guess that we didn’t end up installing hardwood floors, we saved a ton of money by working with something we already had…the plywood sub floor!  Here’s how we did it…

painted plywood sub-floor-diy

It’s hard to imagine a plywood sub floor looking like anything BUT a plywood sub floor, but I can assure you that its a wonderful option if your going for a look with more character & charm.  We were aiming for a chic, coastal farmhouse feel in our office so the painted plywood floor worked out perfectly for us!

This project is super simple, just a bit time consuming.  Here’s how our office looked before we began transforming it…

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Yep, that’s white carpet…definitely not on my list of “wants” in a home…

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First things first, we cleared out the room and ripped out the white carpet (along with the under pad)…

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Next, we had to pull out each and every carpet staple from the sub floor.  I used a small pair of pliers along with a flat head screw driver, it was a tedious process but it went by quick!

painted plywood subfloors

After the sub floor was cleared of staples and nails, we gave it a GOOD vacuuming.  This step is super important before painting the floor, for obvious reasons… Yes, that’s a painted heart on the floor, Brett expresses his love in strange ways sometimes… 😉

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Oh yea, we painted the room a deep, ocean blue (to go with the coastal new feel) at this point too!

painted blue walls

Once the floor was clean, it was time to begin painting!  We wanted our painted floor to look a bit shiny, so we decided to use a semi gloss floor paint in a creamy shade of white.  First, I cut in the entire perimeter of the room using a large brush…

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The next step went super FAST.  Brett took out the roller and rolled a solid coat of paint over the entire floor.  There are plenty of bumps, nail holes and imperfections on a sub floor, but we embraced them in the name of creating character!

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As Brett rolled the paint on, I followed him with a paint brush, touching up any deep holes that didn’t fully cover…

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Since this was a floor paint, it didn’t require any top coat, so we simply let the paint “cure” for about 36 hours before putting our furniture back!

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Even though the room is a deep, dark shade of blue, it feels so much LIGHTER with the crisp white floor!

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It now been 4 months since we painted the sub floor and I’m still LOVING the look!  It’s held up great too!

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Yes, you can see lines and tiny holes, but that contributes to it’s charm =)

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The best part, it that it’s supposed to look “imperfect” so we never worry about damaging it or messing it up!

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Here’s a little peak at how our transformed office turned out…there will be many more details on it’s transformation coming soon!

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Now that’s MORE proof that a plywood floor can look absolutely beautiful!  Find more information on plywood floors here!


28 responses to “DIY Painted Plywood Subfloor

  1. Loved what you did with the floor. I am glad there are others like me who do “crazy” things, like painting the sub flooring. We did that in a house we purchased. After ripping out the carpet, tearing out a wall, and numerous other projects, we ran out of money to replace the living room flooring. So…we painted it white. We had to sand first since glue had been used along with the staples. I added flowers in different places. We had so many compliments on our floor. People wanted to know where we bought it!!

  2. When I pulled carpet staples out of my hardwood floor I simply used an office staple remover. It has claws to grab hold of the staples . I am loving the plywood floors! Good job!

    1. LOL! My hardwood floor staples ate a staple puller in 3 staples.. I ended up using a heavy duty staple puller, a flat screwdriver, claw hammer, crowbar, and flush cutters. Took me 3 months doing it alone with small babies.

  3. Jordan and Brett – this is fantastic and that other plywood *plank* floor was even fantastic’er 😉 Thank you for sharing!!! I love it and want to do it in our two floor farm house – but I’m really afraid to mess up (and stress out the family that is already suffering from all my projects). So, do you have *any negative* thoughts/experiences with the plank variant that I should know beforehand? For one thing, why did you not opt for planks this time?
    Again, thank you!!

  4. Great job on the floor in your home office and store. I was up in Newport last July 4th weekend and I’m sorry I missed your store. I’ll be heading up again sometime in May or June and I will make it a point to stop in. I’m crazy about the deep blue color in the office. Very inspiring.

  5. I have wanted to do this for a year, and now we are building a cabin and I am actually CHOOSING to put down plywood and paint it instead of laying normal flooring 🙂 What specific paint did you use? I’m having a heard time choosing what paint we want to use, and I really don’t want to have to prime the floors or put down countless layers of top coat. I love your color chooses BTW, it is beautiful!

  6. Loving the floors, thinking of doing the planks in our farmhouse kitchen. Also could you please tell where you got the beautiful couch in office? Please

  7. Just finished laying this floor…love it. I’m waiting for the weather to get above 50degrees to put down the polyurethane…my question is did you sand between the coats of poly? Didn’t see mention in your post…but the man at the paint store said I should. Look forward to your answer.

  8. Just curious to know what you use to wash these floors; along with the floors at your shop. I’m preparing to do these myself soon and am wondering about maintenance. Do you use steam? Mopping? What kind of cleaners? Thanks so much, and great job on both projects!!!!

  9. Looks great. That looks like the color of blue (on the walls) that I’ve been looking for! Can you share the color name & paint brand? Thanks

  10. I love the look of the floor. We are putting flooring in a cabin and it will not always have heat in it. We are in North Dakota. Will this flooring hold up without heat and could a person use a different color for a white wash ? Thank you and really nice job

  11. We bought our home 23 years ago. We used tha plywood sub floor. But my hubby cut lines in the wood to make it look like barn board. Painted it and put polyurethane over that. The floor has had held up thru 5 kids and, 4 dogs. The floor still looks great.

  12. Love your tutorial on the floors! Both this one and the planks. We’re doing the planks in our new home soon. Also, that blue is perfect. Do you mind sharing what brand and what color it is? I’m having a hard time finding the right blue myself. Thanks in advance!

  13. Thank you so very much posting the ABC,S, 123,S of plywood flooring!!! I ‘be hunting a way this 66 year old retired g granny fix my floors on a S.S. budget. One question though, for high traffic areas, which would stand up better? Paint or stain? Large living room and dining room. Thanks again.

  14. I LOVE the blue! I considered that for my bathroom but thought it to dark. Seeing it in your office makes me want to do it after all! I’m painting my subfloor too. My dogs have totally wrecked the carpeting and the smell is obnoxious! Can’t wait to get rid of the carpeting and have a smooth, easily maintained floor. Floor paint is so good nowadays.I’m an old lady but I can do this job bit by bit. I love throw rugs and they can be washed or tossed if they get pet ruined. Carpeting, UGH!

  15. Hi…your floors look great. Can I put down this type of flooring as I dont have existing wooden floors. My ground floor is concrete covered in a vinyl tile throughout. How would I attach the plywood? Thankyou. L

  16. i left a message 22 sept and after it read that my message was awaiting moderation…?? I said that your floors looked great and asked how i could put down plywood flooring as my floor is concrete covered in thin vinyl type tile throughout the downstairs. I asked you how I could attach plywood. Thankyou. L

  17. Thank you so much I love my newly painted plywood floors. I didn’t think of painting the plywood so it is not high grade but it looks great , like a beach house , boat house grey , lunar surface great color

  18. As I’m reading this blog I am frustrated with all the people who ask crazy questions about……. Sealing in pet stains? Placing plywood over concrete? You people are expecting her to answer and even seems to get upset when she (Jordan) doesn’t. You all seem to think She is an expert on all applications of plywood flooring. Get a grip people! She is simply someone who is sharing a DIY project…. She doesn’t owe you any explanation or answers.

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