Monday, January 3, 2011

My Checkerboard Floor

We recently completed our new garage

We did an epoxy finish on the garage floor area but weren't certain what to do on the upper level.  It was just a plywood floor.  Since it was going to be for storage only, a painted floor was our solution.  I primed and then painted the floor with light gray floor paint.

Of course, you know me.  I couldn't stop there.  I decided to do a checkerboard.  I'd done a checkerboard floor before.  It was very tedious and time consuming.  You need to grid if off with a chalk line before you can even begin to tape off and paint .  If you decide to do it, my best advice is to make large squares.  The larger the square, the less work. 
If you're determined to do it after all the warnings,
here's a tutorial  that clearly explains how to create your floor grid.

I swore I'd never do another checkerboard floor after I completed my first one.  But. . . . .I looked at the floor and could see the seam lines in the floor, and guess what?  They were all perfect squares!   Before I knew it I was buying a gallon of black floor paint.

I taped off the squares with painters tape. 

HINTS (or stuff I learned the hard way)
1.  Press down the edge of the tape so paint doesn't leak under the tape edge when you're painting. 
I used the side of my thumbnail.  You could use an old butter knife or spoon, or anything you have on hand.   Using a tool is better.  My thumb was pretty sore by the time I was done.

2.  Put a piece of painters tape in alternate squares. 
It's very easy to paint the wrong color in a square.  Yup, I did that.  Very annoying.

3.  Make sure the corner points are very sharp to prevent blurry corners. 
I actually added additional tape at the corners so I had a real clean line.  If you don't do this you'll be touching up later with a small brush.  Trust me on this one.

4.  For a fast paint job and to give your back and knees a chance to recover after taping, put an extension on your roller as if you were going to paint a wall.  This is the fun part, finally.   
You can actually paint while standing.
Careful where you step.  Don't trap yourself in a corner

5.  If one coat works---probably not---remove the tape immediately.  
There's a danger of pulling up some of the paint as you remove the tape if the paint completely dries.  
Again, you'll be touching up edges forever with a small brush.

6.  I had to do three coats.  Before you pull up the tape from the dried paint you'll need to score along the tape line.  I used a 4 foot level as my straight edge and scored with the pointy end of my son's compass.  Obviously an exacto knife would have been much better but I couldn't find ours.  I'm very impatient when I start something and didn't want to search for it.  I love to improvise.  It worked fine.   Pull the tape away gently.  Again, if you choose to skip the scoring step, you''ll spend much more time touching up uneven edges than you would have if you'd scored the edge.

7.  If you don't want to let the floor wear naturally, you can apply a sealant.  You'll need two coats.

Here's how mine turned out.

What do you think?  Let me know if you give it a try.  Enjoy.


  1. Looks great Kathy! Helpful tips from one 'painter' to another, I know what you said is true!

  2. I love the floor!!!!!! I just wanted to let you know I gave you a little award.

    Check it out on my blog.

  3. That is amazing! I think I would have been bold and did some crazy colors on the floor but sometimes classic black and white is best. Btw -I'm here because Debbie (above) gave 15 people awards and you were one of them. Just checking your out :-)

  4. OMG Kathy!!! I see what you're doing to keep busy these days! That looks awesome and just think you were saying you weren't crazy about that building. I LOVE it!

  5. Very cool! I love the checker board, it really looks clean and fun!

  6. Fantastic - I love it so much! Great job!!

  7. That looks great! you could play a big game of checkers. ;)

  8. Hey Kathy! First time on your blog! Love the checkered floor! I would have never thought to do that. It turned out great!