diy, new, The Cottage
Comments 5


Sometimes all the planning, pinning, and prepping still isn’t enough when it comes to home renovations. Case and point – say hello to my “tax return floors.” I  HAD planned on exposing the beautiful hardwoods hiding under the vinyl floor in the kitchen and the dining room, BUT as we started to poke around, it became clear that we weren’t going to be able to save the wood. Basically, the plywood that had been installed on top of the hardwood was nailed down – EVERY INCH had a nail, so if we had tried to pull them up, the hardwood would either get pulled up with it, or I would have been left with some holy wood! Instead if ripping everything out, we decide it would be best to install new floors on top of the plywood. My father got it into his head that he just had to remove the vinyl floor first (about half way through, he was regretting that decision)

A day later after a good  google/ pinterest search – I had made a new flooring decision. Given I like to take my time, this was just gut decision since the clock was ticking. I knew I would never be able to install floor that would match the original in the living room, so opted for a wider plank, painted, and installed in a different direction. The result? I’m in love. Everything about the new floors makes the room feel big, fresh, and totally intentional. Here is what I used, what I learned, and some pics along the way.

What I used:

  • Paint: Behr Patio in Gentle Rain
  • Brush: Paint Pad My mother swears by these, and she was so right. It gives you an even coat and uses less paint. I will never use a regular bristle brush for big projects again.
  • Wood: Yellow pine 8″ X 1″ planks with tongue and groove. I picked this up at my local lumber yard.
  • Nails: We rented a nail gun (lifesaver)

What I learned:

  • Make sure to measure the actual wood planks to ensure you have enough. The actual was about 7″ instead of 8″ and we had to scrap together the final board (thankfully it was under the fridge, so you can’t tell.)
  • I painted the planks before they were installed – which helped with keeping the planks seams from filling with paint (I wanted them to show.) Once installed, I did one final touch up coat and sealed with a clear sealer.
  • I watered down the paint and tested it on the back side of one of the planks. This was key in having the grain show through. I didn’t use any primer.
  • Use something (like plastic protectant) to have down as you finish the floors.

Are you ready for the results???

floor before

the before – vinyl everywhere


Getting my paint on

entertaining floor prep

Dad cutting away – (always cut with the paint side down)

It might look like I’m relaxing, but trust me, it was a rare moment of sitting down.

We laid all the planks out before going back and nailing them down.

The finished product!

Up next at the Cottage – getting my outdoor entertaining prepped for an epic summer season.


  1. Ken Brown says

    The finished floors look great. To all the dad’s: If your daughter wants you to hop on a plane and help with her projects, do it, no do it NOW. You will never regret doing a project with your kids. She has a floor but I have memories I will never forget. Make sure you have great neighbors with tools, it makes life easier. Love, Dad

  2. Rita says

    it took me forever to get over here and read your blog in earnest….and I loooooove it! the cottage, the blog and all of your beautiful projects. such fabulous inspiration!!

  3. Jen says

    So beautiful and even better, you did this project with your parents. Amazing memories. Congrats.


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