Caring for and Cleaning Painted Wood Floors

by Carolanne Strong
(last updated October 1, 2018)

If you've ever wiped dirty fingerprints off a latex painted wall, you will know that the paint removes almost as easily as the finger smudges. Knowing this can make you a little reluctant to clean the painted wood floor in your house, but if you take the proper steps, you can end up with a clean and still painted floor.

Hopefully you are working on a floor that has been painted with a high gloss, oil-based latex enamel paint. This is the best scenario because this type of paint is a little more durable and water resistant than water based semi-gloss, satin, or flat paint. You still can't flood-mop it like you might do to a linoleum floor, but it buys you a little more time. If you are working with a more sensitive paint you may want to consult a cleaning professional or your local hardware store's paint clerk before your proceed.

Start by filling a mop bucket with water and a measure of vinegar; a little bit of vinegar goes a long way, so you probably don't need more than a fourth cup for most mop buckets. Dip your mop in the vinegar solution, and ring it out as dry as you can. The mop should be damp, but not drippy. As always, start in a corner and work your way out.

It's important that water doesn't sit for very long on the surface of the paint, because water will seep through even the glossiest of enamels if left for more than a few minutes. You may want to consider working in small sections, and dry one section before you mop the next. There are several ways to pick up moisture that your mop has left behind. A dry mop, reserved for this purpose, works really well, but if you don't have an extra mop lying around, then you can use an old towel or a paper towel. If you are using some type of towel, wipe lightly. Don't rub, as that will remove paint. Also, avoid walking on damp sections, as doing so may peel up paint or leave an indent on the softened surfaces. Make sure the floor is completely dry before you allow traffic.

Over time, paint loses its elasticity, and if you notice some cracking on your floor, you may want to spot treat with a small amount of olive oil. Any type of olive oil will work for this, so you may want to save the expensive extra virgin import and opt for a lower grade olive oil if you have it on hand. Pour a small amount on the rag (you won't need much, the spot on the rag should be about the size of a finger print) and gently rub it into the distressed spot.

Author Bio

Carolanne Strong

MORE FROM CAROLANNE

Removing Ink Stains from Silk Clothing

It happens. Pens leak and ink spills. Anyone who has ever opened a backpack or briefcase to find a broken or leaky pen ...

Discover More

Cleaning Light Fixtures in a Bathroom

Chances are you haven't cleaned your bathroom fixtures in quite a while. It's just one of those jobs we don't think about ...

Discover More

Removing Rubber Stains from Flooring

Rubber stains are very common on hard surfaces and the even appear occasionally on carpeted floors. Luckily, they are ...

Discover More

Remove Stubborn Stains Quickly Get everything looking clean again: Walls, floors, baseboards, counters, blinds, appliances, and more. Micro-scrubbers easily reach into surface grooves, lifting dirt away. This low-cost 8-pack is great for stubborn stains and touble areas. Check out Mr. Clean Magic Eraser 8-Pack today!

More Cleaning Tips

Hardwood Cleaner

Do you have hardwood floors in your home? Keep it looking its best by cleaning it the right way.

Discover More

Hiding Scratches and Scrapes on Wood Floors

Wood floors gather tiny scratches and scrapes over time. You can hide these by scrubbing the blemishes with steel wool ...

Discover More

Cleaning Light Oak Floors

Oak floors can be a beautiful addition, and element, of any home. The amazing thing about this wonderful wood is that it ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.