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I have to replace the floor on the landings of our stairs and love the look of painted wooden floors. However, it is a high traffic area, and I've seen many painted wood floors floors lose their finish sooner rather than later, which is something I would like to avoid (I realize I'll have to refinish them every so often, but less would definitively be better).

What is the most durable way to paint a wood floor?

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

As hinted at, boat coverings can be pretty tough. Spar varnish has such a reputation, and then there are the epoxy paints, which are actually probably the toughest, and most costly.

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I had not heard of epoxy paints before - they look like the best option for our situation; thanks! –  Korneel Bouman Feb 21 '11 at 15:29
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The success of the paint job very much depends on the nature of the traffic.

If it is accessed with road shoes, the sand on the shoes will quickly sand down any kind of paint. In case, I would go for clear boat paint and put a mat over the traffic area. In case you want to go without a mat, go for a satin or matte finish paint. That way, the wear doesnt show as much.

If it is mostly accessed with clean (indoor) shoes, you can go for a number of good floor paints. I´ve had success both with a water based lacquer and a wax based open pore treatment.

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They make paints specially designed for floors that wear better .... but you can also add a clear polyurethane top coat over some other paint.

... and of course, adding runners or other carpeting in the highest traffic area (both to collect sand and grit that might be on shoes, and to prevent contact in those specific areas) can help to extend the life, too. It might not be good for the landing, but a small rug at the bottom of the stairs might help without becoming a hazard.

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A matte poly finish will go a long way toward solving the problem. And it's easy to reapply every few years/decades--you don't have to match color at all. –  Alex Feinman Jun 2 '11 at 18:18
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