I am remodeling my home and is putting on a fresh coat of paint and will be stripping and finishing the wood floors


My general rule is that paint should generally be one of the last things that you do. Refinishing a floor can make a horrible mess, and dust from sanding is going to end up all over the place. It's probably going to be easier to clean up from the floor job before prepping the walls and ceiling for painting than it would be to clean up freshly painted walls. Also, if you're taking any of the trim off (i.e. shoe molding) to do the floor the finish will look a lot better if it's done in one go after it's reinstalled.

As for getting paint on the refinished floor, interior latex paints are incredibly easy to clean off of a newly finished floor (even after they've dried). Not as much so on bare wood.

  • what about oil paints? Mar 3 '16 at 15:56
  • @DeanMacGregor - To be honest, I've never considered doing an interior in oil based paint before.
    – Comintern
    Mar 3 '16 at 18:52
  • I find oil paints are all but extinct due to draconian VOC limits on architectural coatings, particularly in the 12-state areas. Even in the 38 less-regulated states, I find nobody custom mixes it - not big-box, hardware stores, local lumberyard, nor the "homeowner-aimed" Sherwin Williams/Kelly Moore stores. Their industrial stores will sell anything, but legal compliance is on you. There are also specialty alkyds such as Fine Paints of Europe's "Hollandlac" which dodge the VOC laws. Mar 3 '16 at 19:31

I have an easy rule. If I am using latex I do floors first. If I am using oil, I do walls first. Oil can be a bitch to clean up off of floors but really easy to clean dust/whatever off the walls. Latex is basically the opposite. You do not want to wipe/clean a latex wall for probably 2 months after painting. Also if the latex has not cured for at least 3-4 days (maybe longer) it can hold dust spores permanently.


If you repaint first, any paint spilled on the floor will be removed when you refinish. The other direction is unlikely to happen.


I always paint first. First of all you don't need drop cloths. If you are worried about dust on the walls, you can prim and first coat everything first and then refinish the floors. You will have to cover the new floors for only one coat.

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