Saturday, May 11, 2013

DIY How to Make Plywood Subfloor Look Like Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring


I've known for sometime (literally years). That I would rip up my ugly paint stained Den carpet, and attempt to recreate the plywood sub floor into something special. Thankfully my plywood sub floor, was wood grade, while not perfect by any means; it was stained heavily with both previous owner's pet stains, old paint from years past and a bazillion staples etc. I knew I would take on this project one way or another and love it.






Since my lovely 65 rancher had the a/c unit die last summer and we were hit with a hefty 7k loan for a new one, I knew that new floors would DEFINITELY not be in my budget. So after the old nasty paint stained builder grade carpet was ripped up, it revealed the disastrous gross view below. I knew I had my work cut out for me. 




I didn't have any real plan, just to wing it as I went.

I had seen on google that a few people had used a sharpie marker to draw plank lines on the plywood.

My first task however (and I did many steps backwards, but it worked out in the end), was to remove the staples; all 300 or more of them (blah).



Next I swept and decided to follow the pre existing Vertical lines in the plywood as to not be too off when I drew my new plank lines.  Typically I had a few smaller boards due to original plywood seem lines, and then after that I measured each plank line to be 9 inches wide.





I took on the daunting task of drawing vertical lines down the entire length of the room.

When I had finished, I realized the thin lines just weren't going to cut it for me. I wanted THICK JUICY bulky old barn/farmhouse aged gappy lines. And so I took my yard stick and drew a parallel line beside each thin line, and YES, I seriously had to COLOR in each and every line (even with a bulkier Sharpie) ergh!!












This took forever - so if you take on this task yourself, maybe start with a FAT sharpie and not the thin ones.

Once my vertical sharpie faux plank wood lines were drawn, I decided I would sand it. (typically you can rent a sander and sand the floor before drawing all these lines, however, I am far too broke to even rent a sander, then buy the paper; and so I decided I'd take my handheld sander with the 60 grit sandpaper I had left over and just sit on the floor and painstakingly go up and down each faux plank (avoiding the sharpie lines). On areas with heavy staining I'd go over a little more than others.) I did not remove ALL paint splotches (because I did not realize the stain wouldn't take to them - so if you take on this project, sand them down ALL the way, although it's not bad and gives it character.

Once I sanded down every bit of flooring, it was looking good.

I almost didn't want to stain it.










The week prior I was set on buying minwax stain, but they did not have the paint stain at Lowe's I had wanted. So not wanting to go home empty handed, I chose Rustoleum's Kona wood stain instead.


I was hoping it would be the right shade, and honestly didn't care if it wasn't, because at this point, ANYTHING would have been better than the nasty plywood subfloor that had once spent YEARS under an ugly old carpet with no lovin' :)

That night I drew the horizontal lines, and I staggered them. I didn't want an obvious pattern, so I kind of just drew them randomly about the floor, Not too many, just 3-4 horizontal lines per each plank. I even drew little fake nail head marks.


I waited a week, because to be honest, this is such a time consuming energy sucking project when doing it on a budget.  FINALLY I decided I'd take on the task of sitting on my knees with my Rustoleum wood stain, a varathane paint brush and some old t shirts as rags.  I LITERALLY did a back and forth motion on EACH plank when painting the stain on. I IMMEDIATELY wiped it off right after application with an old t shirt.

Here is a video I took to show how to apply and wipe stain off. Sorry in advance it's shoddy (it's hard to video tape yourself applying stain with a cell phone camera). Link : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=517530444977106
















I was IMPRESSED. Rustoleum's wood stain is BEYOND amazing. It's RICH in color and dried SUPER fast. WOW! For only $8 a quart sized can, it covered the entire 300 sq. ft. room and I only needed ONE coat. *Rustoleum isn't affiliated with me or my blog in anyway, but if they should so desire to send me some product, in exchange for a blog DIY, I have a few projects up my sleeve - hint, hint * ;))

Anyway, it looked GREAT! And my crummy cellphone photos do it absolutely NO justice.

I waited a couple days (due to my children being rambunctious) and then I purchased Rustoleum's polyurethane in water based semi gloss for $33 at Lowe's. I also purchased a long wood stick applicator and a rectangular application pad (pads were only $5 each, and I did not want to reuse, so I did buy three for all 3 coats of polyurethane).

I'd never used polyurethane in my life (other than on furniture where it was already in the stain).

I was so absolutely nervous. I used an old paint pan, stirred it up and poured it in. I dipped the pad in and went up and down and worked in  sections going vertical.  after each plan was brushed on I'd finish it by going top to bottom ONE STROKE using JUST the weight of the applicator.

I was so nervous at first, it was a milky hazy color (I didn't put it on too thick, but just enough to where it left a haze). After 3 hours I'd say the haze disappeared and it was looking good. (sigh of relief).

I followed it up with a total of 2 more coats for a grand total of 3 coats of polyurethane.








It was beautiful. No photo I can or did attempt to take could ever do this floor justice. It looks so amazing, it has a nice smooth texture, and doesn't even look like plywood at all. It looks like legitimate wide plank hardwood flooring.

(Below: Detailed up close - notice the sharpie lines show up perfectly :)
- This is as close to the real color I could get of the flooring) :)







For less than $65 I have these amazingly beautiful floors that make me smile from ear to ear.

I NEVER in a million years imagined I could take an existing plywood sub floor and make it look the way I have.  Everyone that has come to see it in person has complimented me on how well it looks and how they can't believe it was plywood.

I won't lie to you and say it was easy, because it wasn't. It wasn't SUPER hard. But the only gripe I have is how much time it took to do.

When you're broke, and on a budget, you have to work with what you have. I have never done flooring before and I did a fantastic job, so I am pretty sure ANYONE can do it.

So, Rustoleum, if you're reading or happen upon my blog, I'd love to use your products on a few other projects I have up my sleeve and would love to exchange a photo tutorial type blog in exchange for use of your product. :) (Hey, I had to try) haha.

EDIT: June 2016:  I ended up using the area for my photography and computer.  The floors look just as good as they did when I first did them. I clean them with a little diluted pine sol and a mop, being careful not to over wet the floors. They hold up great to children and pets alike.

The photos are from a cell phone, so I apologize that they are not the best quality.







Feel free to ask any questions (girlxmom@yahoo.com) , dear readers, I'd love to save you all money as well :) God Bless <3>

79 comments:

  1. This. is. AWEsome! Honestly. SOOOO much better than stained, yucky carpeting. I'm thinking I need to do this next week... our carpeting is disgusting...and this looks quite beautiful! Thank you for the details - and the courage to take on this project to begin with! Awesome!! :)

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    1. Thank you, Teresa:) It's definitely amazing what a little elbow grease and under 70 bucks can do for you:) I would love to see your floors if you take on the project :) Best of wishes! :)

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  2. this is BEAUTIFUL! do you think this would stand up to pets?

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    1. Thank you :) And yes, I think it would, it's held up flawlessly to daily traffic from my two children. I do plan to put some Holloway House finish on it at some point to give it extra gloss:)

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  3. Hi Jen. Thank you for the thorough blog. It really came out so nicely!!!

    I am wanting to do something with my yucky carpets & this might be the ticket. My biggest concern is the wait time (after staining and after poly). My hallway really needs to be done, but if I have to leave it untouched for more than 12 hours, it probably won't happen. Any thoughts?

    Also, would using a rented sander make it A LOT easier, or just a little? Anything you would do differently to lighten the work load? Big kudos to you for being so creative and thrifty!

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    1. Thank you so much :) I personally would wait as long as the instructions on the polyurethane say to cure it - just because it can be a little "tacky" when drying. You don't want to put in all that hard work just to have it get smudged, or get an un even finish. The reason I did the hand sander, was because I was too cheap to rent a floor sander and the paper to go with it. I never used a floor sander before, and felt with the handheld I would know just the right amount of pressure needed. If I had to do it all over, I would sand it before drawing the lines on, but otherwise everything else went great:) Hope that helps. Good luck:)

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  4. LOVE it! Thanks so much for all of the detail. We have hopeless old carpet and no prayer of saving enough for hard wood or laminate within the next decade. This is what I had in mind, but seeing it has made me a believer! Great work!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words:) I was skeptical at first as well, but being that I also did not have a chance at saving money for new flooring anytime soon, I had to improvise:) I am so pleased with the results. Everyone that sees it thinks they are real and can't get over how good they look. My photos do it no justice :)

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  5. Hiya! I am IN LOVE. My house is over 100 years old with the original wood flooring, except in my guest bedroom and bath that used to be a porch. When hubby and I ripped up the yellow shag (yes, yellow shag) carpeting, we found half the room to be subfloor and half to be unfinished hardwood. We were having a terrible time trying to match board width and everything within our small budget. This is my solution! I can use your method to match my board size and the stain color of the rest of my floors perfectly! Thank you so much for the advice!

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    1. OH! I love to hear that:) I love older homes, would love to see what you've done:) I honestly LOVE my plywood subfloors better than the original hardwoods I have everywhere else:) I plan to refinish the badly worn hardwoods in the rest of my house when my kids are away on vacation:) Thanks for your kind comments :)

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  6. It looks great! You did an amazing job. My trouble is I'm nearly 60 and I have to do something like it before mid-july when my children come for a visit. I can't handle the idea of them seeing my horrible...did I say HORRIBLE ? looking sub floors that are the WHOLE 1500 sq of my house. Your method.result looks like what I want to achieve, but the question is "Can I"? Lol, you don't happen to live near Colorado, do you ? you could come and help me! lol, kidding. Still, a great look done from hard work--you can be proud!

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    1. Aw, if we lived closer I'd be happy to help 😊

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  7. Absolutely amazing!!! We have a great room that's our living and dining and kitchen and the carpet is so vile (2 boys, 2 dogs, lots of fun in front of the TV) and while I'd love to put cork floors in, it's just not in the budget. I swear, I'm about to rip out the carpet this very instant before hubs gets home!!!!

    Thank you for your painstaking notes and detail!!!

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    1. aww!! Thank you, Jen:) That made my whole day to hear that! :D My floors are still holding up amazing to heavy traffic:) Would love to see yours when you do them :D

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  8. FANTASTIC!!!!! Your floor is gorgeous and inspiring. I'm wondering about how to save time, without sacrificing the effect. I have 3 rooms, all about 300 sq. ft. or more, and I've already removed the carpet in 2 of them. Do you have any ideas about drawing the lines more quickly? And do you think the polyurethane could be applied with a roller?
    I'm open to hearing your or anyone else's opinions.
    Thanks again for sharing all the details.

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    1. Thank you, for your kind words:) - I wish I knew of a way to save time with the drawings lines, because it was the most pain staking thing ever and I doubt I'd have patience to do it again. I kept telling myself I was saving money and it would be worth it - and it was:) - As for polyurethane with a roller, I wouldn't recommend it because it's very "tacky/sticky - the poly" and will leave bubbles or lumps in the finished product. Using the application method and pad I purchased leaved a perfect finish.Lowe's has them on sale from time to time. Best of luck:)

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  9. Hi Jen,
    I searched "plywood floors" on Pinterest and came across yours and I can't get over how fantastic it looks! Seriously...plywood? and....a sharpie? I love the dark stain color you used as well. I'm sure you know where I'm coming from when I say, "I'm a nervous wreck about attempting this", but your tutorial is a great confidence booster and I'm one step closer to tackling this project. So, thanks for that and congratulations to you for bringing your vision to fruition on the frugal. Moms rock because we have the abilities (Super Powers) to do what dads do (in our own mom ways) AND save money doing it! I'm almost positive I'm going to go the individual plank route and just keep cutting, staining and installing until eventually the whole first floor is done... as finances dictate, of course. Thank you again for posting ~ Ciao, Stephanie

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    1. Thank you so much, Stephanie:) I appreciate your feedback! - Would love to see your floors when you finish:)

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  10. I am going to be doing this now!!!! I love it! How do you clean/ mop it?

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    1. Hello:) Be sure to share your finished floors:) love to see other's work! all i do is sweep it and mop with pine sol that is VERY WELL wrung out (spell)? :)

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  11. Beautiful results! I'm going to give this a try in a new rustic cabin my husband and I are building. Thanks for posting this!

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    1. Rustic Cabin? I'm jealous! Would love to see the outcome:D

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  12. I have been wanting to do this for a long time. My question is how do i cover up where the plywood connects on the floor, especially where the nails are? Also is there another way of making it look good without drawing lines? I am working on a very cheap budget and need to save where possible. I have 4 rooms I want to do the floors in. I have also thought about painting them are maybe painting something on the floor after staining. Would the paint stick to the stain.

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    1. I can only answer from experience, and I've never painted them before, but I am sure with sanding the paint would adhere to anything and as long as you do a clear coat it should protect it. But again, I've only ever stained floors, so I'm probably not a good source to ask :( - as per where the plywood connects, you could use a wood putty but, I am far too lazy and left the gaps because I like the unique look (mostly I am just lazy and didn't want to take the time ) haha:)

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  13. Wow! - you did an amazing job! - very creative and it looks awesome. Thanks for sharing this. You have given me the inspiration needed to finish the floor on the sunporch. We almost settled for indoor/outdoor carpeting; I am glad I came across this website - Regards Rob

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    1. Thank you, Rob:) I'd love to see your porch once complete:) I'd def. stay away form the carpet and stick to this:)

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  14. You noted pet stains and I did see them in the pictures from your before. How do they look now?

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    1. Hello, the pet stains I sanded out as much as possible and with the dark stain it just looks like a nice natural blended in patina :) can't even tell :)

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  15. You noted pet stains and I did see them in the pictures from your before. How do they look now?

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    1. They were completely hidden after staining 😊

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  16. Wow, your floor turned out amazing! I've been thinking about doing the 'plywood plank flooring,' but after seeing your results with a Sharpie, I'm tempted to give it a try. Thanks so much for sharing! You are one smart cookie :)

    Mary Kay

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    1. Thank you very much, Mary:) It was a labor of love (and budget) :) Good luck, hon:)

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  17. I can't believe I found your blog so quickly. It is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for so willingly sharing your information and advice. Again, as everyone has said, you did a beautiful job. My bathroom has carpet (1995 era) in the sink and tub area. Luckily, the toilet is in a separate little room with tile! I want to do exactly what you did in the same color but realize that I will need to put on more coats of the poly because of the moisture in a bathroom. I ripped up the carpet noticing it is wood grained plywood, but the nails holding down the plywood are very visable and seams between plywood sheets seem a bit wide. Did you sink the nails and fill with a stainable wood putty? Were the seams between your plywood sheets large needing wood putty? Any of your thoughts would be appreciated. Again, I want mine to look just like yours! Thank you, Jackie

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    1. Hello, you could use wood putty, I didn't, the nails didn't stick out a lot in my floor so posed no risk to hurting little feet:) I like the way they look because I love older things showing - but wood putty that is stainable would hide this if you chose to hot want them in view. I also left my gaps, but you could easily fill them and sand them out:)

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  18. Has anyone tried a LIGHTER color stain? The Kona is too dark for our room. Thanks!

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  19. I love the look of the look. We ran out of $ with the rest of the house and plumbing repairs and now have only 1 room in the house that still has carpet. However, that one room puts off a smell from pets. I appreciate the details and the "down to earth" way you broke it down. I had thought about this for a while but our top layer of subfloor is chipboard/wafer board. But after reading this I think I might be able to sand it down and be sure it is clean and "ready", draw the lines and using a special tool add in the fuax wood grain. Probably take more time but right now I have more time in me than I do money in the bank. Would love to have it ready by Christmas. Just don't know how that board would take to a stain. I guess start light and go darker if need be. lol Can always sand and paint it.

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  20. Do you paint over the sharpie lines?

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  21. Like you I am a DIYer. Your floor turned out beautiful. I also took my sub floor in my bedroom and tried my best attempts being my finances were very slim at the time. However I had particle board so I really had no clue how'd it turn out. I was pleasantly suprised. It almost has a bamboo appearance.

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    1. That sounds amazing would love to see :)

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  22. Gonna do this in my Rv as I rip out my carpet! Thanks for this blog!!

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    1. That sounds great !! Bet it will look great in your rv :)

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  23. What does the subfloor need to look like? because we're getting ready to move into a place that the previous tentants had and they have DESTROYED the carpet. We really need to try to save as much as we can on flooring. Can it have stains? or what does it need to look like?

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    1. Stains are fine. Mine had, paint, pet and other edits stains. A light sand did the trick.

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  24. We are in the middle of building a cabin in northern Maine. The plywood floors will save us sooo much money! My husband loves them. Never thought about using a Sharpie marker to define the lines, great idea!

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    1. Thank you:) good luck! It will be beautiful!

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  25. My husband and I did this in our cottage by the lake. We dug up 30 + yrs. old carpet and underneath were these great condition, 3/4 inch fir plywood. I gotta admit it was a lot of work for two 65 yr olds to tackle! But the results were these beautiful planks that look just like hardwood planks, lines and all! I would suggest however, to do a bit more prepping and preplanning than we did. We didnt box anything up, just moved everything around a million times. We are exhausted (lot of work for two 65 yr.olds!) but love our new floors. I only put one coat of poly urethane on areas that arent walked on a lot like under the beds. I put two coats in all the walk areas. The fumes were hard to take, but we used fans and open windows.

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    1. Wonderful:) I would love to see your finished product:) and I give you many kudos for all the hard work:)

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  26. OMG I am BEYOND IMPRESSED!! Can't wait to do this. Will probably be a few months, but I will definitely send pics. Can't believe you actually drew nail heads lol... that's some serious ambition lady! :) I say, don't wait for Rustoleum to contact you, contact them. They will probably be pleasantly surprised that that's ALL you want is free products! How awful was the varnish smell until it dried? Were you able to sleep in the house that night? Could using Mop n' Glow or something add the shine you're looking for? Thank you VERY much for taking the time to share your outstanding results!

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    1. Aww!! Your comment made my day! Thank you so much!! But yes, on a budget I was willing to draw on every detail lol - anything to get rid of that nasty carpet I used to have 😊 as per mop and glo I wouldn't use it it has ripped stain off one of my floors I use holloway house if needed it's like s clear coat. The varnish smell wasn't bad at all and I slept in the house 😊 please share yours when done. I LOVE to see others work :)

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  27. Hi, it's me again, the Jen that is BEYOND IMPRESSED :) I guess I'll go by "Jen L" because I have a feeling I'm going to be a regular on your blog now. (This is the first time I have ever read a blog and I just love yours...at some point I want to read every page.) So, anyway, you gave me the inspiration to do the faux wood floor now rather than in a few months. I'm doing this for a relative who is on a very, very strict budget. I went there yesterday and found that, unlike you, I don't have the luxury of plywood subflooring. It's particle board. So I did some more internet researching and am going to have to do a different technique rather than stain the way you did. So, after visiting many websites and taking bits from each, here are the how-to instructions I'm typing for myself. I don't have all my questions answered yet, but this is a good start...

    1. Woodfiller
    2. Lightly sand. Do not over-sand or it will shred.
    3. Vacuum up the dust and thoroughly clean with tack cloth or mineral spirits and maybe Clorox wipes.
    4. 2 or 3 thin coats of Kilz or Zinsser Bullseye 123 oil-based primer and a quality paintbrush and/or foam roller.
    5. Use 220 grit sandpaper if primer is too gritty (or leave the imperfections?)
    6. Draw 6 to 9 inch wide and varying length “boards,” as well as nailheads, with a wide Sharpie.
    7. Brown glaze (gel? or are they the same?) and wood graining tool, one board at a time. After each stroke, wipe off brush with lint-free cloth to keep from clumping. Overlap as you go to prevent gaps.
    8. Lightly tap paintbrush bristles to create texture (maybe even add some gouges? Again, wipe brush every few taps to avoid clumping.
    9. Dry 24 hours.
    10. Thin coat of clear glaze. Wait 15 minutes until tacky but not dry.
    11. Use brown tinted glaze to create variations in color on each board and lightly tap (and/or flick?) bristles again for texture (maybe use 120 grit sander block for distressing? If so, do at this stage of the process?)
    12. Two coats of oil-based varnish (semi gloss I think, or may be satin)
    (Keep track of how much time on each step)


    So, hopefully, I will begin her approximately 13x17 (I forgot to measure yesterday) living room makeover this week-end, starting with painting the walls. She insists she wants white and I bought a 5-gallon bucket of paint that's about 2/3 full at a church basement sale for 10 cents (can you believe it?) I will definitely be taking before and after pictures and will send them at each step. So excited, wish I could start tonight...thanks for the inspiration!! :)

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    1. That sounds fantastic, Jen L :) I would love to know how it turned out:) Very sweet of you to help a relative out! <3

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  28. I want to try this! Are the floors super cold now? I live in Minnesota so this could be an issue.

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    1. Hello, like most hard surface floors, they do get cold in the winter months;) Nothing a pair of socks can't handle:) Good luck!

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  29. Ok so I'm on a tight budget too and hoping this might be the answer to my floors. We're building an apartment in a barn and it's all new wood sub-floor and I've been trying to figure out how to finish it. I thought I was gonna have to lay linoleum and hated to spend money on that but this is amazing!!!! Thank you for your generosity in sharing this. It's a total gift to me and my family!!!! I'll let you know how it goes!

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    1. Wow! What a sweet compliment! Thank you!! I would love to see your finished product:) I think your barn apartment conversion will be breathtaking! Have a wonderful week😊

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  30. Hi I'm so impressed by your the work you did on your floors. I live in a double wide mobile home and in s few weeks we are riping the carpet out of the dining room and living room. The linoleum from the kitchen and bathrooms are getting ripped out as well. So after that is done we are fixing all the particle board soft spots and water damaged spots and replacing it with plywood, once that's done we are putting down sanded plywood all over. So I've been researching what's they least expensive and best flooring to put over the plywood but it turns out its about twice as much as I expected in price considering how Much area we have to do. So this project seems like the perfect solution but honestly scares the c*** out of me. And my main concern is we are doing the bathrooms, so would the possibility of water be bad for this flooring meaning this type of flooring is only meant for like living/ dining room areas? -T.J

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    1. Hi! The type of subfloor I had was oak grade and after I applied the clear coats it's held up to anything. I dumped an entire mop bucket on it once and it was fine:) as long as your bathroom is well ventilated and you use the bath rugs I see it being no problem :) good luck!

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  31. I am ready to do this as interim flooring until $$$ starts growing on trees. The first floor I will start on is my living room. The only problem is that it is the only area to walk through to other parts of the house like the kitchen and bathroom. I was curious as to how long you had to wait to walk on it? And then to add the furniture back in?

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    1. The stain dried right away, The clear coat, I did a couple coats of and waited hours between each coat to be safe. The floors dried completely in less than a day, but to be safe I waited 2 days before placing everything back.

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  32. Couple questions...Would this technique still work with a medium oak stain? It would be in a room just off my pre-existing hardwood foyer so I think it would look best if I tried to color-match it.

    Secondly, which direction should I draw my lines? If I run them the longest length of the room, they'll be 90 degrees from the foyer planks. If I match the direction of the foyer planks, my lines will run side-to-side in the room.

    Lastly, my foyer planks are just 2-1/4" wide. I REALLY don't relish having to draw THAT many lines. Would it look "stupid" if the foyer was one width & the dining room a much wider width?

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  33. Two questions...first, has anyone tried this with a lighter stain. I want to do this in my dining room but it's off my foyer, which is real hardwood stained in a medium oak stain. Secondly, which direction should I draw my lines? If I run them the length of the room, they'll be 90 degrees to the hardwood that runs the length of my foyer. If I run them the same direction as my foyer, the lines will run side-to-side in the dining room.

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  34. I love them. We plan to do our floors some day. But until then this is a perfect solution. How has it held up over the years.

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  35. I love them. We plan to do our floors some day. But until then this is a perfect solution. How has it held up over the years.

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    1. Hi, Tracy! I'm pleased to report that the floors look exactly as the day I did them 😊

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  36. How's it holding up now? Any chipping or peeling? Great job! Can't wait to do it in our Farm House :)

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    1. Hello:) no chipping or peeling. It looks exactly the same :) I plan to update within the week with current images. 😊

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  37. WOW, what a wonderful result!!! You deserve sincere congratulations for doing an outstanding job. I hope it is holding up well and you can share future projects. Terrific work. Thanks for all the details
    Nancy

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    1. Thank you, so much, Nancy! I have moved into a new home and am anxious to share the things I've been doing 😊

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  38. Hello Jen,
    Thank you for such a clear tutorial. Do you plan to add in any updated pictures out show how the floor is handling traffic/wear? I am attempting to bring my husband on board with this idea, and he is worried about the hallway and the fact that we have a medium size dog. Also, maybe this is a silly question, but you often ask for pictures when people say they are going to do this, do people actually send them to you? I have read through this whole comment section but have been unable to find any other examples other than yours in the tutorial. With pets unable to leave the house (indoor cat), do you recommend doing one room at a time (to be able to let the floor dry and vent properly behind a shut door), or do you feel the overall look is more professional (no join lines, for instance,) if you just do it all at once? I'm so happy to have found your blog, it makes me feel like I might be able to do this myself! Thank you!

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    1. Hello! I plan to update with current photos of the floor tomorrow 😊 It has held up over heavy traffic with two kids, a large dog and other random occurances (spell?). Trust me, when I say it's worth it and the money saved. I have since moved into a new home, but still own my old home & get to see it often. The floors look just as they did then I first did them.

      As per the process - with pets I'd recommend doing it a section at a time (unless you can keep them and the fur off it during the clear coat drying process). Doing them and separate times will not effect the stain - just use the same amount and technique. I have only had one person share their results with me and I was in love. The room was more open than mine and it looked amazing. Thanks for stopping in 😊

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  39. Oh girl you are the answer to my prayers! I've been searching and ran across your blog. I just love the idea and your floor turned out beautiful. I've already tore up the linoleum, and sanded the plywood sub floor. I was going to lay hardwood flooring, but realized it would be a job cutting all the angles needed. I am doing the bathroom floor in an old round log cabin and the bathroom is in a hexes on shape. I was going to do the wood grain effect with the gainer tool, but nobody in this rural area sells the gel stain. So I was left with no idea what to do other than just painting or staining the floor, until WALA, I found your brilliant idea. I'm on my way out now to buy me some fat markers. I'll share my results with you when I'm done. I Love you my lady, you are my hero. LOL

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    1. Aww! Your comments are so sweet & I appreciate that!! I would sooo love to see your floor when finished 😊😍 please be sure to share here or email, so others can see as well 😊 I moved into a new home and am ready to try this all over again (but this time on concrete subfloor). It's well worth the time and energy put in :) thank you again!

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  40. I'm seriously considering doing this and was wondering how it has held up over the years? Thanks!... it's looks AMAZING!! :)

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  41. After searching Pinterest for plywood flooring options with no sucess, I came a crossed your site. We were looking for a CHEAP alternative kitchen floor for our 100+year old home. We currently have nasty chipping 70s Era peel and stick tile. Yuck. After 9 years of dealing with it I'm done! Unfortunately the kitchen was previously a porch and no hardwoods like the rest of home. We plan on buying new plywood and going over it using your marker method. Fingers crossed ours turns out as awesome as your.

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  42. You inspired me so much that I just had to do this! Thanks for the instructions, I'm thrilled with the result. Thank you again!! https://www.facebook.com/stephlanefisher/posts/10211667372139741?comment_id=10211667655906835&notif_t=feed_comment&notif_id=1485468546973066

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  43. The floor you inspired me to do. Thank you so much for the inscructions and confidence! https://www.facebook.com/stephlanefisher/posts/10211667372139741?comment_id=10211667655906835&notif_t=feed_comment&notif_id=1485468546973066

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    1. This is perfect!! You did an amazing job!!! Thank you so much for sharing 😍 I know other readers will love this just as much as I do 😊😊😊

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  44. This post is what gave me the courage (yes, it takes courage to take on a DIY project like this!) To do our own plywood subfloor. We did a few things differently but it was a Total success! Did about 600 Sq ft of our home. I love it. Get complements on it all the time AND it was just a little over $300! Thank you so much. I wish I could post a picture.

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