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Floor Paint – Oil Based


Oil Based Paints for Floors

Do you need to use a special paint for your floors? Not really. Special porch and deck paints have been around for years. These have a tougher finish coat and resist scuffing to a degree, but they often come in very limited colors - battleship gray being one! To get unlimited color choices, all you need to do is buy a high gloss regular indoor oil based paint and cover it with a top grade clear urethane. The urethane protects the paint finish.

Be careful when you go to the paint stores. Often the sales clerk will ask you what you are doing with the paint. When you tell them you will be using it on the floor, most will freak out. They will tell you, "No! You can't use this paint for that purpose." Ignore this advice. Why? Because painting floors is such an uncommon event that most sales clerks do not have the experience to deal with it. If you run into this situation, you can have some fun. Ask the sales clerk if they have attended or have watched a basketball game on TV. Mention to them the painted lines and logos on the hardwood floors. Ask them how in the world those things work. The sales clerk will probably ponder this and make an excuse or say it is some sort of special paint. The truth of the matter is that it is not a special paint. I know because I have talked with the paint companies and the painters who paint the basketball courts!

Remember to let the paints dry according to the instructions on the can. If you don't the paint might not harden sufficiently. Adding urethane over paint that is not completely dry stops the paint drying process. The urethane basically shrink wraps the paint and doesn't allow the volatile chemicals to off gas. It will be a big mess. Try to let the paint dry for at least 48 hours if possible before you re-coat it with the first layer of urethane.

  • Devoe
    Primer: Velour Enamel Undercoat
    Top Coat: Mirrorlac 7001

  • Dutch Boy
    Primer: Oil Primer
    Top Coat: Oil Base High Gloss
  • Fuller O'Brien
    Primer: Sand & Coat
    Top Coat: Versaflex or FOB 630

  • Glidden
    Primer: Gripper Product
    Top Coat: Spread Luster 4600

  • Kurfees
    Primer: Cover Stain
    Top Coat: #417
  • MAB Paints
    Primer: Rich Lux 037172
    Top Coat: Rich Lux 027-127
  • Maxum Primer: Oil Primer
    Top Coat: Oil Based High Gloss
  • Pratt Lambert
    Primer: Primer #8
    Top Coat: Oil Satin Plus

  • Olympic
    Primer: Primer 6 - 6
    Top Coat: 6 - 282

  • Sherwin Williams
    Primer: Anchor bond
    Top Coat: # 200 Gloss Oil

*Product names were current on the date this Bulletin was written. Manufacturers may have changed product names since then.

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2 Responses to Floor Paint – Oil Based

  1. Tim, glad I read your article. Searching for a durable garage floor coating is hit and miss with the customer reviews. Yours is right on target. I accidently spilled black oil based enamel about 10 years ago in the garage. I have not been able to get it off. Strictly bullet proof and that was spilled on a dusty surface. The adhesion is incredible. So I thought, why not use the same product (Rustoleum) on the rest of the floor? However, most articles on subject do not recommend other than the epoxy-based paints but even then, the reviews have not been favorable so I'm going with the enamel and use a grit additive for slip resistance.. Thanks for the tip!

  2. I have a client that used this advice and because polyurethane is NOT designed to be used where it is exposed to sunlight, it has yellowed and is popping everywhere, leaving the coating underneath vulnerable to scuffing everywhere there is porch furniture or high traffic.

    I still find searching out the old higher quality oil based porch and floor enamels have a much more durable higher wearing surface to this recipe!

    I haven't contacted the manufacturer or NACE certified consultant, but Marine Spar Varnish is more resistant to UV rays than polyurethane, but I have no idea how durable it is as a walk surface.

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