September 19, 2019

The Best DIY Plywood Floor - A Pinterest Fail Turned Into A Win!

I know I'm getting ahead of myself.... I haven't even shared about our new accent wall and all the changes to the fireplace.  But I can't help myself!  I'm so excited about how this plywood floor turned out!

The Best DIY Plywood Floor
(This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend products I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.)

When hubby and I decided to tear into the living room, we KNEW that carpet was gonna have to GO!

2018 Living Room

I'm of the opinion now, that I want all carpet gone.  I can't stand it!

There were so many happy joy joy feelings when I took the knife to that carpet.  I couldn't wait to haul it out to the curb.

Taking out carpet

I just cut it into sections, rolled it up and carried it out.

Next, the padding.  We paid extra for this premium padding.  It was still in great shape so, we decided to keep it.  We might put it under the big rug we'll be getting for the living room, just a little more comfort under our feet.

getting ready for the new floor

Anywhooos.... the flooring.  We looked at all sorts of options... but in the end it came down to price.  We didn't want to fork out a chunk of change to put in a new floor.

Where do you go for inspiration?? Probably the same place I go! Pinterest! (You can click on this link and follow me there. 😊)  So, I came across this concept of using plywood for flooring... What?!?!  I know what your thinking... Plywood, it's such an ugly wood and it's so cheap.  Your floor is going to look like a subfloor.

Well, it can be ugly and it is super cheap!  But I can tell you, it definitely doesn't look like subfloor!

I read so many blogs trying to find the best way to lay this floor and while also trying to find the look we wanted.  So, I took some info from here and a little bit from there and this is how we ended up....The Best DIY Plywood Floor!

The reason I call this 'The Best DIY Plywood Floor',  is because...
  1.  We spent very little time on our knees. (HUGE Win!! Especially for us 50+ers)
  2.  The process was very easy and virtually no mess!
  3.  Hardly any fumes or odor.
Here's the process.... we picked out plywood at Home Depot that was very close to the thickness of our hardwoods, so that there was hardly any transition between the two floors.  Ours was about 1/2" thick.

Our room is 15'X20' = 300 sq. ft.  Each sheet of plywood is 4'X8' = 32 sq. ft.  We needed 10 sheets = 320 sq. ft.

Home Depot cut each sheet in to 8" planks, which gave us 6 planks for each sheet, totaling to 60 planks.

Plywood at Home Depot

Each sheet cost us around $24, so the wood cost us around $250. Not bad...  We did end up paying $14.50 for all of the cuts, but well worth the money!  Time is money!

We brought them home and got to work.  We had a good system.  Hubby unloaded, lightly beveled all four sides of the plank  with our new Dewalt Orbital Sander and then we laid them out for me to paint.

Sanding edges

Painting Planks

This is where 'the Pinterest fail' began... We had wanted the floors to look a bit white washed, with some of the grain showing.  We planned on sanding them after the ' paint washing'.  Well, after one coat... they looked a bit yellow.  Yellow? What? I followed the paint wash recipe, 1 part primer with 2 to 3 parts water. I used about 2 1/2 parts water.  Zinnser Bullseye 123  is the best primer!

Pinterest FAIL

Well, let's try a second coat... nope.  Still yellow.  This stinks!  We did NOT want yellow and white floors.  Seriously?!?! Ugh!  What now?  The wood's bought, cut and it's going down one way or another!!

Yellow and white planks

Back to Pinterest! There's gotta be a way to save this, besides painting the boards solid white.  I really didn't want white floors...  So, I searched and found this gray look... hmmmm...

But first, all the boards needed to be sanded.  Whenever wood is painted is soaks up the paint and raises the grain.  I am sooooo glad we invested in a new Dewalt 5" orbital sander.  That thing is the bomb! Incredible power and ease of use, but the real bonus was the dust collector.  There was so little sawdust on the boards.  That made my day!

Sanding all 60 planks

On Pinterest, I found what they called a Poorman's stain.  I've never heard of this before.  It's a mixture of  approximately 2 cups of mineral spirits with 3-4 tsp. of black enamel paint.  Well, I had both on hand, this was definitely worth a shot!

I played with the ratio a bit working with my soup can and paint stick.... soooo professional! 😜  This looks pretty good!

Testing Poorman's Stain

Hubs gave me the thumbs up and so I went for it!  I probably made a total of 5 soup cans of the stuff for all 60 boards.  It went on super easy, just used a 2" brush.

We could not be happier!!  That Poorman's stain was definitely what made this DIY project a WIN!!

After they were all stained, it was time for installation.  We snapped a chalk off of one of the walls, hoping to keep things square. Plugged in the air compressor and were ready to roll.

The transition board was the first one we put in.  It was just a hair thinner that our hardwoods, so we added a very thin piece of wood to raise that side.  Added some Liquid Nails to the underside and nailed it in with 1 1/2" brad nails.

Progress on plywood floor

Then we started with the one wall side and worked out way across. We actually finished laying the floor in one day!  Yes, we worked all day and into the evening.... Whew!

Finished Plywood Floor

We had a super busy weekend, so I didn't get around to putting the sealer on until Monday.  After much debate, I decided to use Minwax Ultimate Floor Finish.  I am really happy with how it applied.  It was easy to use and dried very fast!  No sanding between coats and its so smooth!   I ended up putting 3 coats of sealer on.  It isn't supposed to yellow, but we'll see...  Overall I'm super happy!
Floor Sealer

You guys!!! Look!  It came out so good!  It really changed the entire look of the room! We are sooo happy!

The Best DIY Plywood Floor - A Pinterest Fail Turned Into A Win!Let's look at cost.

Wood- $250
Cutting - $14
Primer - $23
Mineral Spirits - $8
Liquid Nails - $15
Floor Sealer - $80

Total - $390

Not bad! That works out to about $1.30 per square foot.

I just want to say that Hubby was incredible on the project!  I love how we work together and make such a great team! 💗

Just for fun I put together some of the timelapses we did into a little video.

I couldn't be happier!

The Best DIY Plywood Floor - A Pinterest Fail Turned Into A Win!

The Stonybrook House
The Stonybrook House

I have been blogging for about 7 years and I enjoy sharing all the things that go on here at The Stonybrook House. From building to decorating, crafting and cooking, and so much more. I enjoy gardening and a healthy lifestyle. Most importantly I love The Lord Jesus my Savior and my wonderful hubby of 30+ years!

1 comment:

  1. I love your floor! The color is wonderful & the grain looks good. Do you think it could be made waterproof or water resistant to use in a kitchen or bath or mudroom (with a messy golden retriever)?


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