Paint Before or After?

How to prepare to refinish hard wood floors_

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Who goes first when refinishing wood floors?

As a former owner of a flooring company, I was always working with my customers to coordinate with other contractors, other projects, and other plans. Some things come to mind from my experiences that I’d like to share.

It will be dusty.

First, when having floors refinished, or unfinished floors installed and finished, keep in mind that some dust will be flying during sanding. If the walls have recently been painted and are still tacky at all, the fine dust will cling to the walls, and therefore make them harder to clean-up after the construction.

Baseboard Prep for Flooring Work

Second, if the baseboards had been recently painted, they’d likely mar or dent more easily than old paint. We liked to prepare our customers to plan on doing some touch-up painting after flooring construction, just because of the scuffs or scratches that occur near the floor due to the size and speed of the machines being used.

You Should…

We recommended that any painting be done more than a week before the refinishing process started. We suggested waiting to paint until afterwards, especially the baseboards.

On a side-note, we also recommended that any quarter-round or base-shoe molding be removed prior to the refinishing project, and reinstalled after the coating dried.

Expert tip: Use a roll of paper on the floor with tape holding the pieces together instead of tape holding the paper to the newly refinished floors! More on post-refinish tips, to come.

For a how-to on removing baseboards and base shoe moldings without cracking them, and for easy re-installation, click here.

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