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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Painted Floors: Stone


Last month I did a post on Painted Floors, which concentrated exclusively on painted wood floors. These are pretty common, and while they leave a lot of room for the imagination, today I wanted to post about something that most people don't even consider and that is painted Stone Floors. Several years ago I was face with a design conundrum, I was working on a new house and I designed this beautiful bathroom that was like a quiet oasis. It had very little pattern anywhere, but I felt like I needed a soft pattern on the floor. Mt immediate thought was to go with a mosaic, but after selecting a pattern and some stones, the price turned out to be a lot more than we could afford. As they say necessity is the mother of invention, I suggested a painted floor and here is the result, a soft palette that feels like an old fresco, even prettier than the mosaic would have been. Here are some thoughts about doing one of your own:
  • Start with a very porous stone, usually a soft limestone, and be sure it hasn't been sealed
  • We painted this floor with a variety of wood stains, but you could use almost an permanent stain.
  • We did this in a studio, but you could do it in place after the floor had been laid, but that would make me very nervous, in case you make a mistake (we made several).
  • Pick a pattern from almost anywhere, this pattern came from an old book on Turkish mosaics, but I have recreated patterns by William Morris, or in one case recreated a wall paper on the floor that I used on the wall of the same room.
  • You can use a projector on a wall to blow up the pattern, or some patience and a photocopier can do the same trick.
  • Trace on the pattern, and then just paint away, this time it really is important to stay within the lines!
  • After you are done and the painting is dry, be sure to use several coats of a clear penetrating, stone sealer, and voila, your creation is there for posterity!
  • I think repeating patterns are probably better, since it ties into the modular nature of the stone tile.
  • Using patterns that don't require shading is also better, since it can be tricky trying to control how much stain goes where, its like painting on chalk, so take it slow, and practice on a spare piece first.

Good Luck and Happy Painting!

3 comments:

Fairfax said...

I worked in an old Stanford White house and it had a marble bathroom where the walls were painted with cherubs and florals. It was amazing. Of course, it also had gold fixtures!

The Peak of Chic said...

I love the floor and the design you chose Mark. I also think the room in which you painted the floor with the same pattern as the wallpaper sounds absolutely smashing!

Maison Lunatique said...

What a fantastic idea! I never would have thought of this on stone. I am a huge fan of mosiacs and frescos. Wow.