Painting a Particle Board Subfloor ?!?!?


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Old 04-01-07, 08:45 AM
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Painting a Particle Board Subfloor ?!?!?

I live in a 28' x 70' mobile home. We can only assume that the pets that lived here previously had soiled the carpets as our pets started to do this when we moved in. We had never had this type of problem before and it continues so we truly believe they are trying to cover the other animals' scent with their own. As you can imagine, it makes for a lovely fragrance for us to live with especially when it gets humid! I have tried everything and spent LOTS of money trying to fix this problem. Recently I finally found a product that takes the urine out of the carpet but I think it is too late. I did try the product and it worked beautifully. The problem is that we have so many large, soiled areas that it would cost more to buy this product than the carpet is worth. It is 11 years old and wasn't a high quality carpet to begin with.

Anyway, since I refuse to have carpeting in my house EVER again, I need to explore my options. We are not willing to put very much money into this house because we own this land and plan to build and either sell this mobile home or turn it into a workshop or something (still undecided). We are not sure of the timeline as it could be 6 months or 6 years down the line. Either way, I think we have decided to try painting all the floors that are now carpeted.

What we have come up with so far is to seal the floor with the original oil-based Kilz product and paint over it. The paint we are looking at is Glidden's Porch & Floor Polyurethane Oil Gloss. I do have some questions that I hope someone can help me with. My questions are:

1. What to do with the seams in the floor. (This is particle board not OSB or plywood.) If possible I would like to seal them and make the floor smooth without seams but I'm not sure if this is possible. Will they crack over time? I've read I should use wood putty as it would dry hard but have also been told that paintable silicone would work better as it is flexible and should not crack. Anyone have any comments on this?

2. Since I have almost 1800 sq ft to cover I am concerned about the look. I am not interested in using throw rugs for the same reason I don't want any carpeting. I'm not sure about decorative painting because of the time involved and additional expense with other paint colors, etc. If anyone has done this, I would love to see photos!

If anyone has tackled a project like this before I would love to hear your input and see any photos you might have of your project. Due to cost, painting is our only option. We looked at vinyl yesterday and it is too cost prohibitive for a house that we may not have in a year. Also, a broker that was interested in buying our house told us not to invest in any new flooring as he would just rip it out and replace it anyway regardless of when it was installed. (He resells homes and as standard practice replaces all flooring.)

Please, anyone with any suggestions, please share them.

Thanks!
 
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Old 04-01-07, 09:31 AM
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Welcome to the diy forums!

You will have both the seams [every 4'] and staples to deal with. The staples are easy - fill them with painter's putty, woodfiller will also work. There really isn't a good "fix" for the seams. If you use a filler it will crack sooner or later. Caulking shouldn't crack but will be more visible than any patching compound.

It is possible that when you rip up the floor coverings you will find damaged particle board. Usually in a MH this is limitted to the exterior wall flooring and near plumbing. If the urine staining was severe it may also have damaged the particleboard. MH sub floors are usually 5/8" thick - it may appear thicker where damage is because it swells when damaged by moisture.

As far as how it will look - it will look like a painted floor. Paint will wear dependent on traffic. Different designs or decorative painting can help it to look a lot nicer. The extra material cost would probably be minimal but it would involve a LOT more labor/time.
 
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Old 04-01-07, 10:00 AM
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Painted Floor

Thanks marksr for responding to my post.

I think the floors are in pretty good shape, at least where I've torn the carpet back to look. We bought the house when it was only three years old and we take care of problems promptly. We don't have any weak spots and Kilz should take care of stains and odors.

I do plan to sand the floor to get it as smooth as possible. We may have spots that have swelled because I can't stand dirty carpet and I shampooed it quite frequently. (My next house will have vinyl flooring in every room!)

As far as the seams are concerned, I'm not sure if I will try to hide them. I thought about taking a router or saw and cutting a very narrow channel every so many inches to make it look like actual boards but I'm not sure if I want to do that. I may have to experiment with a sample piece first. I'm not sure about putting a pattern on the floor as I often find them a bit distracting. They become part of the floor and the only way to change it is to paint over it. I would rather use a rug as a decorating element because I can move that if I get tired of it or it no longer is functional or practical with the decor.
 

Last edited by mobilehome3349; 04-01-07 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 04-06-07, 03:56 AM
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I used a similar system years ago on a screened in front porch.

Hello,
Kilz won't seal in the odors, particularly cat urine.
Pigmented shellac will eventually seal in the odor - even cat urine.
It may take three coats.

For 1800 square feet of particle- you may be looking at close to $1000 in material cost for the primer & finish coat.
 
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Old 04-06-07, 05:03 AM
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I'd seal it with the primer and then put down vinyl tiles instead of painting. I don't think you're going to get a floor that looks good by painting particle board.
 
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Old 04-06-07, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Rich E View Post
For 1800 square feet of particle- you may be looking at close to $1000 in material cost for the primer & finish coat.

I don't know where you buy paint but it shouldn't be anywhere near that much. Paint typically covers 400 sq ft per gallon. The primer won't go that far but once the particle board is sealed the finish coat will.
 
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Old 04-06-07, 12:30 PM
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You can sand particleboard, stain, and finish like any other wood floor. Some report that it looks like cork flooring. Darker stain may be needed to camouflage pet urine or water stains. Particleboard is absorbent and can require a lot of stain.

If painting, you will need to apply a couple coats of primer. If moving in one year, a couple coats of interior floor paint should do. Make sure products used are compatible.
 
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Old 04-07-07, 06:57 AM
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"Paint typically covers 400 sq ft per gallon."

Hello Mark,
True - paint does cover 400 square feet per gallon on most surfaces.
Particle board is atypical though. Painting it can best be described as trying to paint sand. It sucks material down like no other surface I've ever tried to coat.

Coverage on particle can run as low as 50 sq ft per gal for the first coat.
For 1800 sq feet that would/could amount to 36 gal of B-I-N.
@ $22.00 a gal from Lowes that comes to $792.00 for the first coat of pigmented shellac alone. Figure a more generous 300 sq feet for the second coat = 6 gal @ $22.00 = $132.00

You're well on the way to $1000 @ that point. ($792 + $132 = $924)

Plus I haven't even figured in the solvent, tools and the fact that 99% of the time when sealing in pet odors, the pigmented shellac has to be drawn up "pet high" on the walls. - particularly if the previous pets were cats.

I mentioned that I used a similar approach on a front porch that had particle.
It consisted of 4 sheets of 4x8. I used the better part of 4 gallons of paint on that floor.
Been there - done that - assumed 400 sq feet per. Ended up only going about 50.
 
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Old 01-07-09, 11:42 AM
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painting particleboard subfloors

we had glued vinyl on our subfloor we took it off and wanted to paint the floor i seen your idea about routering wooden looking boards on the floor it has worked great i loved the idea it is very old farm house type look just what i was going for and the glue that was under the vinyl on the particle board made a smooth surface just had to sand with the electric sander lightly then coated with a brown paint with some streaks in it to give it a wooden board look then coated with shellak for protection and a nice sheen looks great want to do the whole house this way thanks for the router tip worked great looks natural good luck
 
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Old 01-11-09, 09:42 AM
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If you have swollen particle board, I can't think of any way to fix that in a decent fashion. No paint is going to disguise that... You may have to cut out and replace the damaged sections.

SirWired
 
 

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