6 Designers Reveal Their Top Colors for Painted Floors

July 30, 2020

From boldly patterned foyers to soft pastel-colored stairs and crisp white living rooms, the following examples of painted floors are impressive displays of why the surface we walk on should not be forgotten. Below, a few of our designer friends divulge their favorite paint colors for achieving a gorgeous look underfoot.

Mary McDonald of Mary McDonald, Inc.

For this bold geometric foyer floor, Mary McDonald used Balboa Mist for an aged white ground with Kendall Charcoal and Wrought Iron for the contrasting shapes. All three paint colors are by Benjamin Moore.Victoria Pearson

“The color really depends on the look you are going for, but the key is to test everything to see what you are really getting with a 20″ square—light and reflections change everything! I’d suggest a creamy ivory for a little patina and contrast it with a moody dark grey—it’s pleasing to the eye because it’s feels warm without being too blue.”

Anishka Clarke and Niya Bascom of Ishka Designs

A winding staircase was painted in RAL 1017 Saffron Yellow to brighten up a dark apartment.Niya Bascom Photography

“For these stairs in a Paris pied-à-terre, we chose to emphasize the beautiful curvature with a golden accent color given that the space is located on a north-facing narrow street and can get a dark—especially during the winter months. We kept the treads the original dark blue for contrast as well as better wear-and-tear.”

Ty Larkins of Ty Larkins Interiors

Larkins used Natural Cream and PM-9 by Benjamin Moore to create the floor’s bold stripes.Don Kadair Photography

“This painted floor is located in a grand 1920’s home and was inspired by the famous black-and-white inlaid marble in the lobby at the Mark Hotel in New York City. It’s sort of my modern take on that classic checkered design one might see in a foyer in the early Art Deco period.”

Celerie Kemble of Kemble Interiors

“I’ve just painted a floor in Farrow & Ball Tunsgate Green 250 at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, Connecticut. It has a tiny bit of celadon coming through, so it feels a little more wry than straight white. Plus, it lets any true white used in a fabric or furniture pop!”

Thomas Jayne and William Cullum of Jayne Studio

Jayne and Cullum used the same custom white on the floors, walls, ceiling and cornice in different finishes to truly transform the room.Don Freeman

“Nothing can transport a room more than a beautiful painted floor. The client feared that nothing could make this living room appear fresh, especially as the only light source came from just 3 south facing windows. We chose a custom cool white to brighten it up with a decorative glaze to help reflect the light.”

Annie Sloan of Annie Sloan Interiors

Sloan used Emperor’s Silk on the floor to contrast the earthy Honfleur on the walls, both from her company Chalk Paint.Courtesy of Annie Sloan

“The unexpected pop of vivid red on the floor creates a faux runner effect and brings out the warm tones in the wall’s chocolatey hue. It draws the eye along the floor, really maximizing the grandeur of this fabulous landing. I’d feel like I was walking the red carpet at Cannes every evening as I go to bed!”

Bonus Tips!

Coastal Georgia interior decorator Elaine Griffin is also a huge fan of painted floors and recommends using Valspar’s Tintable Porch and Floor Paint in a satin latex base. “It can be custom-tinted to match any paint color you desire,” she notes. “I personally love ivory and pale beige painted floors, but beware—there is a caveat! The lighter the color for your floor, the higher the maintenance—every speck of dirt shows.”