Take to the floor

The floor isn’t just a surface to walk on – it can also be a canvas on which to unleash your creativity!

By Lisa Spaarwater of Lemon & Lilac Paint Techniques
Photographs Francois Oberholster

You will need

• Annie Sloan paint (we used the colours Annie Sloan Versailles and Annie Sloan Provence; 1 litre covers 13m2)
• brush or sponge roller for painting the base coat
• small sponge roller for the stencilling
• medium-sized sponge roller for the varnish
• paint tray
• stencil of your choice (go to theafricanstencilcompany.com)
• spray adhesive specially for stencils (available from hardware or art supplies stores)
• water-based floor varnish with a matte or satin finish


Get started

1 First paint the base coat; start in a corner and work towards the door (to avoid painting yourself into a corner!). If you use the paint undiluted and apply it with a large roller, one coat will be sufficient.

2 Decide in which direction you wish to place the stencil and where you want to start – this will depend on the stencil design.

3 Spray the back of the stencil with the spray adhesive and stick it on the floor where you want to start; make sure you use enough adhesive to keep the stencil firmly in place.

4 Roll the sponge roller through the paint and then roll it over the drip tray to make sure your roller isn’t too wet.

5 Now roll the paint over the stencil. The paint should be applied fairly sparsely; this will ensure neat outlines and prevent the paint from running.

6 When you’re done, let it dry and then seal the floor with the water-based floor varnish. Apply at least three coats.


• Make sure your floor is clean and completely dust-free. No other preparation is needed – neither is a primer – if you use Annie Sloan paint.

• Allow the base coat to dry for at least an hour before you start stencilling.

• Untill the floor is sealed, wear your socks when walking across the floor to prevent it from becoming dirty.

• If you’re worried about going skew with the stencil, make light marks with a pencil so you know where to place it as you go along.

• Keep a small artist’s brush handy to neaten up any areas that you’re not happy with afterwards.

• If you’re inexperienced, cover the base coat with a layer of water-based varnish before you do the stencilling. This will ensure a neater look because it’s easier to wipe off mistakes on the already smooth surface. Seal the entire floor once again afterwards.

• The water-based varnish dries quickly but will be even harder after a few days. Don’t place or move heavy furniture on the floor for the first few days.