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DIY Painted OSB Floors (Mmmm, Teal)

Check out this easy DIY painted OSB floors tutorial!

Painted OSB FloorsDid you know that you can paint wood floors? You can also paint particle board floors, you can paint OSB floors, you can paint plywood subfloors – with the right primer and paint, you can paint ANY floor surface!  Here’s how I painted these old, nasty OSB floors.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have caught a peek of a project that’s been keeping me busy.  A local computer shop is moving from their current retail and tech space to a smaller spot in need of some TLC.  It’s downtown, with excellent parking (a rare combination!), so things like missing baseboards and particle board floors were overlooked.

DIY Painted OSB Floors – BEFORE:

OBS Floors BeforeOBS Floors BeforeOBS Floors Before

At first I was a little intimidated by the amount of work to do, especially because the budget is miniscule and I’m being paid in tacos (that’s not a euphemism for cash).  But I’m always up for a DIY challenge!  The first step was to fill in the hundreds of wall holes with putty, and then sand and prime them in preparation for painting the walls a warm grey (PPG’s Aria).  I wanted as light a color as possible to make the space feel bright and clean, but I knew white would quickly become covered in grubby fingerprints.  Just painting the walls one neutral colour (and not painting around the furniture like the last tenants) improved the space.

OBS Floors Before

The former tenants had put down what looks like some kind of oriented strand board (OSB, or maybe it’s engineered wood particle board?), which had become badly stained from water damage and general foot traffic.

OBS Floors BeforeOBS Floors Before

Putting something cheap over the particle board, like a peel and stick tile or even click laminate, wasn’t an option because it’s not 100% level (it’s an older building, which exacerbates the wonky installation).  Plus the shop owner didn’t want to spend a lot of money improving a rental location.  I decided paint would be an easy and inexpensive fix.  A local paint shop suggested a simple primer + floor enamel combo because professional-grade epoxy finishes would crack given the uneven floor.  Plus, without a top coat, a floor enamel can easily be re-touched, plus it’s not very slippery during wet or snowy months.

How to Prep OSB Floors for Paint:

I started by giving the floor a good and thorough clean.  I swept multiple times and then gave the entire surface a deep clean with a shop vac.

How to Prime OSB Floors for Paint:

Next came the primer coat.  I used Kilz Max primer, which is now my favorite primer.

Best Primer for Painting Wood FloorsPainting OSB Floors

I used a large brush to apply primer along edge of the room (I didn’t want to touch the freshly painted walls with my roller), and then just rolled the primer on.  A roller handle extender was very handy – I highly recommend getting one.  I started at one end of the room and painted my way out of the room, making sure everything I needed (car keys!) was accessible at my exit point.  It was dry to the touch in 1/2 and hour and ready for re-coating in one hour, but I let it dry overnight.

How to to Paint OSB FloorsDIY Painted OSB Floors

The primer was fabulous: it covered nicely and, as promised, dried very quickly.  Not all primers are created equal – and not all are suitable for floors – but this one did an excellent job of concealing water damage and stains.  I had the primer tinted as dark a green as they could manage, which helped get the floor to a deep teal.  This process is very similar to what we did for our painted laundry room floor, except we skipped primer then.

How to Paint Plywood Floors

How to Paint OSB Floors:

The next morning, I applied the paint in the same fashion: starting with the edges and then using a roller and working my way out of the room.  Like with painting walls, I painted “W”‘s to ensure I got paint into the uneven surface.  I took my time and often checked to make sure there were no bare spots.  I worked slowly, with a very saturated roller to ensure full coverage.

DIY Painted Particle Board FloorsPainted Particle Board FloorsTeal Painted Floors

Best Paint to Paint Floors?

This is the exact porch and floor enamel I used, and it’s suitable for wood and concrete surfaces.  It’s designed to be walked on so, if you decide to use another brand, make sure it’s a PORCH & FLOOR ENAMEL for best results.

Best Paint for Painting Wood Floors

How Long Do Painted Floors Take to Dry?

The manufacturer’s instructions indicated that the floor could be walked on in 24 hours but I let it dry for 48 hours because after 24 it still felt tacky.  The salesperson who helped me at the paint store informed me that paint doesn’t actually cure until about the one month mark, but that a couple of days should be fine.  The longer you can let your painted floors dry, the better – and note that humidity and temperature can affect paint drying times.

DIY Painted OSB Floors

The enamel had great coverage, but I think the primer did the heavy lifting.  So little of this paint soaked into the floor thanks to the excellent primer.  I needed about a quart or two less of paint than primer.  The painted floor turned out lovely.  After I was done I quickly snapped some photos with my phone from outside, and the door wasn’t open but a minute before a passerby complimented the color choice.  With freshly painted walls and floor, the space looks much more attractive.

DIY Painted Subfloor

DIY Painted OSB Floors – AFTER:

You can still see the seams a bit, but they are more pronounced in these photos than in real life, thanks to the texture of the particle board and the slight sheen of the paint.   Given the muted teal colour and texture, the floor has a vintage feel, like 1950s laminate counters.

Teal Painted Flooring

All of the photos of the DIY painted OBS floors (above) were taken with my camera phone, which captured the color somewhat true to life – but a bit more vibrant and green.  My regular camera, on the other hand, refuses to capture teal or turquoise  so it photographed the floor more blue.  The truth lies somewhere in the middle.  Ultimately, the color (PPG’s “Time for Teal“) is a pretty, silvery, muted teal – much like the color of blue spruce.

Why Did I Choose Teal Paint for Floors?

I had a few criteria for choosing the color: I wanted something cheery because there will be little color elsewhere, but I also wanted something that would hide dirt.  I also needed to be a color that wouldn’t disguise rogue screws, and that would pair well with the espresso brown furniture that will be moving in.  Plus I like teal; teal is always the answer.

Painted OSB Floors BeforePainted OSB Floors AfterPainted Chipboard Floors

P.S. Don’t Forget to Pin for Later!

How to Paint OSB Floors

Love this DIY Painted OSB Floors tutorial and looking for more DIY floor ideas? Check out my DIY Painted Vinyl Floors here and my DIY Plywood Floors here.



  1. craig
    May 30, 2014 / 6:33 pm

    I have often tried to put a decent finish on pressed board or particle board or CDX. I like your combination of products and tell us how smooth the finish ended up? were there still spots of "roughness" where the laminates were higher or lower? Love the finished product!!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 30, 2014 / 8:44 pm

      The surface no longer has sharp, slivery pieces but the texture is still there – it's just been smoothed out a bit. The enamel is thicker than ordinary paint, which helps. I think additional coats would make a difference too, but I don't know that it could ever totally level the surface. An epoxy might, but it could also crack. This is my first time painting a surface like this, so I relied on the advice I got. I'll post an update on how it wears in a few months.

      • Cindy
        April 28, 2020 / 7:55 am

        I’m about to replace water damaged floors in my mobile home. I plan to use good grade plywood and paint it. I’m following your lead. Love your color and results. I’ll be rid of plastic floors and my dog is going to love it.

        • April 28, 2020 / 11:49 am

          That’s so exciting!! I made a plywood floor in another room and also painted my vinyl kitchen floors so I am a huge fan of DIY floors and am sure yours will be amazing!

    • julesnew
      February 17, 2017 / 10:02 pm

      Hi! I'm considering doing this for my living space – I'm in an in law unit, with disgusting carpet on top of a particle board floor, and I'd love to get rid of the carpet. Any updates on how this wore, after a few months?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      February 21, 2017 / 7:01 pm

      We didn't really give it a lot of stress before moving out if there. But I've done the same thing on other floors, from cement to vinyl, and it always helps up well if it's been prepped and primed properly and allowed to cure. Do it! You won't regret it!

  2. Caroline Nolazco
    May 31, 2014 / 12:58 pm

    It looks soooo good! Such a huge transformation and oh so freakin cheery- I love it!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 2, 2014 / 1:38 am

      I want a teal floor now!! I've been looking seriously at polished concrete floors . . . I hear they can be stained/painted turquoise 🙂

  3. Unknown
    September 12, 2015 / 2:23 pm

    Can you stain particle board

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      September 16, 2015 / 2:39 pm

      Yes, you can stain particle board, although the irregularity in the material will likely take the stain differently in some spots. I have never done it myself, but here is a thorough tutorial:

  4. Ann Mcdermott
    October 2, 2015 / 1:03 am


    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 2, 2015 / 5:24 pm

      Hi Ann. I think you would need to check the can for the coverage because I'm foggy on the details. I think this space was about 800 square feet and we used about two cans of primer and about 1-2 cans of paint? I remember needing more than what they recommended at the paint store, so we had to scramble and dash out for more supplies mid-task. We used less paint than primer. But then, the darker colour might have necessitated more coats! Take a look at the can and then chat with the pros at the paint department for their recommendations. Happy painting!

  5. Unknown
    February 28, 2016 / 10:52 pm

    Hi there, Thanks for posting this! I'm thinking of doing the same thing. Now that it's almost 2 years since you painted, how is it holding up?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      February 29, 2016 / 12:12 am

      That's a good question but unfortunately I cannot answer it. This was in a building that was rented by someone I know but the rental agreement fell through and, since then, the building owner renovated the entire space.

  6. Unknown
    October 22, 2016 / 9:36 pm

    What did you use aa fill for thw floor?spots where it was low or holes or spots that were chipped or uneven? And what step did you do it at? I guess most would do it first, but I was wondering if it would be easier to do after the primer.

  7. John Dubravski
    October 22, 2016 / 9:39 pm

    *don't think my comet posted the first time*What did you use on the floor where spots were low, chipped or uneven? And did you use it before putting down the primer? If not, what stage did you.Thank you!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      October 23, 2016 / 12:41 am

      I didn't seal any chips because the whole floor was textured so things like that didn't show. I just made sure anything loose was removed first. I'd recommend a trip to your best local paint store for a recommendation about a filler that will be compatible with the primer you use and also be durable enough to walk on.

  8. Fonda Beckham
    June 7, 2017 / 4:53 pm

    Would the DeckOver type paints work for this as well? I want to try painting a hallway and foyer area and I read it could work. I have OSB that is screwed down and new. Thanks

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 10, 2017 / 8:16 pm

      I have never used DeckOver products before so I'd check with the manufacturer. But if it's designed for floor traffic and you use a good primer then I can't see why it wouldn't work.

  9. Brooke
    May 26, 2018 / 8:50 pm

    What about mopping it

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      May 26, 2018 / 11:37 pm

      Do you mean whether you can clean it after it’s been painted? Yes! Painted floors (I’m living with one right now) hold up so well if they’re primed and prepped correctly. Or are you asking why we painted instead of cleaning? It was bare material and the grime was ground right in – also, not our grime (previous tenants) so we had 0 inclination to touch that lol.

  10. Penny
    July 29, 2018 / 6:47 pm

    Did you put a sealer over the paint when you were done?

  11. April 16, 2019 / 12:06 pm

    Great job! We are doing what you did with a blue..but adding a 40% white design over the top. This should work as long as we use acrylic on acrylic right?

    • April 16, 2019 / 1:34 pm

      Thank you 🙂 If it’s for a floor, you’ll want to be using a porch and floor enamel for both the base color and the design on top. It needs to be rated for floors, if you’re using it for a floor. And a good primer is a MUST! Good luck!!

  12. Carissa
    November 18, 2019 / 4:05 pm

    I’m thinking of doing this in my daughters playhouse which is also particle board. Does this eliminate the texture of particle board? Currwntly my daughters dont want to sit on the floor from all the slivers they get.

    • November 18, 2019 / 7:45 pm

      Priming and painting will definitely help. I can’t guarantee it will eliminate slivers because it’s just paint. There are some deck coverings sold at Home Depot that totally cover a wood surface and change the texture completely. Something like that would get rid of slivers for sure. Or you could always put down an inexpensive indoor/outdoor rug on top of the painted surface for a little extra coziness (they can be hosed right off).

  13. Marci
    December 27, 2019 / 4:11 pm

    A pox what did this cost? How many square feet was this room?

    • December 28, 2019 / 1:53 pm

      Goodness, I’m so sorry I never thought to measure or keep tabs on price. Most cans of paint will say how much square footage they will cover and, with the primer, we didn’t have too much paint soaking in so we used almost exactly what we expected from reading the can – I remember we had to run out for one additional gallon of paint.

  14. Kimberly
    March 30, 2020 / 8:27 pm

    Did you sand the particle board first? Could you sand, then deep clean then prime then paint?

    • March 30, 2020 / 11:04 pm

      I did not sand – I worry the pieces would come off. You could sand down some of the surface roughness though. And if you deep clean, I’d recommend waiting awhile before prime/paint – most manufacturer’s will give a dry time. You don’t want any of the water to bubble up and ruin the finish.

  15. Kristen
    July 6, 2020 / 8:56 am

    Looks great! I have an OSB ceiling in my bedroom. (Old house we just purchased.. previously commercial use.) Rather than drywall, my SO suggested stain or paint. Do you think this same process would work well on a ceiling?

    • July 6, 2020 / 12:44 pm

      You can definitely paint it and because it’s on the ceiling don’t worry about getting a floor enamel – any good paint & primer combo will work just fine. You’ll still see the texture but the paint will freshen it up nicely.

  16. Debra Wood
    September 10, 2020 / 12:09 am

    I stained my OSB floor with Ebony a dark stain it worked great. Planning on clear coating it.

    • September 15, 2020 / 1:12 pm

      I’m so happy to hear it! Make sure you use a clear coat intended for floor traffic and it will hold up really nicely.

  17. December 16, 2021 / 11:05 am

    I contacted KILZ and she said they did not have a product I could use on an OSB sub-floor. Of course, that left me confused.

    I can’t tile the floor due to a structural weight concern. 900 sf. 300 sf is concrete and the other 600 sf is OSB. The floor previously had cheap peel and stick tile on it. I want the floor to look all the same. It is a pole barn turned “shouse” that hangs out over a hill on pillars with under parking. Sealing and painting the floors is my only option. I run a dog rescue and have 13 dogs each in excess of 120 pounds so need something that will hold up. Carpet is not an option.

    • December 16, 2021 / 12:00 pm

      Companies often have a “directed use” – what they’ve tested and designed product for – and then what actually works. I was also told I could not paint a vinyl floor and it’s held up perfectly for many, many years. So the primer I’ve shown you will work just fine – but it’s important to use porch & floor paint on top. If you’re not so keen on painting, have you considered vinyl flooring? Not the planks, but the large sheets? Adhered with the right glue, it’s really durable and won’t add much weight at all. If I had so many dogs, I would be tempted to do something like that because it’s so durable and easy to clean. And these days a lot of sheet vinyl flooring looks really sharp! Alternatively, you could try staining the floors and then sealing? Something that soaks into the OSB, like a wood stain, might hold up even better to dogs. Although I have had no issues with my painted floors – but I only have one 120 pound dog. I cannot say how well painted floors hold up to so many…

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