How to “Fake” a Wood Floor with Plywood {Our girl’s room}

how to fake a wood floor by using ply


This past spring, we were busy trying to turn our boys messy playroom into our precious host daughter’s bedroom.  We had to removed the pee-stained carpet {from our dogs, not our boys, ha!} from the playroom and come up with another type of flooring that wouldn’t beckon our dogs to continue to pee in there.  ugh. 

Here it is before we started clearing it out…


Since we didn’t have the money to install hard wood floors to match the rest of the house, we decided to lay some inexpensive plywood and paint it.  I love the look of painted wood flooring, so I was totally down for the idea.

Cy bought some 1/2 inch birch plywood from Lowe’s and had the guys in the lumber department cut the plywood into 6 inch strips.  Since plywood comes in standard 4 x 8 feet sheets, we were able to get eight 6 inch by 8 foot strips of plywood to use as our “planks.”  {The eighth strip was about 5 1/2 inches wide because you loose some width due to the size of the blade when cutting.}

Some of the cut edges may be a little rough and need a little sanding.  

We had a bunch of pictures of installing the wood planks on my husband’s phone, but it broke into a million pieces, and we do not have those pictures any more.  :(      #bloggerfail

I did take a couple of pictures on my phone of the boys helping us.  We let Jonathan and Luke install them floor to earn a little spending money.  After they pulled up the carpet, they removed any leftover staples from the plywood and cleaned the subfloor real good with Cy’s shop vac.  

Then Jonathan used the chop saw to cut the plywood strips the length they needed them, and Luke nailed the boards directly to the subfloor with a nail gun.  They completed the floor in one evening.  

diy wood floor

After all the plywood was laid, I swept it real good before I painted it with a (smooth/semi-smooth) nap roll brush.  

Painted wood floor

We used a roll brush with a thick nap and this oil based Valspar porch & floor paint from Lowe’s…

Valspar Porch and Floor paint

The color we chose is called Grand Hotel Mackinac Blue, and I absolutely LOVE it!  It was the perfect color for our sweet girl’s room!  This paint comes in satin or gloss.  We got the satin at first, but I didn’t like it.  The gloss was perfect!

Valspar Porch and Floor Paint

We painted the floors one good coat and then let it sit for 24 hours.  I suggest letting it sit as long as you can before applying the second coat.  Before we applied the second coat, we lightly sanded the painted floor in any spots that looked like there were tiny bubbles (which was hardly nowhere) with a fine grit sanding sponge and then vacuumed the floor.  

We let the second coat dry for over 24 hours as well.  It is a super durable paint.

inexpensive painted wood floor

I adore this floor!  There is something so quaint and cozy about a painted wood floor!  And it was super easy to install and very inexpensive. {less than $225}  SCORE!

Inexpensive DIY wood floor

So what do you think?

Do you like painted wood floors?





  1. I love the floor! Love that you were able to do so I expensively too. The color is perfect! It’s such a happy, sweet room for your sweet girl.

  2. Traci, I love how the floor turned out. Y’all are doing such a great job on your remodel. Wish I could do this somewhere in my home. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Iv’e seen many decorating ideas but this stole my heart. I love everything about the room. May I ask where you got the comforter from? Great Job!!!!

    1. Thanks, Richella! I love the way it turned out! And everyone who sees it, loves it! NO ONE believes it is plywood when I tell them. :)

      btw, Happy belated Birthday!! xoxo

  4. I LOVE the floor. I love the whole room. It looks so happy and welcoming in there. Can’t wait until your girl is back with you guys, using her room again.

  5. Hey Cookie! Uh, I’m totally stealing this idea if you don’t mind! Fab-U-Lo-So!!! Baby girl is going to love it!!!

  6. Love the floor Traci ! I would never have known it was plywood if you hadn’t said so! Awesome! Her entire room looks great. Thx for sharing!

  7. I love this! I have been trying to decide what to do for the flooring in my new studio and this is it! probably even that same color :)

    I have a similar brass bed that I will be using as a daybed/place to sit. Did you paint yours? It looks like Rustoleum Oil rubbed bronze…?

  8. Fantastic idea-going to do it in guest bedroom-have been following your site and even I can hardly wait until your daughter is home-God continue to bless your family.

  9. I love the painted plywood floor, too. Hope your little girl will be with your family full time soon!!

  10. This is beautiful! Before the end of the year I too will be converting a playroom into a bedroom. This would be perfect! However, under our carpet and padding is concrete, not a wood subfloor. Any suggestions for making this work?

  11. You don’t “know” me but I’ve been stalking your blog for quite awhile now, lol!

    Wow, I LOVE the color and what a great idea. I knew you could paint plywood flooring but never heard of anyone cutting it into strips to mimic hardwoods. Very clever.

    Did you seal it with anything? I was just wondering about splinters.

  12. Hey traci!
    They look great!. But I have one question., with plywood, does it not leave splinters or hurt the bare feet?. I’m wanting to redo my sons, of course he wants basketball lines like a court. (Lol),you know we all have an indoor playground!. (not). But the plywood sounds cool except for being hard on the feet. So does ️it wear and feel ok on the feet?.

  13. Love this idea! Brilliant! I have a few questions, if you don’t mind.
    Did you fill in the nail holes?
    What type/color of flooring do you have adjoining this room?
    How did you handle the transition from room to hallway?
    I really want to do this in a guest bedroom. The walls are a moss green. What color would you paint the floor? Gray? White?
    Thank you so much for inspiring us all so wonderfully!

    1. I am sorry that I am just now seeing this comment.
      We did not fill the nail holes. The paint filled them in . We have wood floors in the hallways outside this room. The woods are just butted up to each other in the transition from bedroom to hallway. I think my husband had planned to do a transition piece, but he never got around to it. :) In a moss green bedroom, I think I would do white or really light gray. Thanks!

  14. I would love to know where you found the floral quilt and the name of it. Will you share? :) Hoping you don’t say it’s from a flea market! Would you share a link for the bed frame also? Thank you!

  15. Love the floor and the color. I would love to do this in my guest room (same color, of course!) as the bedding is shades of yellow and blue. I know you used a porch and floor paint, but did you seal it with anything? I’ve used a “heavy-duty poly for floors” on my stairs but that is also because I used a water-based paint on the treads. Thanks for sharing. This post is getting saved in my home improvement ideas file!

  16. I have been wanting to do this for years. I hope I get the guts to do it. I love the way yours looks and it’s a great step by step!

  17. I love this! I’ve been thinking about doing this in my daughter’s playroom, but I’m worried that it will have splinters or be rough for an 18 mo old (and younger kids when we have more) ?

    1. I think it would be okay, Hannah. We do not have any splinters at all, and you can always sand it down extra good before painting it. The paint seals it really well. :)

  18. I love it!! It looks fantastic. We are going to do this in our living room. Do you think the birch could be stained instead of painting it?

    1. Hi Genevieve,
      I don’t think the plywood would look as good stained. But you could google it to see if anyone else has stained plywood planks. Maybe it would look good?

  19. Traci, we pulled out old carpet in our daughter’s room and put in unfinished yellow pine tongue and groove flooring. We painted with porch paint and 6 years later it is still great! I want to do the same in our other two bedrooms and had considered plywood but was concerned about whata would happen if we spilled liquid on floor and it ran into cracks between plywood strips. What are your thoughts about that? I love the final look but we always have water on bedside tables and spills happen.

    1. Gosh, Marilyn. I’m not sure. I would have to ask Cy about that. My first thought would be that it wouldn’t be a big deal unless you did spilled a lot, often. :)
      I’m not worried about it at all in our girl’s room, and I know there will be spills in there. :)

    1. I just discovered your blog! This floor is genius and so pretty! Someone else asked and I didn’t see the answer – about the bed. I’ve been searching all over for that bed! Please share where I can find it. Thanks!

  20. Ooooh this is an idea worth pinning! We’re building a new house and I’m looking for ideas to make it economical. And I love the color you chose! It must be named for the porch ceiling of the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island. Love the rest of the room, too! It looks timeless but fresh!

  21. Love the floor! We have a room that I’d like to do the same thing to. What did you do at the doorway — where the hall floor meets the bedroom floor?

  22. Absolutely charming! Three questions from my hubby who always seems to think of the technical stuff, thank goodness. Did you remove baseboards and measure wall to wall? Did you purposely leave space between boards to allow for temperature changes and lastly, did you seal both sides of the wood or the subfloor to prevent moisture? Sorry for all the questions but he wants to know before we proceed. Love your blog – love getting everyone involved!

  23. I have linoleum tiled rooms from the 60’s!(It probably was ON SALE!) UGGLYYY! This looks like SO much fun! LOVE painted floors!! It could be dangerous to take up tile from the 60’s, I have read. You think I could just go over the top. I am handy so I couldpropably cut the strips. Did you?

  24. WOW! More beautiful than I thought and not very expensive. I really appreciate the idea, thank you.
    Did the adoption get finalized?
    Will continue praying until I find out, God knows what needs to be done, forever and always.

  25. I realize that this is an old post, but could you tell me where to find a mat like the one pictured? Sincerely, Tonya Garner

  26. I love these floors and I think the title is misleading – they ARE wood! I know a few friends who have done this and love it. The floors are actually thicker than any finished hardwood you can buy! Great job!

  27. Love it. I would’ve cut the strips different widths and used all of the plywood by alternating plank width from one strip to the next. I love how this floor turned out.

  28. Hi, absolutely love this floor! Wondering if you put some sort of protectant on top at the very end? Like a Poly seal & Why did you choose birch wood over other hwoods? I’ve always heard birch is a soft wood. How has it held up?
    Thank you for providing all the details of how you accomplished this!!

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