How to Pull up Carpet, Paint Plywood and Make them look like old Farm Boards
Hello friends. This post is a follow up to my viral post I shared 8 years ago on how to makeover your Master Bedroom with a ZERO budget. I recently updated the super successful video I posted on YouTube 8 years ago. It has over 161,000 views and keeps going. Even after all these years!
I thought it would be a good time to revisit this process, clean up the video and share how this project has held up. In one word. BEAUTIFULLY.
How to Get Started Pulling up that old carpet and prepping your subfloors.
Not going to lie. Pulling up carpet, especially old gross carpet is NOT for the faint of heart. It’s a gross, hard, dusty job. But if you don’t mind a few hours of mess, you can literally save yourself hundreds of dollars in labor. There is no skill involved, just patience, a few tools, a dust mask and some knee pads.
The first thing you want to do is cut the carpet where you can just start pulling and ripping. If you are lucky, you can pull a bit section at one time. It will be attached to the subfloor by a piece of thin wood that matches up with your wall, shower, tub, etc.
Photo courtesy of the Family Handyman
Once you have the carpet all out. Take your crowbar, or chisel and start wedging it under the wood to pull that up. This is CRUCIAL you wear gloves. There are a lot of sharp nails and staples and you don’t want to rip up your hands. (I did and learned the hard way, ouch!)
When you have all the staples and wood out, you will probably want to use DryDex or other filler to fill in the many, many divots and holes. The wood under my carpet was not just plywood, it was OSB board, which is strong, but literally pulls apart if you pick at it. I knew the finish had to be really rustic to hid the texture.
Here is a (mostly) complete list of my supplies and tools. You may have many of these on hand already, you can use my Amazon links to get them all in one place and it helps my family out by paying me a small percentage of the sales. Thank you!
Here is the complete supply list: DIY Paint Supplies https://redouxinteriors.myshopify.com… One Stop Shop Amazon Supplies Plastic Paint Guide https://amzn.to/3TK5GNG Plastic Trowel https://amzn.to/3X372pC All Purpose Industrial Shears https://amzn.to/3O3PCoB Safety Glasses https://amzn.to/3GcHMqQ Heavy Gloves https://amzn.to/3hGXvUV Chisel https://amzn.to/3UXhZqQ Curved Cutter https://amzn.to/3AeTAoA Waterproof Sealer https://amzn.to/3X2GgNP Shop Paper Towels – A must for blotting up excess glaze and paint https://amzn.to/3Es3rcf
How to sand and and Prime your Plywood
After the DryDex dries, you will want to give it a clean sand. Again, I cannot stress enough how rustic the wood was or may be for you. This is not going to give you a fine, smooth finish, you just want to knock it down so all of the floor is basically the same level.
After the sanding, wipe up the excess dust and use one to two coats of a high adhesive primer. I used a combination of both Zinnser Filler Primer and regular Primer. The Filler Primer did add another layer of smoothness, so if you find you have OSB board, I would recommend going with this particular primer. I prefer Zinnser because I have found it to be the most adhesive primer on the market.
Paint your Plywood to Look Like Old Farm Planks
This is where things get really weird. Forget all that you know about painting and being careful. This is where you want to get messy. I wanted to give my boards some underwood color, trust me, you won’t see this process in the final product, but it will make a difference. I was going for a Grey/Blue/Aged look so I knew I wanted to have some of those colors in my floor. I showed the whole process in my YouTube Video here. It’s old, but you get the point.
You want the floor to look like a Jackson Pollock Painting. I used DIY Paint in Bohemian Blue, Layered Chocolate and Little Black Dress. The Grey is coming….
Once this part is dry (please refer to video), You will do the “glazing” layer. This look is all about layers. You will want to mix 3 parts Glaze to 1 part Paint. (I used DIY Liquid Patina because all DIY Paint products are not only extremely tough and adhesive, but they are 100% natural. Glaze can be really toxic, so take care if you are using something with chemicals and wear a respirator.)
You want to create long plank lines. I used a yardstick to keep a straight line as I was painting, basically you want to leave space between the grey glaze. You are creating the appearance of planks.
You can stop here, or you can add more layers. I repeated this process with a Glaze made of Liquid Patina and Vintage Linen, following the same process. With the subsequent layers, you will want to make sure to have plenty of Heavy duty paper towels or lint free rags and a Spray Bottle or Fine Mister. I prefer the Fine Mister because you can control the amount of water going into your glaze. I decided to finish with a little glaze of DIY Paint Dark & Decrepit Patina. This step is optional, I wanted to add more brown tones so I used the Dark & Decrepit and watered it down quite a bit.
Protecting your Painted Plywood
The most important step is the finish! Don’t forget this or skip it. All that work and you want to preserve it. Because this is my bathroom, and I knew there would be water splashed from the tub, lots of traffic coming through here, and I wanted to make sure I could mop it from time to time, I needed some heavy duty stuff.
I used Seal Once Marine Layer Top coat.
I think I did one or two coats. It was SO easy. Very low sheen, extremely low VOC. I would give it 5 stars. I wouldn’t recommend this product for your regular paint finishes as it would be like pouring resin over your beautiful furniture, but it has held up perfectly. Here we are EIGHT years later, and it looks as good as if I painted the plywood subfloors to look like Farm House planks yesterday!
What do you think? Would you pull up your carpet and paint your plywood subfloors? Have you attempted a big DIY on your own? Let me know in the comments what you think and please ask questions! I would love to help you with your next DIY!
Much Love – Karen