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Should I Paint Walls Before Getting New Floors?

Written by David | July 31, 2023

What to do first – walls or floors?

If you are not buying a brand new home, then odds are you are going to be doing some work to that house before you move in. Outside of interior painting, flooring is the number 2 thing that people work on replacing, such as carpeting and hardwood or vinyl. So the question is – what comes 1st- should you be painting walls before installing new floors?

painters elgin - painting before new floors

As we start to look at this question, we also have to look at what you are considering doing in your home before moving in.

  • Will you be removing and changing any flooring?
  • Do you need to do any drywall repairs or replacement?
  • Do you need to cut holes to add more lighting?
  • Does the house have stained trim or doors that you are considering painting or replacing?
  • How much time do you have to get the work done?

Painting before new carpet?

This issue and question of carpet or paint first is a big concern for people moving into a home that needs new floors and that are having their existing floors refinished. Painting walls, ceiling, and doors, if they need to be painted, should all be done before moving in. So, painting before new floors is something we say yes to.

I believe you should have as much messy work done as possible before the floors are installed. For example, if you are getting new carpet installed, do you want your new carpet to be filled with drywall dust from wall repairs?

In having vinyl, tile, or laminate floors, there will be work that has to be done to the baseboards, so why risk getting paint on them if you don’t have to? The other issue is if ladders are being used, could a ladder damage the floors?

Painting after getting new floors?

I would suggest no to this question, but there is always a but! There are several reasons that you may have to paint after the new flooring:

  • Timing. Flooring, painter, and supply issues could affect who can do what and when, so you may not have a choice
  • Hardwood floors. I have never seen a hardwood refinishing company be clean. There will always be dust from the floor sanding, and guess where that dust goes? Yep- right on your new paint. Then again, I have never seen otherwise. The stain and polyurethane get on the trim, the doors, and the walls. So, for installing new hardwood floors, paint afterward.
  • One trick or issue with painting after is masking the floor. We had an issue where the urethane was not fully cured, and we had to pay for the whole floor to be refinished because our tape removed the finish- NOT FUN!! So, any oil-based products must cure for 30-plus days before tape/masking. Waterborne products can be masked 3-4 days after application. (and they smell less!)

Painting when old floors are still in?

HECK YES!!! That is our favorite, for sure. That makes things easy. Flooring guys may not like it, but it makes our life easier. There are some obstacles, mainly if you’re painting trim; the carpet will be in the way. We can always cut it out or mask it; we just have to be careful, as we need to ensure that the tape or carpet with paint does not peel away when it gets removed.

Painting before new floors

New floors!! This is typically with luxury vinyl floors, planks, or hardwood. When new floors are going in, something such as old flooring usually goes out. When the new floors go in, as we mentioned above, you are most likely gonna have new trim installed as well, which will have to be caulked, holes filled, and then painted. If raw wood is being used, then the wood will need to be sanded, sealed, and painted.

Floor or paint first was a topic asked several times over the past week, which is why we have written this blog article for you. If you have questions about interior painting, let us know. We are here to help! Even if you don’t use our company, which happens, we just want to make sure you are getting a great paint job you will enjoy for years to come! 

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