Refinish Hardwoods or Paint First?

Nick May from Walls by Design, a paint contractor in Denver, answers today’s question.

One of the things that people do a lot of times in conjunction with painting is other kind of remodeling and decorating items. And so today’s question – if I’m getting my hardwoods refinished, should I get them done before or after I paint the house?

I’m going to probably say there’s a lot of things that come into play with getting your hardwood floors refinished. A lot of times people are adding hardwood to different areas. And if you’re adding hardwood, then a lot of times the baseboards are going to be either removed or they’re going to add a quarter round because there’s going to be a gap between the floor and the wall otherwise. From that standpoint, best case scenario is have the hardwoods installed and then any trim that needs to be modify or change should be done. And then we should go in and paint all the walls, because most of the time when you’ve got the hardwoods getting refinished, those are a lot of times in areas where we’ve got to use really high ladders, we’ve got to get high in the ceiling. We’re going to have a lot of equipment in the house. From that standpoint, we are always going to cover them but we want to avoid scratches because if you have brand new hardwood floors, it’s going to be very obvious if we even put one scratch on that floor. We want to paint at that point.

It’s not the end of world if you refinish and then we paint. We just have to take more precautions to protect that floor. But in the perfect world, from a painter’s standpoint, I would paint then refinish the floors, and then just know that your baseboards are going to need to be painted or touched up at a very minimum because they may tape them off and they may say that they’re going to protect them, they’re going to get some stain or some finish on those boards. And so you’re going to want to do that as the last step. Hopefully that helps.

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