mmmm, sounds like some kind of recipe for muffins, drop em on the floor, scoop em up… yumm
Farmhouse Floor Recipe
prime your plywood subfloor with Kilz primer or any good primer
sand any sharp, scary sections with your little hand sander
paint with base color (powell buff/dark beige)
paint wood grain details like streaks and knots
Glaze with Faux Finish glaze tinted with Behr Revival Mahogany
Step back and do your happy dance!
The secret to that warm farmhouse wood is the base color
I used a combination of benjamin moore powell buff and benjamin moore dark beige 2165-40.  I wanted to use just the dark beige but didn’t have enough so I just dumped it into the powell buff to extend it a bit.   It was about 1 qt dark beige to 2 qts powell buff.  Any nice golden neutral would probably be fine. 

The area in the closet had a lot of knots in the wood already which really added a lot of character.  In the picture above I drew lines for 6″ planks with a brown colored pencil.  Those were not dark enough and didn’t really show up.  All of the darker streaks I made with the paint brush came to life when the glaze was applied.  

and all of the original knots helped

The Glaze was made my slap dash measuring system…

 I dumped about 2 cups of glaze into the plastic container and threw in about 1-2 Tablespoons of the Golden Fluid Acrylics in Burnt Umber Light.  Then I threw in about 1 cup of Behr Revival Mahogany  2608-7 (The date on my can is 2006!)  They can probably still mix the color.  The finish was flat but I’m sure satin or eggshell would be fine.  Don’t know about semi-gloss. 
So really it’s about 2:1 ratio of glaze to paint.  I needed to mix more to do the rest of the area.  I’d mix it all at once if you need to do a larger area.   Just stick to your ratio if you need more, it’s very forgiving.

That’s the burnt umber…
I don’t think you really need it.  The burnt umber added a reddish tint to the mix.  Here are the numbers on the Revival Mahogany can.

Colorant                    OZ      48   96
C       Yellow Oxid     0         21    0
D        Thalo Green    1         24    0
F         Red Oxide       1         10    0

I think the Sherwin Williams color Cardboard and the next darker shade on the same card would work really well too.

After mixing the glaze I brushed it on following my plank lines which you can no longer see.  I did two planks at a time, coating well with glaze.  If it seemed a little dark I stretched and pulled the glaze along with the big brush.  
I’d wipe off any excess glaze on the brush with a paper towel.   To get the hang of it do a sample on a 1 x 6 piece of pine.  You can play with your technique a bit.  It just takes a bit of letting go and playing with it as you go.  The sloppier the better.
As you can see I didn’t bother taping.  I taped the second area but all of the brushing just pulled it off.  You do have to work a bit fast so the glaze doesn’t dry, don’t dawdle.   Also, don’t overwork/rework the same area of the glaze as it’s starting to dry.  This can cause it to become very splotchy in spots.  I did that in some areas although it didn’t hurt the overall effect much.

It really does look like an old floor with lots of character and charm!    

I intended to put a coat of polyurethane on top but haven’t yet.  The glaze is still curing and I’m not so sure I even need it.  This really exceeded my expectations.  My original plan was to just paint it white but I was really pining away (no pun intended:) for wood floors.  My wheels starting turning and I’m so glad they did!

I can’t wait to finish decorating the rest of the room! 

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This is AMAZING. We have fake wood from 1899 in our living room and hall, and it’s pretty banged up in places. This gives me hope that I can fix it!


Amazing job! Glad I saw this at DIY. ~ Maureen


Great tutorial, MaryAnn! You really did an amazing job. Such an inspiration and so beautiful!


Thank you so much for sharing the secret!! I am pinning it so I have it as a reference when I finally get to that darn bathroom floor.


I keep telling my hubby this is what I am getting rid of the carpet, put down plywood and paint it..He thinks I’m crazy…he’s wrong! It looks amazing!


Go for it! I had to wait till my husband left town. He would have been way too apprehensive for me to even attempt this in his presence. It’s about 1000 times better than the old ugly carpet. I’d still like real wood floors in terms of re-sale but I’ll be able to transition them in slowly instead of spending all the money at once.


Wow those look like genuine hard wood floors! I can’t wait to try that out in a room in our house. It is cheaper than the real one, but still looks gorgeous. I agree that it is a great replacement to the slimy old carpet. It is much cleaner as well! Thanks for the share!


Hi Maryann. Your floor is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l. I’ve been thinking of redoing several rooms that have desperately ugly carpeting using the brown paper technique, but I think I like this better! I want to make sure I get the right products, so if possible would you mind checking over my list? I’m going to try it out on some scrap plywood before actually putting anything on my subfloors 🙂

Kilz primer (water based or oil based?)
Benjamin Moore powell buff/dark beige paint (floor paint? latex or oil-based?) in 2:1 ratio in flat/satin/or eggshell
small artistic brushes (any particular kind?)
black (?) paint to make wood grain detailing (acrylic paint?) – I’m tempted to use black sharpies but I figure if I want results like yours I’d best follow what you did to a T 🙂
Faux Finish glaze (translucent? water based or oil based?)
Behr Revival Mahogany paint or something close in flat/satin/or eggshell (water or oil based?) to be mixed with glaze in two 2:1 ratio of glaze to paint
Golden Fluid Acrylics in Burnt Umber Light if desired
polyurethane topcoat if desired

One other question if I may. How long did you wait between coats of base paint, between base paint and the glaze/paint mixture, and after the glaze before using the floor? I’m a little nervous about the dry time because one of the areas I want to do is the hallway – do you think overnight is long enough and then maybe wait a few days before putting on the poly?

I apologize for all the questions. I am really a newbie to DIY – I’ve done one project so far and it didn’t even involve paint! But the carpet has got to go, so I’m gathering my courage 🙂

Many thanks!


Hi Heidi, I’m so glad you like my floor! It’s still holding up very well. I did’t really worry about the type of paint, though I wouldn’t recommend using flat. I would get the cheapest satin or eggshell. Home depot or Lowes will match Benjamin Moore colors. You also shouldn’t have to mix the two colors powell and dark beige. I think I’d probably choose the powell buff for a nice neutral base. Home depot sells the small samples for a few dollars. It would be worth trying both to see which one you like better. The dark beige is a little warmer and more golden. All the products I used were water based, no oil based, even the primer. The glaze should be translucent because you’re creating the color when you add the acrylic tints. Any neutral dark brown would work well. I’d stay away from reddish browns though.

Regarding the artists brushes I just used whatever I had on hand. Cheap artist brushes from Walmart would be find. You want something pointy and small to draw little knots and lines. If you look at the picture of the floor where you can see the paintbrushes you’ll notice the two larger paintbrushes. I used the smaller 2 1/2″ brush to apply the glaze and the larger brush to drag it evenly. When glaze builds up on the big brush just wipe it off with paper towel as you go.

Regarding drying time, I was in a time crunch! I primed and let dry overnight only because I was tired and it was too dark 🙂 The next day I painted and then glazed. The biggest thing with the glaze is to not overwork and go over your brushstrokes. If you do you’ll remove glaze and get streaks. As far as glaze color goes add your dark brown and test it out on your sample. See if you like the color. If it’s not dark enough add more paint. You’ve given me a great idea, hmmm, maybe I’ll do a little glaze video.

Good luck and play with it. The process is very forgiving. Play with the little knots and streaks. It’s amazing how they transform when the glaze is applied on top. Oh and have fun! I’d be happy to answer any questions if you run into trouble 🙂


You are so kind to go into all that detail for me!! Thank you, thank you 🙂 One other teensy question — what type of paint should I use to draw on the wood grain? black? acrylic? or? (those are my only good guesses, unless you think I ought to try a sharpie!)

BTW, I loved your post on the chinoiserie cabinet, too. Ironically, I just got one myself today — delivered to my home. It had belonged to my grandmother & now it’s sitting here in my house, just crying out to be restored! Thanks for the inspiration on that front, too. I’ll let you know how it goes, but first, the floors!

You’re an earth angel, Maryann, blessing me today 🙂


You’re so lucky to inherit such a nice piece of furniture! For the graining you can use the Artist Loft tube of Raw umber from Michaels it a very dark folk art brown. It will be flat paint but glazed over anyway. Good luck and thanks for such lovely compliments!


I saw this project on diyshowoff.
pretty amazing!
I am interested in doing something similar in a small room, except with a bit more french country look (similar to french country kitchens that have cream colored cabinets with darker glaze to give it a patina effect). Do you think I could just follow your instructions but use a cream-colored paint as the base coat instead, and still use the faux glaze with revival mahogany? i’ve never used glaze before so i wasn’t sure which part to swap out to make it look a little bit more like painted wood than wood floors, which I realize is kind of opposite of the effect you were going for (it really does look like hardwood floors!). thank you for your input.


Hi Sue, Sorry I must’ve missed your comment! oops… I’m sure you could use the glaze to achieve the look you’re after. I’m not sure about the revival mahogany, you may need to play with your glaze color a bit and test it out. I’d go for a greyish brown. Try a test with just raw umber artists acrylic. You want a very neutral color that’s not too gold or too red.

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