Paint is very commonly used on softwood floors, but is not a very durable finish, and worn places can seldom be satisfactorily patched.

Painted floors are, however, easy to clean, for the paint forms a coat impervious to water and grease, and they can be made to match or harmonize with woodwork or furnishings.

Paints, like varnishes, vary in durability according to the materials in them. Special floor paints of good quality are on the market, or they may be mixed at home. If only one or two floors are to be painted, one of the ready-mixed kinds will be found more economical and convenient, and one gallon will generally be enough for three coats on about 200 to 300 square feet of floor. White lead, zinc white, linseed oil, drier, and coloring matter are the chief ingredients in a good floor paint.

A kitchen floor should have three coats of paint, and the wood should be clean, dry, and free from dust before the paint is applied. According to the United States Bureau of Standards, the first coat should consist of white lead in linseed oil, with a little drier; the second coat, of equal parts of white lead and zinc white in oil, coloring matter as desired, and drier and turpentine to give a flat finish; and the third coat, of the same materials as the second, except that instead of turpentine good floor varnish should be added in the proportion of one to four pints to a gallon of paint. Each coat of paint should be thoroughly brushed into the wood, length-wise of the grain, and allowed ample time to dry. If desired, a coating of equal parts turpentine and linseed oil may be rubbed on with a soft cloth after the last coat of paint has dried thoroughly, and the floor then polished with a woolen cloth. This gives a soft lustrous finish and makes the paint wear longer.