How to Paint a Harlequin Floor Pattern!
I am SO excited to be writing this post on how to paint a harlequin pattern on a floor! This is without a doubt one of my all time favorite DIYs to date! It was challenging, tested my patience, and completely worth it! Let me share how I did it and some tricks I learned along the way!
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The Harlequin Pattern
I’ve been wanting to paint a harlequin pattern in this kitchen since the first time I saw it! While it seems to be making a comeback the harlequin pattern is an oldie! Sometimes you’ll see it laid as tiles and other times painted on wood floors like this. Harlequin patterns can be squares turned or laid out diagonally or diamonds. My goal is for our 1800s farmhouse to be filled with aesthetic and architectural attributes correct to its time period, but in new modern ways!
There are several approaches you can take to create your pattern. I chose to use foam board and make a template. I played around with shapes and different sizes on the floor with tape first. To make things easier, I chose to line up the diamond with the floor boards. So each diamond point met at a line on the floor.
Then when I found a diamond shape that felt right, I measured it and traced out on the foam board then cut it out. I did tape around the edges of the foam board to prevent the tape from pulling out pieces of foam that stuck out. The diamond template I made is 23.5 inches from corner to corner.
Taping the Harlequin Template
The first thing to do is to find the center of the room. To do this I measured the room, but it’s an old house and sometimes center doesn’t actually look center. I tend to trust my eye more. That being said, I also counted boards from one side to the other and then lined up my first diamond centered with the chimney. In my experience Frog Tape has always left me with the cleanest lines so it’s what I prefer on high stakes projects like this one 😉
After I taped out my first diamond I viewed it from all angles before I proceeded to tape the rest. The photo above shows how I lined up the template each time. I taped off all of the full sized diamonds before moving onto the egdes.
How to Tape the Edges
At first I was thinking I would need to make seperate templates to do around the edges, which you absolutely can do! But then I noticed the pattern of the tape lines. It’s kind of tricky to explain, but I’ll try! First of all I ran out of my Frog Tape so that’s why I used blue to do the edges. However, I think this worked to my advantage as far as keeping things straight and being able to see where I needed to put the tape.
In the photo below you can see that in order to make your next diamond you lay the blue tape (I’m pointing to) right alongside the green tape (on the right) and do the same on the other side. This keeps your angles correct without needing a template. So if the the blue tape continued on it would run right alongside the green. Make sense?
After I realized this taping the edges went quickly!
Cutting Out the Corner Extra Tape
You may have noticed that as you’re taping around the template you’ll have corners that look like the one pictured above. You’ll have to go back in and cut out that extra tape so that your corners meet up to the next one. I used a razor blade from a utility knife to do this. It easily cut the tap without cutting the floor. When you’re done it should look something like the picture below.
Finally on to Painting!
The prep work takes the longest by far, and I was relieved to get to the painting part! You’ll be painting the bigger diamonds, but when you pull up the tape they’ll all be the same size. If you notice in all the full room photos I stuck a piece of blue tape on all of the diamonds I would be painting as I taped them out. My worst fear was that I would paint one I wasn’t supposed to lol!
Painting the Harlequin Pattern
I painted the pattern with Behr Porch and Patio Floor Paint in the color Tapestry Beige by Benjamin Moore. If you’ve been here a minute that color might sound familiar to you! It’s the same color I painted our sunroom floor in our last house. It’s a beautiful neutral and had some left over, so win win!
I painted it with one of my favorite Zibra paint brushes. I applied a very thin coat because I wanted to let the wood grain show through the paint and also look distressed in some areas. To do this I brushed it on lightly with the wood grain. There will be places that your brush won’t completely cover and you can determine how much you’d like to let show completely through. This created the distressed well worn look I was after, and I LOVE how it turned out!
Pulling Up the Tape!
Is there a more satisfying moment then pulling up the tape after painting? The Frog Tape came through on this one for sure! It felt so good to stand back and see the reveal of all my hard work!
Sealing the Floors
I’ve used several different types of sealers for different projects. I chose to seal these floors with Minwax Polyurthane for Floors in Satin. In my experience water based products may have some benefits, but just don’t hold up as well, especially in high traffic areas. For example I’ll be redoing our staircase with this product because the one I used isn’t going to cut it. This product is quite fumy, but I know it will last. We got lucky having a couple days in the 60s so I was able to open up windows.
I used a lambskin pad with a block to apply it. It twists on to a broom/mop/or paint specific handle. This was my first time using a lambskin pad and I was blown away by how well it worked! The product was put down so evenly with little effort. I gave the room 3 coats since it is the kitchen, a high traffic area, and the wood flooring we put down was raw.
It turned out beautifully! The satin finish isn’t too shiny but added a bit of luster to the wood. It also did not change the color or the wood or paint but dried perfectly clear.
How To Paint a Harlequin Pattern on a Floor
These harlequin floors are what my old home dreams are made of! They feel like a work of art! The joy of bringing something you have in your head to life is why I DIY! There’s nothing like being able to stand back and say “I did that!”. Like I mentioned it took some time and patience, but as far as bang for your buck projects go you can’t beat it! And if I can do it anyone can! Let me know if you have any questions!
Now I CANNOT wait to put our kitchen back together! I’m especially excited to see the contrast of our dark store counter island against it! This week I’ll be working on the chimney, and turning the closet under the staircase into a pantry! Then this weekend we’ll be bringing everything back in and have a functioning kitchen again! Whoop! Next week I’ll be building our open shelving and then eventually we’ll be getting new base cabinets and countertops. This wasn’t supposed to be a full kitchen reno, but I’m not mad about it! Lol!
Thank you so much for stopping by the blog and being along for the journey!