Pros and Cons: Should You Refinish Floors or Paint First?


When it comes to home renovations, refinishing floors and painting are two common projects that can dramatically improve the look and feel of a space. However, deciding whether to refinish your floors or paint first can be a difficult decision. Both projects can be time-consuming and costly, so it’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons before making a choice. In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of refinishing floors and painting, and provide guidance on which project to tackle first.

Refinishing Floors: Pros and Cons

Pros of Refinishing Floors

Refinishing floors can bring new life to your home and significantly enhance its overall aesthetic appeal. Here are some of the key advantages of refinishing floors:

  • Restoration of Beauty: Over time, hardwood floors can become scratched, dull, and worn-out. Refinishing floors can help restore their original beauty and luster, making them look brand new.
  • Increased Property Value: Refinished floors can significantly increase the value of your home. Potential buyers often place a high value on well-maintained hardwood floors.
  • Customization Options: Refinishing floors gives you the opportunity to change the color and finish of your hardwood. This allows you to update the look of your home and match it with your personal style.
  • Longevity: When done correctly, refinishing can extend the lifespan of your hardwood floors. It provides a protective layer that prevents further damage and wear.

Cons of Refinishing Floors

While refinishing floors offers many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider:

  • Disruption: Refinishing floors can be a messy and time-consuming process. It requires moving furniture, covering surfaces, and dealing with the strong smell of chemicals.
  • Cost: Refinishing floors can be expensive, especially if you have a large area to cover or if there are extensive repairs needed before the refinishing process begins.
  • Temporary Inconvenience: The process of refinishing floors can take several days or even weeks, depending on the size of the project. During this time, you may need to temporarily vacate the area being worked on.
  • Dust and Fumes: Sanding the floors can create a significant amount of dust, and the fumes from the chemicals used during the refinishing process can be harmful if not properly ventilated.

Painting: Pros and Cons

Pros of Painting

Painting is another popular home improvement project that can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of your space. Here are some of the advantages of painting:

  • Affordability: Compared to refinishing floors, painting is generally a more cost-effective option, especially if you plan to do it yourself.
  • Endless Color Choices: Painting allows for a wide range of color options, giving you the flexibility to personalize your space and create the desired ambiance.
  • Easy Updates: If you’re looking to refresh the look of your home without doing a major renovation, painting is a quick and relatively easy way to achieve that.
  • Protection: Paint serves as a protective layer for your walls, shielding them from dirt, moisture, and everyday wear and tear.

Cons of Painting

While painting can transform a room, there are also some downsides to consider:

  • Preparation: Properly preparing the walls before painting can be time-consuming. It involves cleaning, patching any holes or cracks, and applying primer.
  • Repainting: Unlike refinishing floors, paint may need to be reapplied every few years to maintain its appearance. This ongoing maintenance can be time-consuming and costly.
  • Odor and Ventilation: Paint can emit strong odors and potentially harmful fumes. Adequate ventilation is necessary during the painting process to ensure indoor air quality.
  • Color Regret: Choosing the wrong paint color can be frustrating, as it can be difficult and costly to change once it’s applied to the walls.

Should You Refinish Floors or Paint First?

Now that we’ve explored the pros and cons of both refinishing floors and painting, the question remains: should you refinish floors or paint first? The answer ultimately depends on several factors, including your personal preferences, budget, and the condition of your floors and walls.

If your hardwood floors are in good condition and only require a fresh coat of finish, it may be more practical to paint first. This way, you can protect your newly painted walls from potential drips or spills during the floor refinishing process.

On the other hand, if your floors are noticeably worn-out or damaged, refinishing them first might be a better choice. By refinishing your floors before painting, you can ensure a smooth and cohesive finished look throughout your space.

Additionally, consider the timeline and budget for each project. Refinishing floors generally takes longer and often comes with a higher price tag compared to painting. If time and money are limited, painting first may be a more feasible option.


Deciding whether to refinish floors or paint first is a personal decision that depends on various factors. Both projects can breathe new life into your home and significantly improve its overall appearance. Consider the condition of your floors and walls, your budget, and the timeline for each project before making a decision. Remember, consulting with professionals can also provide valuable insights and guidance tailored to your specific needs.

Whether you choose to refinish your floors or paint first, both projects offer the opportunity to transform your space and create a home you love

A1 Refinish Floors Paintings

A1 Refinish Floors Paintings

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