Home News Soledad O’Brien’s Painted Hardwood Floors Spark Debate on a New Trend

Soledad O’Brien’s Painted Hardwood Floors Spark Debate on a New Trend

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Earlier this year, Soledad O’Brien bought a house in Flamingo Park, a row of 1920s bungalows in West Palm Beach, Florida. Like many older homes, Mr. O’Brien’s house was built in 1945 and needed work. And like any homeowner, broadcast journalist Ms. O’Brien didn’t want to do the job all at once.

The two-story property, lined with palm trees and stone gargoyles left by the previous owner, includes the four-bedroom main house and a small guest house in front. All needed updating. Currently, Mr. O’Brien is the CEO. media production companydecided that the main building should be prioritized and a two-bedroom guest house would have to wait.

But then, at a neighborhood block party, Ms. O’Brien, 56, met her neighbor, Tracy Alexander Perez, who had given up her career as a music promoter for a new profession: painting and stenciling floors, walls, and tiles.

The two began talking and bonded over their common Cuban heritage. Immediately, they started talking about floors, especially those in Mr. O’Brien’s guest house. The floor was in terrible condition with termites and water damage. Alexander-Perez, 48, praised her new passion and suggested that O’Brien paint and stencil the floor rather than just rug it. With a little effort, we were able to extend the life of the tired floors and lighten the dark tones that O’Brien didn’t particularly like.

O’Brien was skeptical — who stencils wooden floors? please,” she said. “I literally couldn’t understand what she was saying.”

A few days later, Alexander Perez showed O’Brien his guest house. She painted the vinyl floors white and stenciled an ornate Italian pattern in taupe. Mr. O’Brien agreed with her idea. Her stakes were low — what was the worst that could have happened?”I was the game, she was the game,” Ms. O’Brien said. “Why not? Just paint. If she had brought in a backhoe to do her job, I might be a little more concerned.”

Stenciling a floor is a snap. The technique of using templates to paint patterns onto surfaces dates back to cave art. It was popular in Europe for centuries, in the United States through the colonial period, and fell out of fashion at the turn of the last century. It was an inexpensive way to add a touch of luxury to the home.” craftsman blog.

Stenciling had a brief resurgence in the 1980s, but stenciled farm animals and ivy made an unfortunate appearance in American kitchens. The technique is now attracting a new generation of enthusiasts, drawn to hectic, maximalist patterns and eager to share their creations on social media.

On TikTok, influencers Pouch, Bathroom, patio When kitchen Sharing short video clips of their work in geometric wonders makes the hard work easier.In one of his series on Lille, home improvement influencer Angela Rose spent hours on her knees, demonstrated to her 1.5 million Instagram followers how to paint a black star on a tiled bathroom floor. “It’s a lot of preparation, but don’t be scared. It will fly. Once you start painting, it will fly,” she says before cleaning, taping, painting, and then carefully cutting and painting inside the cutout. Then put stickers with star cutouts all over the floor.

Not everyone is a fan of this style. Especially since I question its durability given all the effort it takes. These are painted floors (wood, vinyl, tile) and are found in many highly trafficked rooms. An intricate pattern may look great on the first day, but after a few months it can look ragged with chipped paint.

“Are you checking in with these people to see what their floors will look like in a year, two years, four years from now? I don’t think so,” said co-founder Kelsey McDermaid. sorry girls, a DIY YouTube channel with 2.1 million followers, has no plans to stencil his floors. “I don’t know if it’s a timeless design because it’s a trendy thing people are doing.”

But O’Brien isn’t so worried about longevity. If she can keep the new look until she’s ready to renovate the guesthouse in about three years, she considers it a win. “It would definitely improve my messy floors,” she said.

With good prep work, good prep work will last a decade or more, says Alexander Perez. “There is always fear in floor paint that is somehow fading or chipping,” she said. “But for the most part, if it’s done right, the fade will look even better over time.”

Alexander-Perez started work on O’Brien’s guest house in August. in the first bedroom, she painted the floor white with a navy blue stencil pattern over it, a series of thin beaded stripes. “Once you put the paint on, it’s a commitment. There’s no going back.”

But Mr. O’Brien was excited. “We painted it this beautiful blue, and we were like, ‘Oh my God, the floor looks amazing,'” she said, adding, “We call it the Spindle Room.” Since then, Alexander Perez has painted the stars in the sugar cookie pattern a soft greyish blue over the aqua beach blue floor of the second bedroom, which will be the children’s bunk room. She completed her guest house in late October, painting her counters and kitchen tile floors, both bathrooms. “If you do this, get kneepads,” Alexander Perez said of the job, which takes two full days per room.

Ms. O’Brien took to Twitter to document the progress and splattered all over the room. “Congratulations, you’ve ruined a beautiful hardwood floor that looks like 1980s linoleum,” was his one note, punctuated by a slapped forehead emoji.

“What a waste of hardwood. It’s like a day care center now. The next owner will have a lot of work to do to fix it,” wrote another user.

Ms. O’Brien was puzzled by the randomly exploding vitriol. “If it makes you unhappy or stresses you out, don’t come here,” she told me. I will drink some wine.”

For now, Mr. O’Brien is looking forward to the holidays. Some of her nieces and nephews come to visit.

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