Checkerboard Floors


In the last episode of “Home Again with the Fords” we added a unique and fun checkboard floor to the mudroom. Here’s how we did it…

Here’s the process:


  • 45 Degree Angle Speed Square
  • 6ft Level
  • Pencil(s)
  • Measuring tape
  • Knee pads
  • Laser level
  • Standard Paint Brush (we would suggest using a new one for a sharper edge)
  • Fine and angle edged paintbrush
  • Paint of your choosing


  1. First and foremost, you will want to thoroughly clean and remove any debris or furniture from the space. Think blank slate, you are preparing your canvas!

  2. Before really diving in you will want to decide on the size of your squares. For this particular project, we chose to do 10”x10” squares. Keep in mind the smaller the square the more squares you will have, the larger the square the fewer squares overall.

  3. Then you will want to choose two tones of paint. We used two tones of green from PPG Paints—Rattan Palm and Heavy Hammock. You can also just choose to use one color and have the other “color” be the natural color of the floor you are working with.

  4. Now it is time to create a stencil to be able to paint. Using your 45-degree angle speed square start at either your doorway or entrance to the room. Line up the speed square with the middle of the entrance and use your pencil to trace along the 45-degree angle of the speed square.

  5. Remove your speed square and line up your laser with the markings you just made. Extend the 45-degree angle all the way across the floor to the next wall.

  6. Trace along this line using your 6ft level as a straight edge.

  7. Once this is complete go back to the entrance where you began the first line and measure your decided upon the square size, in our instance 10”, from that line and make a marking with your pencil.

  8. Repeat steps four through five until the entire floor area has been covered by parallel lines that are evenly spaced.

  9. Now you will reverse the process and find the 45-degree angle in the opposite direction to create a perpendicular set of lines.

  10. Once again repeat steps 3-5 until the checkerboard pattern is complete.

  11. Now it is time to paint! Before pulling out your paintbrushes we found it helpful to label each square with the first letter of its corresponding color. Working from left to right, just alternate back and forth. This will ensure that as you start to find your rhythm you won’t lose track of the pattern.

  12. You will want to begin by painting the outer perimeter of the room first and working your way inwards and ultimately back out of the room towards the entrance.

  13. Starting with your lighter color of the two paint around the border of an individual square. Don’t worry if you go outside of the lines they are only there to guide the pattern, it does not need to be exact.

  14. Then fill inside the square. Beware of doing too many coats and losing the original floor from showing through slightly.

  15. Go back and forth with your two colors until finished.

Pro Tips:

  • For tight corners switch to a finer angled brush
  • Embrace the imperfections, the lines are just guidelines
  • Remember to always leave yourself a pathway out
  • We had sanded down these floors prior to painting
  • A chalk string could work instead of a laser level as long as its color doesn’t show through
  • While in the beginning stages of creating your checkerboard sketch check the grid to see if the square sizing works with the room
  • Notify any parties living/working in the space in advance that they won’t have access