diy stained plywood flooring

DIY Stained Plywood | Subfloor to Main Floor

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

What are some of the biggest money suckers when updating a house? Flooring is usually one of them. Especially when you’re on a budget. We had a choice: we could redo all the floors right away and…that’s it…or we could have beautifully painted walls and have money for extra things like faucets and cabinet knobs. I chose the latter. So then I had to start thinking about inexpensive ways to have an attractive floor until we could fit new floors into the budget. That’s how we came up with this DIY stained plywood floor!

diy stained plywood before
diy stained plywood before

Unless, of course, I kept this super amazing carpet in…haha not…

We were out to lunch one day when I asked Titus what was underneath the carpet. I didn’t even know there was plywood under carpet in general. As you can see, I’m pretty naive but I’ve been quickly learning!

I didn’t even know it was a thing to stain or paint the plywood and make it the main floor until I started reading up about it. I thought I was a genius but it’s been done before. That happens a lot. 😉

My inspiration for my whole house is Country French. A little glam and a little rustic. After scouring the internet and magazines for inspiration, I found a common theme throughout the floors: rustic, “dinged”, and full of character. I loved the imperfect look of the photo below, but I knew I wanted a dark stain. Unless the plywood was in totally bad shape or the carpet was glued down, I didn’t see how it couldn’t work.

floor inspiration

To my relief the carpet wasn’t glued, just stapled, and the plywood was fine!

Now the hard work can begin!

diy stained plywood flooring diy stained plywood flooring

We did a preview of the stain to see how it would look and I was getting giddy with excitement! This isn’t a full tutorial or anything, but really we just removed the carpet and staples, cleaned, stained, and finished off with a heavy-duty floor sealer.

diy stained plywood flooring

diy stained plywood flooring
diy stained plywood flooring

Isn’t it lovely? It turned out so well! The white on the floor is not part of it, just dust from the bathroom being tracked everywhere…whole ‘nother story…

The Good:
*Pretty easy
*Color is customizable
*Beautiful, interim flooring

The Bad:
*If you have lots of uneven coloring you will have to sand it all down
*Stains already on the plywood will not disappear, but will be brought out more

I’m so glad that we did this. The pros outweigh the cons. It is an inexpensive floor that is wayyy better than the carpet and I enjoy looking at it. I’m in no rush to replace it. If there are lots of stains on the plywood in the other rooms of the house I might try painting them. We’ll see! All in all, I’m satisfied.

diy stained plywood flooring
What do you think of this DIY stained plywood project?

*2021 Update- We sold this house!*
*Come see our current home and the projects we’re doing…such as transforming the brick exterior!*


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.