Stain, paint, or varnish?

I talked to the ceiling guy today, and he said that he'd be here on by the end of the week we should have a finished kitchen ceiling! Woohoo! So, all we need to do before we can hang cabinets is finish a little bit of sanding on the walls, primer, and paint.
My only problem right now is deciding how and when to finish the floors in the kitchen. Josh and I originally wanted to do a diagonal checkered pattern with a cream and brown stone...but given the size of the kitchen, it was just too expensive. Instead we decided to put down pine flooring. A couple of reasons we decided to go with pine were that we wouldn't have to put down an underlayment, and since pine isn't really anything special I wouldn't feel bad covering it up if we were able to get the nice flooring down the road. I don't really like the color of pine, so I'm not sure if I want to simply varnish the floors, or do something that will take away from the pine color.

Here are my options so far:
  • I could simply varnish the floors, it would be the easiest most time effective way to go.
  • I could stain the floors with a checkered pattern. Here a couple of pictures I found on the Country Living website that made me drool:

  • I could paint a checkered pattern on the floor, like the folks at Enon Hall.

If anyone has any suggestions or pointers, please let me know. I have a horrible time making decisions, and I've made way too many this past year...I think I'm burning out. Our kitchen cabinets are Cherry Shaker, and the walls will be a green with red accent.

6 Response to "Stain, paint, or varnish?"

  1. Jason & Heather Says:

    If you're going with southern yellow pine you could use Red Chestnut stain from Minwax like we did in our main bathroom. It makes it look very similar to heartpine. There's a picture of the floor in this old post.

  2. Chelsea Says:

    I love that color! It would probably go with the Cherry cabinets very well too. Thanks!

  3. Aunt Jenny Says:

    I love the diamond design (so fun!), but like you mentioned in your more recent addition to this blog, it would be a lot of work, and the stain would probably bleed. Just remember to get little felt feet for all your chairs and whatnot so they don't scratch the floor sliding them around(yeah, we've had some scratches on ours :P). Of course, Jack's claws also have added a few.

    Your kitchen looks great, by the way. Can't wait to see it!

  4. Bill Says:

    Ha! That kitchen that you found in "Country Living" is the same one that we modeled our new kitchen after. Except we originally saw it in Southern Living magazine.

    BTW, the link that you posted to our checkered floor was our first attempt. The second attempt in our new kitchen was much easier, faster and better looking. And more like the kitchen that you like.

    You can check it out in our October 2006 journal entries at


  5. Chelsea Says:

    Thank you so much Bill! I just kept google searching diamond or checker kitchen floor, and your old pictures showed up, along with Country Living website pictures. I've read more recent posts of yours, and I thought that the floor looked different, but I didn't know where to go to find the updated work. I know I won't possibly be able to make mine look as nice as yours, but it's definately nice to know that it's something that can be done :)

  6. Bill Says:

    you can do it. it was easy!!