Protecting a wood floor - on the cheap. Paint??
We have an apartment, soon to be rented out to a friend who has a dog (not a little one, 70-ish pounds, but very well trained). In most rooms the floors are wood--it's an old house so we're talking 3/4" hardwood planks. In some areas the finish is completely worn off; in others it's painted but the paint is worn off. We do not have the money to refinish the floors properly at this point, nor do we want to because we're concerned the dog will just ding it up again and we'll need to refinish down the road.
Would it make sense to just paint the floors? Would that protect them (I mean protect the parts that are literally bare wood, and help keep liquids from getting between the planks), and would it be significantly cheaper than hiring someone to sand the floors down to the wood and refinish with polyurethane? What kind of paint would work for this, and what kind of prep would we need to do to make sure it sticks properly?