Freshen up your tile floor by painting a beautiful pattern tile! This easy DIY project can be done over a long weekend!
I love a good DIY. Projects like this DIY Brick Nook or this DIY Raised Garden Bed are some of my favorite impactful home updates. My favorite thing about do it yourself projects isn’t just the satisfaction of bringing new life to a formerly boring area of your home–It is also the feeling of accomplishment!
I wanted to spruce up one of the bathrooms, but I knew I couldn’t afford the gorgeous patterned tiles I had been dreaming of. After some research, though, I decided to do my own DIY patterned tiles using paint and a stencil!
This is just a general guide because you’re going to want to make several personal decisions. Do you want to prime AND paint? Is your area in a high-traffic zone, meaning you’ll need multiple coats and a sealant? These are things you’ll have to decide for yourself, but I’ll walk you through how I did mine!
Can you paint tile floors?
Absolutely! There are some important things to take into consideration when painting your floors, which I will cover below, but rest assured this is an easy project!
Choosing to paint your tile floors is a great option for those on a budget. I already had some of the supplies on hand, but my out of pocket cost for this project was about $30.
What Paint do you use on Tile Floors?
I used chalk paint to paint my tile floors. I chose this because it’s thick and sticks to everything. You can use others like latex or enamel paint if you wish. The key to getting any paint to stick, though, is cleaning and priming the floors super, super well.
To paint tile floors you will need these products:
- Primer: I used this primer, it provides excellent coverage, goes on smooth and is adheres really well.
- Stencil: Check the size of your current tile and pick a stencil that matches.
- Paint: I used a chalk-based paint, but you can use others.
- Sealant: I used a clear acrylic sealant to held it stand up to traffic and water.
- Painters Tape: to cover baseboards and edging as well as holding the stencil down.
- Paint Brushes: small brushes and small roller.
You will need to clean your floors extremely well before painting. Here are the products you may need for that:
- Krud Kutter (a grease-cutting cleaner)
- Stiff-bristled brush (or use an attachment for your drill)
- Razor (optional, just to make sure floors are completely clean)
- Vacuum or wet vac
How do you prep tile floors for painting?
1 – Clean! This is the most important thing you must do in order to be sure the paint adheres smoothly to your floors. Vacuum, then spray the floors with a grease cutter such as Krud Cutter and get every single little spot up. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time scrubbing to get the grout clean, try getting a brush drill attachment. This allows machinery to do the scrubbing for you! To make sure the floors are truly clean, you can ever run an razor across the tiles to catch any stubborn bits. Wipe floors down with a towel and allow to dry.
2 – Prime! Apply the primer to the floor and allow to dry according to instructions for your product. Some people choose to skip this step when using chalk paint because it’s quite thick, but I chose to prime it just to be sure the floor would hold up to traffic.
3 – Clean AGAIN! I know this sounds excessive, but this is necessary if you want durable, beautifully painted floors!
Tip: You might want to tape off your baseboards and other things you’re painting near. I didn’t, but that meant I had to be SUPER careful and slow.
How to Paint Patterned Tiles
1 – Base Coat – Now that you’ve prepped your floors and have it SUPER clean and primed, you’re ready for your base coat. When painting your base coat, make sure to get the grout well covered, too. If you want to skip this step and have your primer be your base coat, you can do that!
2 – Clean – Yes, again. You want to make sure the painted pattern will stick, and it simply won’t stick to a dirty floor!
3 – Stencil – Center your stencil on a tile, then secure using painters tape. Some also recommend using a spray adhesive, but I didn’t try that. Carefully paint over your stencil. I used a small roller brush and definitely recommend practicing on a piece of scrap cardboard–You want to find the right level of pressure and right amount of paint!
You want to repeat this step on all tiles. Instead of working on the very next tile, skip one so that you aren’t sticking painters tape on wet paint. Continue until all are tiles are painted, being careful to line up your patterns.
4 – Seal – Seal your floors 1-3 times to make sure the pattern holds up. Extra layers does add a lot of wait time, but it adds a TON of protection!
Tips for Stenciling Tile Floors:
- Be patient! Every single step requires drying time. If you rush this, you’re likely to have redo one or several steps, costing you even more time.
- If your tiles are currently finished with a shiny gloss, it may be difficult to get the paint to adhere very well. You can rough up your tiles with sandpaper or pumice stone to help the paint stick.
- Don’t use too much paint when painting over your stencil. If your brush has too much, it’ll bleed through the stencil, meaning you’ll have to do some touchup work! It may help to roll the brush onto a paper towel or piece of cardboard before painting onto tile to reduce the paint.
- Use tiny paint brushes to fix any errors or to fill in any grout lines that need it.
- Make sure to wear clean socks so you’re not bringing dirt and dust onto your super clean tiles.