If you follow me on Instagram, then you DEFINITELY know that this ”how to paint tile floors tutorial has been coming! I have been painting the kids bathroom floors for the past couple of weeks, and you guys, the outcome was better than I expected!
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As we work our way through our house, I knew I wanted to set out to do a quick, inexpensive update for another room that I would share with my amazing followers. One of the projects on my list was to update the flooring in our kids bathroom that I didn’t love. So today, I am going to share with you all how to paint tile floors so you can also update your flooring in your home that you might not love but don’t want to replace entirely.
How to Paint Tile Floors
For us, when we decided we wanted to update the kids bathroom, we knew that we didn’t want to put the amount of money into the room that new tile would take.
This is our kids bathroom that honestly is used for very little more than middle of the night pee breaks and brushing teeth. With that being said, it is right at the top of our stairs, and I see it a million times a day so I wanted it to fit the house a bit better.
I saw AngelaRoseHome do painted floors on Instagram (amongst other people) but was so inspired I knew I had to try.
I am going to walk you through the process I used for painting the floors in this post.
As a few disclaimers:
I set out to do this and have the bathroom done – start to finish – in 1 week. Because I am about 28 weeks pregnant it took me slightly longer to paint the floors, so it was more of a 2 week start to finish project in our house.
Common questions I have gotten since I started this post that will be helpful..
These are grouted tile floors, not laminate.
I did these floors 6 months ago and they are holding up great with so far no chips or issues. As stated above, they are not used heavily as far as showers/baths are concerned, but my kids do use the bathroom daily to brush their teeth and get ready for the day/night.
The video on the post is from the 6 month mark, and thus showing you how they are holding up!
Step 1: Buy Supplies
First things first, you want to make sure you have all your supplies. Below I have a list you can screen shot before you go to the hardware store, but I will also link to and list what I personally used here on this post, since lets face it – Amazon Prime makes everything easier.
For the stencil, I couldn’t find any I truly loved so I decided to make one. I used my Silhouette cameo to cut a stencil.
I will have a full section on how to do that in this post, but if you don’t own a Silhouette, you can also very easily grab stencils on ETSY. I will also talk about that option!
- Base Paint: For me I needed 1 quart of Grey Chalk Paint
- Stencil Color Paint: I used 1 quart of white chalk paint
- Sanding block or Electric Sander (personally used our electric sander)
- 1 quart water based poly sealer
- Small foam rollers
- Paint tray
- Small Paint Brushes
- Painters Tape
- Spray Degreaser
The stencil is probably the hardest part of this whole process. Finding a design you like, as well as a design that will work in your space can be tricky.
If you decide to make your own, one thing to remember is that the design needs to be connected all the way through. The first design I chose and cut basically ended up being two pieces and that wouldn’t work.
I will also add that after going through the entire process- the more simple you go, the easier it will be!
They also sell this material at Hobby lobby – it is about $3.99 (before coupon) for 3 sheets, so this is a great deal on amazon!
You can also order stencils on ETSY – measure your tiles and just search it on easy for your perfect stencil. Hopefully you can get 3 or 4 of them in a pack (that would be VERY helpful). I personally wouldn’t try to do this with only one stencil.
Prep the Floors:
This was my husbands job: clear the bathroom floors. You will then need to sand down the floors lightly with either your sanding blocks or your electric sander. Once you have done that you can clean them well with the degreaser.
Next give them a great final clean off with hot water. Let the floors fully dry before you do any painting! You really REALLY need clean floors with no dust for a good finish.
How to Paint Tile Floors:
First things first- paint the floors your base color. For me I did grey first, so my husband did 2 coats of the grey paint, referenced above, on the floors.
For the first coat, we used a paint brush on the grout as well as a foam roller over the whole thing. The brush allowed us to get into the grout lines a bit better.
For the second coat, we just used the foam roller. We then let coat two REALLY REALLY dry before we started in on stenciling!
SOME TIPS FOR THE WHOLE REST OF THE PROCESS: wearing clean socks any time you walk in the bathroom will help keep the floors clean while you’re doing this. Keep in mind this is paint. IF you walked on your walls they would get really dirty, so before they are sealed, this is very helpful. You should also wash your hands well before you head in to paint each time.
A little tip I did not fully think of when doing this because I was too pregnant and tired, but I think it would have helped save me A LOT of time and effort on touch ups would be to place your stencil down then roll a coat of your base color (so for me the grey) first. Once that dries then roll your first coat of the new color.
Now for the trickiest part of the process – stenciling! Start near the back of your bathroom and pick a full square. Tape it down on all sides and lightly roll it out in one direction with your new paint color!
Below are my BIG TIPS for stenciling:
- LIGHT COATS ARE YOUR FRIEND. Do not do heavy coats. If you do one super light coat first it will sort of tack down the stencil and allow you to do the heavier coats more easily too.
- Roll in one direction if possible.
- Don’t let the stencil get too dirty. I noticed that the cleaner and fresher the stencil was the better, so I washed mine each night. When the stencil is dirty, paint builds up on the under side.
- Pick a spot to line up the pattern for each. For mine it was the middle little thing on the edges. It will look more like tile if you line those up. It is sort of hard to use your grout lines as your spots to line up.
- Let the paint fully dry before you lift the stencil. Being in a hurry will do you no favors – you will just spend more time on touch ups later.
I completed all the full tiles first. If you can, tape down several stencils in a row and do them all at once, so that you don’t have to jump around too much. But be aware that you will have to do some jumping so that you’re not taping onto freshly painted tiles.
Because I had access to cutting my own stencils I trimmed mine once that was done. SO FOR INSTANCE: I cut one stencil to use against the wall.
I trimmed another to use on the whole row against the tub. I saved 2 full sized stencils for around the toilet that I was able to trim.
Take your time, and piece together what you have to. There will be a few pieces that are tricky, but they aren’t as overwhelming as they seem.
This is also a one reason I would recommend ordering more than 1 stencil. The time but mostly the sanity it saved towards the end was very worth it to me.
Once all your floors are stenciled you will be ready to touch up. AND BELIEVE ME WHEN I TELL YOU, THERE WILL BE LOTS. I started at the back of the bathroom and filled a cup with white paint and a cup with grey paint and just touched up little by little.
I found that having a foam brush and a tiny paint brush for each color was best because both options served different purposes. It took me roughly 2 to 3 hours to touch up the whole bathroom, so it was not a fun process. However, knowing my personality, it was time well spent.
I do think if I had taken the time to do the coat of grey over the stencil, the time spent doing touch ups would have been majorly cut down.
Sealing the Floors:
The last step is to seal your floors. Make sure your floors are FULLY, FULLY, FULLY dry. Then you will use a foam roller and roll on the sealer all over the floors.
Did I mention your floors should be really dry? The sealer needs to completely dry for 2+ hours between each coat of sealer, and a light sanding will make for a smoother final finish.
Basically between each coat of sealer, take a sanding block and LIGHTLY sand the floors and then give them a good wipe down, then repeat. We did this for a total of 4 coats of sealer to be safe and make sure it really wouldn’t chip!
Once your last coat is done, close the door and leave the bathroom alone for a couple of days. We didn’t go on the floors for a full 48 hours after the final coat to allow for them to really seal and have a good outcome.
Overall this was not a super difficult process, and I totally think anyone can follow this tutorial on how to paint tile floors! We personally owned a few of the supplies before starting, but over all my bathroom took me roughly 2 weeks from start to finish.
The floors cost me roughly $70 in supplies. I don’t think for a finished solution as pretty as this that I can complain a bit about that!
Other Posts You’ll Love
If you want to see another great way paint can transform your bathroom, be sure to check out this blog post on how we painted our bathroom cabinets a couple of years ago. They still look just this great over time.
Pin The Post Below For Later
Hopefully you feel confident and inspired to take on a tile painting project of your own. Be sure to pin the image below to find this later, and if you have any questions leave them in the comments below, or DM on Instagram (@arinsolange).