I’m not going to lie the first time I heard someone talk about painting their tile I was freaked right out. Why would someone ever do that?! However in an act of sheer madness I decided one day to paint my stone fireplace which meant the ugly 80’s tile had to go. Since ripping up tile wasn’t in my plans I decided to give painting them a shot. I mean it’s impossible to ruin something you hate so why not try it out? I have now successfully painted a lot of time and it’s the #1 DIY question I get…like seriously daily someone is asking me how to do it.
Step 1: Prepping the floor
You’ll hear me say on any project I post here that prepping is key. It sucks and no one likes this part but it is pretty crucial. Most things I read said to clean the floor with TSP then wipe it back down with water. Well I forgot TSP when I went to Lowes and I wasn’t going back so I just used my trusty pal vinegar. What you are trying to do if clean any grease off the floors so the primer will stick. I scrubbed in the grout lines and then rinsed it all down with water. You want to dry it off but then give it 15-20 minutes to dry on it’s own too.
Step 2: Priming
In my opinion the best primer for this job is Zinzer Bullseye 1-2-3. I planned on just using the primer as my base coat so I had my pals at lowes tint it so it wasn’t a blinding white but then I ended up using a base coat anyway, so really I just wasted 20 minutes at the paint counter but oh well. I did 2 coats of primer with an hour dry time between each. Then I let it sit for another hour to make sure it was really dry. Tip: run a dehumidifier where you are working it really speeds up your dry time .
Step 3: Base Coat
I went ahead and used a chalk paint for my base. I read a lot of great things about using chalk paint for this project and I’m already a huge lover of the stuff. I went with Shiplap from the Magnolia Paint line and used 2 coats. The nice thing is that chalk paint dries fairly fast, which allowed me to get my stencil done that same day.
Step 4: Stencil
Now comes the fun but terrifying part…your stencil. I used this stencil and it’s gorgeous and was really easy to work with. You want something thats thick but easy to bend, especially if you have tricky spots and corners you need to get into like I did. I started on one side and worked my way across, it would of been smarter to start from a back corner but those corners were a little tricky so I wanted to start simple. I again used chalk paint so it dried quickly. There is however and art to this! I used a cabinet/trim roller like this one and also a stencil brush to dab. You don’t want it to bleed through your stencil. This is not some process you are gonna whip out in a half hour but it will totally be worth it.
Step 5: Poly
I let my paint cure overnight before I did any poly and I think that helped a lot. I also ran a dehumidifier next to the tile overnight. Then I came in with this water based poly and rolled thin coats on the tile and brushed it in the cracks. We used 6 coats of poly, which might of been overkill but my husband is constantly dropping wood on this floor when he is loading the stove so I wanted to make sure it was okay. I let this dry for about 2 days before I tried washing it or anything.
This is by far my most requested post and I get emails everyday about painting tile so I am also going to create a FAQ post this week to hopefully get all your questions answered! I hope you take the leap and paint your tile because it makes such a difference! If you do tag me in your social media pics and use our hashtag #simplystayhometile