Birdseye Construction

How to Change Tile Color without Replacing

Posted on Posted in Remodeling

old tileAre the tiles of your house old and dull? It may be time to update the colors, but that doesn’t mean you have to actually replace the tiles themselves.

With the right tools, you can paint your tiles without painting over the grout, creating the look of a brand new tile job. There’s no reason to let a room look drab and dated when you can follow these steps to freshen up the color scheme.

Clean The Surface

cleaning tileThe first step before you begin painting is to thoroughly clean the tiles and grout. Be sure you remove any loose surface dirt or build-up. If possible, using a steam cleaner on the tile, and a cement cleaner on the grout, will ensure both surfaces are thoroughly sanitized. This provides bright, new-looking grout and a smooth surface for the paint job.

Once you’re done cleaning, make sure the area is completely dry before moving on. Remember that dried grout will appear lighter than portions which may still be wet.

Paint the Tile

painted blue tileChoosing a urethane-based paint is your best bet for ceramic tiles. You want to begin with the outer edges, using an angled brush to avoid any overlap into the grouted margins. Covering the grout with ⅛-inch acrylic tape can help safeguard against dripping and slip-ups. In the event of a mistake, don’t try to scrub or scrape the wet paint.

Once the tiles are dried, simply use a narrow brush to retouch the grout with specialized grout paint. When the edges are complete, you can use a paint roller or standard brush to fill in the centers, depending on the size of the tile. Be sure you allow adequate drying time before applying a second coat, in order to avoid streaks.

Paint the Grout

Grout paint is a unique paint that transforms and seals the grout color, preventing it from staining in the future. Painting the grout may not be necessary if washing it renewed its appearance, and you made no mistakes while painting the tile.

Perhaps it’s in good condition, but the shade no longer matches your new tile color. If you decide to paint the grout, you can either fill it in with a rolling paint applicator, or apply it yourself using a narrow brush.

Apply Sealant

The final step to renewing your surface is to seal both the tile and grout. Once both are thoroughly dried, roll on a urethane-based tile sealant. This provides a fresh finish while preserving your paint job. For a bright boost of shine, consider using a high-gloss sealer. It’s easy to apply and it locks in your new coat of color.

A Quick Review

  • Cleaning: You want to make sure your surface is clean before painting, so the paint seals to the tile as it dries. A clean surface also ensures that the paint will go on smoothly without bumps. If possible, steaming is best.
  • Tile Paint: Once dried from cleaning, you can paint your tile by starting with the edges, or using a larger brush after taping off the grout. Be sure it’s dry before adding a second coat.
  • Grout Paint: If your grout needs a touch-up to look new and match your tile, fill it in with grout paint. You can buy it in liquid form or in a pre-filled pen.
  • Sealant: To ensure the life of both your paint and grout, a good sealant should be applied once everything is dry. For extra shine, high-gloss sealant is best.

Updating your tiles can be an easy and satisfying paint job that’s far simpler than replacing them. A nice paint job is a faster and less expensive way to renew any tile surface with a burst of long-lasting color.

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