Last March, when we purchased our house, we inherited the “beautiful” white, boring, outdated tile that came with it. As I’m sure you can imagine, I was just thrilled to keep it for forever… not. I wanted it up and out—but there was one problem that is seemingly an overarching problem as a teacher: we just didn’t have the budget to replace it. Because money is not something that is used liberally in our household, I began to think of alternative options to put a dress on this dated mess.
After countless hours researching and Pinterest-ing, (yes, that’s a word) I came across the idea of painted tile. It truly is as simple as you would imagine.
What you need:
- Pick a paint color! Because my walls were a light shade of gray, I wanted a darker color on the floor to provide contrast. I ended up choosing Rust-Oleum’s black chalkboard paint. This was a cheap option, seeing that it was only $9.67 (click here to buy).
- You’ll also need a sealer. We had leftover sealer from exposing brick in our kitchen, so we decided to use it, and it has worked wonderfully! The sealer we used was Behr’s Concrete, Brick, and Tile, Low-Lustre Sealer. This was a bit more pricey; however, in a bathroom or in an area with high-traffic and moisture, you’ll want to be sure that the floors are well-sealed. For 1 gallon of the Behr sealer, it is around $27. You can click here to order, or you can buy at Home Depot, Lowe’s, or other home-improvement stores.
- Foam roller and paintbrush: I used a small foam roller to apply the paint and sealer, and a small paintbrush to paint the edges.
- Painter’s tape! The tile that I painted was in a bathroom, so I used painter’s tape to tape off the shower and baseboards. I hate extra steps (mainly because I’m so impatient), but if you just take the time to tape things off, it makes the painting so much easier.
Now you’re ready!
I was so nervous right before I applied the first coat of paint, because knowing me, I would have found a way to royally mess it up. Luckily, this method is pretty fool proof! I used a foam roller and a small paintbrush for the edges of the floor. The only downfall of painting is the wait time in-between coats. I applied three coats of the chalk paint, waiting around 2 hours in between each coat.
Once all coats of the paint color have been applied, you can start sealing. I also used a foam roller for this. ***DO NOT APPLY A THICK COAT OF SEALER*** Trust me, I learned from experience. I’m impulsive, and I want things done immediately. Unfortunately, for the sealer, you need to apply it in several thin coats. If you apply a thick layer of sealer, it will leave a film-y appearance once it dries; however, if the sealer is applied in thin layers, it will appear white at first, but it then dries clear. I applied three coats of sealer, waiting about 4 hours in between each coat.
Once the sealer dries, you’re finished, and you’ll have what feels like a completely new room!
**Tip** If you’re feeling confident in yourself, and you want to spice the floors up a bit, consider buying a stencil to apply a design on the tiles. These can be bought at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or Amazon. You could also alternate different colors on the tile for a classic “checkerboard” finish, and even tape off the grout lines and paint the tiles one color, and the grout another. I wanted a more simplistic look, so I decided against it; however, it can be done, and I’m sure the process would not be that difficult!
All- in, this project cost less than $35. I can handle that, as opposed to laying all new flooring and tearing up old tile and grout (which I’m sure that Braden would’ve been THRILLED to do). I hope that together, we can say goodbye to drab tiles, and find confidence in ourselves to liven up our homes without breaking the bank.