When we moved into our house in 2020, I was on a mission to put my own stamp on our new house. That meant a bunch of bandaid renos ensued, one of them being our powder room downstairs. I really didn’t like the tile, so I decided to give painted floor tile a try.
People always ask me how me how it’s holding up so I thought I would do a update on my painted tile floors. It’s been 3 years. I didn’t have the budget to rip out the ugly builder grade tile, and I still don’t. I’m getting ready to paint them again, so it’s a good time to do an update.
The easiest way to upgrade the boring gray tile was to paint the tile floor with some floor paint. People previously used chalk paint for this kind of project, but they have some pretty cool products out now that make it a lot easier to paint tile floors.
I used a porch and patio paint from the local hardware store that I could tint. Black and white is what I went with. I have tried other floor products, but this is how the porch and patio paint is performing after 3 years on painted tile floors.
Does Paint On Floor Tiles Last?
That was easy! Here’s how the floors look today.
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From where I stood to take this picture, it looks almost as good as the day I first painted the floors. That’s how they look best is from far away, especially if you do a stencil like I did.
When you look close up, you’ll see the painted tiles have held up almost perfectly except for in a few spots.
There are some spots I have previously touched up, and some spots I have left to touch up!
How Long Does It Last?
Like I mentioned previously, I painted these floor tiles a little over 3 years ago. In that time, I’ve had maybe 5 or so places over the years where the paint has chipped.
The times I’ve noticed this happening is when something heavy fell directly onto the floors, it usually chips. Also if something is dragged across the floor, it can make places in the floor that need touching up.
There is a shower in this powder room, but I think we have used it maybe once. If you have painted floor tile in a bathroom with lots of moisture, that can be a factor as well.
I recently painted the powder room walls, ceiling, baseboards and doors in Anew Gray by Sherwin Williams. When I painted the ceiling, some paint dripped on the floor. When I went to clean it after it had dried, it peeled the paint all the way down to the bare tile.
If you paint your tile floors, you have to be ok with the imperfection because it is a DIY project that is a great SHORT term solution. I would not rely on this to be a permanent long term solution, but a great place holder until there is more room in your budget.
Is Painting Ceramic Floor Tiles A Good Idea?
I think painting floor tile is an excellent idea. In fact, I loved it so much that I did it two more times on my front porch and in my master bathroom.
It is such a great way to update your bathroom on a budget, and yall know me! I am all about a easy and budget friendly way to update your home. Paint is one of the easiest ways.
There are a few things you want to do before painting your floor tiles that can really help with the adhesion and longevity of the application.
- Prep work is really key here-clean, sand, and prime the floors really well before painting
- Use the right kind of paint
- Do light layers
- Use a really good sealer
- Apply with a foam roller
What Is The Best Paint For Painting Ceramic Tile Floors?
The best kind of paint for painting ceramic tiles is to use paint that is made to go on floors. Enamel paints work well too as long as you have a high quality sealer.
For these floors, I used valspar porch and patio paint. I was able to get 2 quart sizes in white and black. Unfortunately, they do not sell this paint in anything smaller than a gallon now, but that is not a problem if you only have one base color.
You’ll need a primer, base coat (if you have a stencil, you may need a few secondary base coat colors), and a really good top coat.
I used about a thousand thin coats of polycrylic, so next time I will probably use a higher quality top coat.
Rustoleum has since come out with a floor system (after I had painted these floor tiles) that has two parts, base coat and top coat. I still recommend using a primer, but it doesn’t require one.
There are many color choices, and it is a reasonable price. This system is a solid choice and probably what I’ll use next time.
Can You Touch Up Painted Floor Tile?
Again, easy answer that requires more explanation. Here’s how I touched up the tile.
First, I gently remove any paint that is still loose and chipping from the painted floor tiles. Using a detail brush, I go through all of the steps from the first time I painted:
lightly sand, primer, white paint, black paint if needed and then a couple of coats of sealer.
If this all sounds like too much, my other tip is to put a rug over it. DONE!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about painted tile floors:
Is The Painted Tile In A High Traffic Area?
Yes! This is the only bathroom we have downstairs. It is used daily by myself, my two kids, and my husband and I. I think for the amount of traffic we have in this bathroom, the painted floors are holding up really well!
How Many Coats Of Paint?
In total, I think I did 5 coats of paint total including the primer and then another 4 or 5 coats of sealer. This was before Rustoleum came out with their two step floor paint system, so I was trying to give it the best chance.
I will say that the thicker the layers of paint, if you get a chip, more will peel up.
How Do You Clean The Painted Floor Tiles?
Another question I get asked a ton is how it is cleaning the painted floor tiles. Super EASY! I don’t use harsh chemicals when cleaning my house, which I think is wise on a painted floor.
I can easily vacuum and mop the floor with no scratches and it gets just as clean as any other floor.
My kids, however, are a potty training toddler and a boy with poor aim. We get our fair share of “misses” that land on the tile.
In these instances, I do use bleach and toilet paper to wipe the floor and sanitize the spot then I can flush the toilet paper. The painted floor tiles have held up to the bleach super well.
Where Would I Not Apply Floor Paint?
The rustoleum floor system and the porch and patio paint is designed to use on floors. I have used the porch and patio paint on my concrete porch. The application would not do well on walls, vertical tile, or counter tops.
I’m not going to lie though, I have used the black porch paint I got for the bathroom on the window frames in our downstairs. This paint has enamel in it and is polyurethane fortified so it is really durable.
Would I Do It Again?
Would I paint a tile floor again? YES! In fact, I already have. Twice. It is such an easy and inexpensive way to update a tile floor. Anyone can do it and it makes a HUGE impact in the room.
Can I Tile Over This Tile In The Future?
Replacing the tile is the long term goal for this bathroom floor. I have not done extensive research to know if I can do that in my current situation or if I will have to remove the painted floor tile.
I do know that it is possible to tile directly over an already tiled floor. The tile has to be in good condition, level and not warping. It also has to be sealed with a bonding primer before the new tile is laid so the mortar has something to grip to.
It is certainly something I will look into and if you have the budget, I say go for it! Tiling over existing tile is possible.
Top Tips When Painting Tiled Floors
Here are some of my tops tips when painting tiled floors:
- Invest in paint that is made for the floor such as the Valspar Porch and Patio Paint, Behr Patio Paint or Rustoleum Home Kit.
- Do proper prep. The floors need to be THOROUGHLY cleaned, sanded, and primed before painting even starts.
- Use light layers. The thicker the paint is, the easier it is to peel up in big chunks if you get chips. You also need super light layers if using a second base coat and a stencil to prevent bleeding.
- Get enough product. Take into account how big your floor and get buy paint accordingly. Having to buy more in the middle of a project is super annoying. Ask me how I know…
To recap, painted tile floors are such a great, budget friendly way to update a space. You can even use this tip in a basement or laundry room. I will probably be painting my laundry room floors next. They are the only ones left. Be careful! You may become addicted!
This project is a bit nostalgic for me because it is the first big DIY project I did by myself in our new home and was the gateway into starting my business and my blog. It’s fun to see things come full circle. K bye!