Painting a tile floor is will not give you the durable surface that retiling your floor will guarantee. However, if your budget is small, or you just want to test a new tile floor color before committing, tile floors can be painted.
Unlike other surfaces, tile floors require in depth preparation before the paint can be applied. You should also plan on purchasing a specific type of paint and primer. Oil based paints that can be used for ceramics are the best option. Enamel based paints, often used to repaint bathtubs, can also be used to paint the tile.
Step 1: Clean the floor well with a household cleaner that will kill any mold and mildew. Now is also the time to make any repairs to crumbling grout and broken tiles.
Step 2: If your floor has high gloss tiles, sand them with a 220 grit sandpaper. This will break up the slick surface of the tile, ensuring the paint will stick to the surface of the floor. Sandpaper can also be used to clean off any surface stains from the grout.
Step 3: Wipe the surface of the tile floor with a damp cloth to remove any dust.
Step 4: Decide if you wish to preserve the grout lines between the tiles. If you do not wish to paint the grout, you must cover it with painter’s tape before beginning. Use a utility blade to trim the painter’s tape to the correct dimensions after it has adhered to the grout lines.
TIP: Painting over the grout lines will save you a fair amount of time and aggravation. However, you should decide based on the desired aesthetic. Just keep in mind that you will need extra time to complete this project if you decide to tape the grout lines.
Step 5: Apply painter’s tape to the baseboards and other areas you wish to avoid painting.
Step 6: Cut in around the surface of the tile floor using a shellac based primer and brush.
Step 7: Roll on a coat of shellac based primer using a short napped paint roller with a long handle.
Step 8: Apply a second coat of the primer after the first one has dried completely. Allow the second coat of paint to dry as well.
Step 9: Lightly sand away any drips or other imperfections on the primed floor with a fine grit sandpaper.
Step 10: Apply a coat of oil based or enamel paint. Be sure to cut in using a paintbrush around the surface of the tile floor before proceeding, but apply the remaining paint with a paint roller. Allow the paint to dry completely.
Step 11: Apply a second coat of the paint. Continue applying thin coats of paint until the surface has been covered to your satisfaction, allowing time for drying between each coat.
Step 12: Remove the painter’s tape from the surface of the floor and surrounding baseboards. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours before proceeding- due not walk on the paint during this time.
Step 13: Apply a coat of clear polyurethane over the paint. Allow the polyurethane to dry, then apply a second coat of polyurethane.