Yes You Can! How to Paint a Bathroom Tile Floor
Often I’m asked where I got my the bold floor tiles in my bathroom. Well, I didn’t get them anywhere, I painted them! And guess what: you can, too. All it took was a little risk, approximately five hours time and just shy of $25 smackaroos.
In this brand new DIY series—Yes You Can!—I’m going to guide you through how to flex your creative, carpentry muscles with your own two hands, while cleverly manifesting the beautiful home of your dreams on a budget. I know some DIY ideas sound crazy, buttt that’s just not the case.
All that’s left for you to do is muster the guts. That Rosie the Riveter gusto.
When I took on my very first One Room Challenge in 2017, I took a few risks: a) I painted the ceiling a dark color, and b) in lieu of dropping my entire bathroom remodel budget ($500) on replacing the tile with wood floors, I decided to give the tile a paint job.
Can you paint tile? YES. And boy does it last.
This tile floor do it yourself was the first of its kind in my book. And let me tell you, she’s looking just as pristine as she did in May ‘17. Scouts honor.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Covers approximately 30-square feet
- contempo trellis stencil
- linen white chalk paint, 1 quart
- mustard chalk paint, 8-ounce
- mini paint roller, 6-inch
- mini roller covers, 2
- paint tray
- painter’s tape
- angled paintbrushes, 3
- stencil brush or sponge
- exterior polyurethane or concrete paver sealer
SHOP THE POST
PLAN YOUR DESIGN
Scour the internet for the perfect stencil for your space. Determine the size and whether it fits within the parameters of the existing tile or not. For example, my bathroom tiles are 6”x 6” and my stencil is 21”x 21”.
I opted for a larger design for two reasons: a) to add a punch of color to break up all the green, and b) not overpower the bold pattern in the shower curtain by displaying a spunky, geometric contrast. I surveyed the space and picked a central spot to start stenciling.
PREPARE THE SPACE
Measure the tile footprint. Use a square footage calculator to determine your paint supply. Thoroughly clean the surface before applying paint. Apply your painter’s tape along the edges, if that’s your thing. 😉 #freehander #edgerforever
Using an angled paintbrush, start by filling in the base color—in this case, Linen White—along the grout lines. Once the grout lines are covered, edge out each tile starting from top to bottom. Paint two, maybe three, coats of chalk paint.
PAINT YOUR PATTERN
Pick the location to start your stencil, and tape’r down with painter’s tape. With the mini roller, paint one thoughtfully-applied coat of mustard chalk paint. Use a stencil brush (or sponge) to fill in any missed areas. The stencil comes with markings to assist you in aligning each tile.
When you get into tricky spots, use painter’s tape to define bleeds and newspaper to block larger areas. I kept a 1-inch border around every intersecting surface for a cohesive look.
SEAL THAT SHEET
With (if you’re like me) leftover exterior polyurethane, in a pearl finish, you’ll apply three luscious coats according to instruction. Ideally to cure overnight.
NOTE! Polyurethane naturally yellows and each applied coat presents a noticeably deeper shade of amber, which ages a bright white paint like Linen White. Guess what I learned a fortnight after completion? Concrete paver sealers cure clear. Cue the Ohhh. Ahhhh.
I came across this mind-blowingly amazing patio by Dabito. The freshly-painted, New Orleans outdoor oasis was sealed in a concrete paver sealer for optimal clearness. Don’t get me wrong, I dig the poly-patina in my bathroom—#happyaccident—but you know I’ll be trying this out next time.
REVEL IN DELIGHT
Just stand there, look out upon your colorful kingdom, and rejoice! A complete transformation for five hours time? Not too shabby. Let’s not even talk about how it only set me back $25. What. Is. Up.
Preparation is everything. To take an assured leap of faith on DIY home projects, you’ve got to get everything out of your idea noggin and onto (digital) paper. Just write it out.
Unsure of which pattern to pick? Print out 12 proportional copies of your favorite stencil designs and test each “swatch” in the space.
Concrete paver sealer produces a clear protective finish as opposed to the yellowy sheen of polyurethane. Still looks damn good either way.
Decide if your stencil design is the main component or a mellow, contrasting counterpart to the room. If it’s the main component, pick three words to define your dream space, sketch it out and the colors and patterns will fall right into place.
SHOP THE POST
YOU CAN PAINT ALL THE TILE!
Did you know I painted my kitchen backsplash? I’ve got the entire process from start to finish over at How to Paint a Tile Backsplash.
Have you painted tile?
Are you going to try?!
Let me know in the comments below.
Share this with someone you KNOW can do this!!!
I love it! Good job!
Thank you, Jessica!!
Still looking good after two months is not much of an endorsement.
Curious on the math you did here, Rosie 🤔 I painted these tiles in May of 2017 and published this swell post in January of 2019. Furthermore! I can continue to assure as of to-day that the floor looks prettttty spectacular. In conclusion, let’s call this an endorsement three years deep.
Getting lots of ideas your vibe of house plants and bold colors is very boho and I will be using the tile plan.Keep up the good work.
Thanks, Sofia! 🥰