how to paint tile floors – a tutorial

Okay! How many of you out there have a room in your house with hideously unattractive floors? Sadly, I have a couple of them. Here’s number one on The World’s Fugliest Floors list.

A couple weeks ago, I finally decided I had had enough of the “life sucking” laundry room floors and I decided that I was going to do something about it. I considered my options.

Option 1- Actually try cleaning it…like really cleaning it, with a pressure washer and the works. Yuck! Seems like a lot of work and the floors would still be the same drab grey color…just a little cleaner {well, a lot cleaner}.

Option 2- Rip out the tile and replace it with something uber attractive {the David Beckham of all tiles is what I’m talking about}. I liked this option, but since I would most likely be going solo on this little project, I didn’t really think my delicate hands and back would much appreciate all of the manual labor. Plus, this option would most likely make a significant dent in the ole pocket book.

Option 3- Paint over the existing tile. No chipping, chiseling, pressure washing needed. Done! My decision was made.

I had never painted over tile before, so right off the bat, I did a little research. I knew that regular latex paint would not stand up to the high traffic. So my thoughts turned to epoxy based paint…you know the stuff you use to coat garage floors?

Before you can start this project, it is important to get the work surface as clean and grime-free as possible. Then it needs to dry thoroughly.

Once this is done, you need to prep the floors by applying an appropriate primer. There are several types of primers on the market, but the lovely paint guy at “the depot” said this one would do the job.

I applied one coat

and after about an hour it was dry enough for me to apply a second coat.

{This is a fairly quick drying primer. It says right on the back that it should be dry enough for light traffic in about an hour, but I would just make sure that the surface is in fact dry before walking around on it. Just sayin’.}

After the second coat of primer was dry, I applied my first coat of paint.

I applied two coats of this base paint.

I let the floors cure for several days before starting the next step…


Honestly, the hardest part about the taping was coming up with a design. I spent a lot of time pondering the right pattern: chevron stripe, basic stripe, argyle. I finally settled on a “v” pattern that I just sort of came up with.

I measured out the center of the floor and taped a large “X”.

From there I simply began taping “V’s” in each of the four sections of the “X”.

I removed every other “v” to reveal a space inbetween.

{It goes against all I believe to be wasteful, so I reused the pieces of tape I removed from the inbetween spaces in order to cut down on tape usage}

Here it is…several roles of tape later. But isn’t she gorge? And she’s not even done yet.

For the second color, I chose a greyish-blue color…I believe it was called FOG.

This is after the first coat.

And this is after the second coat.

There was a little bleeding.

{No worries though. It’s nothing a little paint and Q-tip couldn’t fix}

And VOILA! Here she is in all her striped glory.

And a little close up. See how well the Q-tip worked.

Here’s a before and after…just so you can remember the hideousness from whence she came. David Beckham hotness achieved…I think so.

I was able to complete this project for around $100. Not too shabby for a flippin’ awesome floor. Here’s the breakdown: Gripper Primer $23, 2 gallons of Behr brand epoxy paint @ $30 each, 2 roles of painters tape @ $7 each}.

DIY Contributor
I am obsessed with interior design, thrifting and diy anything. I love the name brand look without the name brand price and Iā€™m always on a quest for my next great knock off project. My style is an eclectic mix of... [Read more]

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