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 I’m always on a quest for my next great knock off project. My style is an eclectic mix of... [Read more]


  1. 1

    Hi, Erika

    The floors look great and I love the design too.


  2. 2

    Woah! Amazing!!!!

  3. 3

    I had no clue you could paint tile floors! thanks for sharing Erika!

  4. 5

    Did you paint under the washer/dryer or just leave it put?

    • 6

      I didn NOT paint under the washer and dryer. But, that’s only because it would have been nearly impossible to do both areas {the walking area and the washer dryer area} at the same time. So, I opted to do the area you most see first. I may {or may not} go back and paint under the appliances. You don’t really see it, so I’m not too worried about it.

  5. 7

    what an ingenious idea! this may just change my life when thinking about remodeling my home! thank you

    • 8

      Julie. I’m right there with ya. I think this is life changing news, especially for those of us trying to remodel and renovate on a tight budget.

  6. 9
    Lindsay Lee says:

    GENIUS idea!!! Adding this to my DIY list :) It just keeps growing!

  7. 10

    Do you think this idea would work on counter top tiles as well? I have a kitchen that is terribly dated with stark white tile and grout. That does not mix well with 8 children!!

    • 11

      Sorry, I just replied under someone elses comment. My bad. Lexi, I don’t see why this process wouldn’t work on counter tile. If it’s durable enough for cars to drive on it, I would hope it would be durable enough for eight kiddos. I say do it.

  8. 12

    Wowweeee! Looks soooo good!

    • 13

      Hi Lexi. You know, I have never personally painted counter tile, but I don’t see why this process couldn’t work as well on counters as it does on floors. The paint I used is supposed to stand up to automobiles, I would hope it could stand up to eight kiddos. My opinion…give her a go.

    • 14

      Sorry Laura. I just replied to someone else under your comment. Thanks for your feedback. It was definately time consuming, but so worth it. It looks a million times better now.

  9. 15
    Pinky Sade says:

    Gorgeous!! Love this tutorial. Thanks!

  10. 16

    David Beckham hotness INDEED! Love the floors now I need to find some to do. Thanks for the tutorial!

  11. 17
    Alissa Hagan says:

    It would seem that this method could be used on all tile, however i dont know that it would be appropriate for countertops Where eating And food Prep take place. That would be a question for thr professionals. I’ve seen at westland hardware a DIY kit to revamp countertops. Worth looking into, it was more than what she spent on this floor but a lot less than brand new countertops and it looked like something you could complete in a weekend.

  12. 18

    Hello Erika! What an awesome idea! It looks beautiful! I was wondering if you used a paint brush or roller for applying the paint?

    Thanks Breezy

  13. 19

    Hi Breezy. Ya, I just used a regular old paint roller for the bulk of the job. I did utilize a paint brush for tight corners etc.

    • 20

      Hey Erika, One more question for you. How did you prep the area before applying primer? Did you use a specific cleaning product?

      Thanks, Breezy

  14. 21

    I didn’t use anything special. Soap and water or whatever floor cleaner you use will be sufficient. The key is to remove all the dust and residue so that your primer has something to grip to.

  15. 22
    Melanie says:

    I love love love!!!!! I have been searching for this idea! My question is…did you poly over it? Thank you for sharing!!!!

    • 23

      So sorry. For some reason I never received your comment. To answer your question, no. This particular paint doesn’t require any kind of protective top coat.

  16. 24

    This is genius!! How has this held up? I’d love to do this in our bathroom….
    AND on an unused fireplace! And…

  17. 25

    Hi, I love how this turned out! We are thinking of doing something similar in our kitchen. Do you think this would stand up to heavy traffic? How does yours look now? Is it easier to clean? The previous owners of our house never sealed the kitchen tile and it is always disgusting. Thanks for any advice you can provide!

    • 26

      Hi Casey. Okay, so to answer your first question, yes. I think the epoxy would stand up to kitchen traffic. It’s held up surprisingly well in my laundry room. However, the one thing that I’ve noticed about the floor now that the fam has had a few months to put it to the test, is that there are some scuff marks on it that I haven’t been able to remove with mopping. That might be something you want to take into consideration when deciding if it is a good option for your kitchen. I wasn’t too worried about it because the floors are in my laundry/mud room and not many people, other than my family, use it or see it. The kitchen is another story because it is the heart of the home. You may find that your slightly scuffed up, painted tile bothers you just as much as your unsealed, dirty tile. I guess you will just need to weigh the pros and cons of each. I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me with any further questions.

  18. 27

    Thanks for your candor, Erika. I REALLY hate the dirty floor so I will probably try to paint it and see how that goes. Maybe I will try a slightly darker base color to hide potential scuff marks. My next challenge will be finding all low VOC paints I can use since my kids and I are all extremely chemical-sensitive. We usually have to plan any DIY projects on a day when the kids are at school and then leave for the weekend so it can air out. Life is crazy. :) Thanks again!

  19. 28

    Hey Erika,

    Your floors look great. One question. I was wondering about the grout. It looks like you painted directly over that too??? Just making sure. Thanks for posting this. Going to save so much money….

    • 29

      Hi Ericka, I wanted to do my kitchen. Do you think if I put high poly sealer over it, it would not get scuff marks?

  20. 30

    Paint bleeding under tape almost always happens because of capilary action of any small openings drawing the paint in. What you can do to still get a perfect finish is to do a first coat with the colour you want under the tape (white in your case), this will fill up all the small openings preventing subsequent coats from bleeding. The bleeding from the first coat won’t matter because it was using the background colour. Works every time :)

  21. 31

    Love it! Would this work on vinyl? Or is there anything you can do over vinyl?

    • 32

      Hi Johanna! You know, personally, I would be hesitant to paint over vinyl simply because I think this epoxy paint is meant to be applied over hard surfaces like concrete or tile. I suppose you could always try, but honestly, I don’t know how well the paint would stand up to traffic. If you do end up trying, I’d love to know how it turns out for future reference. Good Luck!

  22. 33
    Linda Karales says:

    Hi Ericka,
    While researching for possible methods to tackle ugly blue tiles in my small mudroom, I came across your tutorial. It seems like something I can handle.(famous last words!) May I ask how your tiles have held up? Would you still recommend the same products you used? My mudroom is not a high traffic area….no children or dogs running through!
    Many thanks,


    • 34

      Hi Linda. Surprisingly, the paint has help up very well. I haven’t noticed any chipping at all. The only complaint I would have is that I am beginning to notice a bit of a high traffic wear on the paint. What I mean by that is that down the center of my mud room, the paint is beginning to look a little more worn and maybe even a little dirtier than the paint down the side. It isn’t so noticeable, however, that it looks horrible. I would definately use these products again if the need arose.

  23. 35

    Hi Erika!
    I came accross this site in a google search and it was exactly what I was looking for! I am on a tight budget so can’t afford to replace the tile. I am planning on painted tile in my guest bathroom. So my question is, do you find the floor slippery at all after painting it? I of course will have rugs, but wanted to see how slippery it’d be especially in a bathroom?


    • 36

      Hello there! The painted tile isn’t any more slippery than the original tile, so I wouldn’t imagine it to be much of an issue.

  24. 37

    I provide free advice to help with any of your floor painting projects. just contact me.

  25. 38
    jennifer says:

    Really, really nice. Very impressive! I’m going to use this as inspiration to redo a horrible classroom floor.

  26. 39

    I love this! Almost a year later, how has it held up?

  27. 40

    Ericka, you might want to try the magic eraser pads to remove the scuff marks. I have found the Walmart brand works just as well as the more expensive brand name. Also, were there major fumes from the epoxy paint?
    Thank you.

  28. 41

    A work mate recommended me to this resource. Thank you
    for the resources.

  29. 42

    Hi Erika, the previous owners of our home have giant blue tile all in the shower walls and throughout the floor of bathroom. I loved your idea! Do you think it could stand up to constant moisture?

    Thank you,

    • 43

      Hi Mariel. Sorry I’m so late replying. If you haven’t painted your tiles already, I would probably ask someone at your local paint/home improvement store if this kind of paint is resistant to high moisture and humidity. Honestly, I wouldn’t know how well it would hold up in a shower. But, I’d be happy to know if you find anything out.

  30. 44
    veronica says:

    Hi Erika! I love what you did with your floor. How is it holding up? I have white tile throught my kitchen laundry room and back bathroom. I hate it! It always looks dirty no matter how many times a day clean it. I wanted to paint every other tile in my kitchen black. Do you think your process will work? Ooh and maybe I can do the bathroom too. Love ur ideas thanx!

    • 45

      Okay, first off, I love the idea of a checkerboard pattern. Secondly, my tile has held up surprisingly well. My only complaint truthfully, is that you can kinda notice a bit of dulling of the paint where the bulk of the floor traffic takes place. I think it may just be the nature of the paint. But, for me, it still looks better than the hideous, grey tile I had before. If it were me, I’d say go for it.

  31. 46

    Just found this via pinterest! so exciting! How has it held up, now being a year later? my hubby is very skeptical as to how long it would last, if it would last longer being sealed? hmmm……

    • 47

      The paint itself is very durable and has held up very well. The only thing I have noticed is that there is a slight high traffic pattern on the floor where everyone tends to walk. I mopped the floor with a steam mop and it seemed to erase a bit of it. But, even with this little issue, I still much prefer my painted tile to the original tile, for sure.

  32. 48

    Hello.. How has this held up? Would you recommend this for a whole-house fix? Thanks!

  33. 49

    I have been looking for ways to update our horrible bathroom on a budget and came across this – wonderful! Can I ask one question? Do you wear shoes in your house? We take our shoes off at the door and I am wondering if that would maybe have contributed to the slight wear that you’re having with the paint.

  34. 50

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  35. 51

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  36. 52

    Did you have to sand the tile so that the primer would adhere?

  37. 53


  38. 54

    Hello :) fantastic job, can only hope mine will look as good! was wondering if it’s not too much trouble whether you could post a photo a year down the track with the dulling you were mentioning – might help to decide if I go for it or not. The tiles I have are not great but are not awful either so would hate to paint them and wish I hadn’t!

  39. 55
    Diana De Paul says:

    Thank you! I picked you first when I Googled “how to paint tile”. Glad I did! Only allowable choice for my budget and is a totalDo It Myself. Starting with a small entry area. No designs..just want v a deeper richer look over the cream. My challenge is that it flows into an adjoining room and that is a much larger painting project. Entry doors are smack in the center of a line of tile. Darn! Maybe I will start with a bathroom. Same tile. Of course this will lead to an entire bathroom redo. Bring it on!

  40. 56

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It’s
    the little changes that will make the most significant changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  41. 57

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  42. 58

    love this!!

  43. 59

    Hello. Did u seal it? Or f
    Glaze it?

  44. 60

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  46. 62
    cecilia wehrle says:

    I love the way you painted the floor. Is it possible to touch up the scuff marks over the years?

  47. 63
    veronica says:

    Is it possible to do this with wall tiles? Like the ones in my kitchen? I bought a house but I hate the tiles in the kitchen and will be awesome if I could change the color instead of having to change all the tiles for new ones.

  48. 64

    Great post! Been reading a lot of tips for floor painting. Thanks for the info!

  49. 65

    Hi great job. I am thinking about doing this in my salon. Would hair color stain these floors you think??

  50. 66

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  55. 71

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  56. 72

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  57. 73

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  58. 74

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  60. 76

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  61. 77

    I love this, and am considering painting my tile bathroom floor – after 2 years, how has it held up? Thanks!

  62. 78


    I’ve been considering painting my own tile floor but wanted to ask you how the flour that you did has dealt with wear and tear? Has the paint chipped etc?

    Thanks. Ben

  63. 79

    Hi there

    Has the paint stood the test of time since putting up the tutorial a year ago?


  64. 80


    How is this floor holding up today? I am considering doing this but don’t want to have to touch up or redo it frequently.


    • 81

      Hi Erika & Melanie, I’m interested in knowing how they hold up, as well! I’m looking to do this in a rental property. Thanks, Kristina

  65. 82

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  66. 83

    Hi, I have a couple questions. Love your floor by the way. I would love to do this in my daughters bathroom. How has it stood up to water and is your floor a textured faux stone ceramic tile? It looks just like mine but a different color. Thanks for any info.

  67. 84

    How about non slip? My current ceramic tile floor is very slick. I’m looking to solve that problem. Also, does it clean easily? It sure looks great!

  68. 85

    How is the paint holding up on the tile floor now? We have been thinking about painting our floors, but someone at a paint store strongly advised us not to try it. Could you offer some advice? Thank you!

  69. 86

    Floors look amazing! How did they hold up? 5 kids and a dog, so durability is important!!!

  70. 87

    Thanks for this I am about to do my lounge floor… was going to do the floor plain and get a geometric rug. But was looking for a way / texture to hide imperfections, now I think i will pattern the floor and get a plain rug…. maybe. Also planning to leave big furniture as too be and heavy to move! Thank you

  71. 88

    I am curious how these floors have held up!?

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  75. 92

    we have done a few of these types of jobs for our customers. Great job of documenting the process, the results look really good!


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