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This is a Q&A to supplement the Tile Painting Tutorial. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love to ask questions and take polls to see what you are interested in learning about. I’ve compiled a full list of the questions that YOU had and will answer them to the best of my ability!
Thank goodness for paint! Paint is the single easiest and most economical way to change the entire feel of a room. We know we can paint a room, or paint furniture, but painting tile… can you? Should you?
If you follow me over on the gram, you know I’m slowly but surely updating my dated builder home one room at at time. The one area that I haven’t tackled yet is my flooring. The details of why will be saved for a separate post, but in short, replacing multi-surface flooring is messy, complicated and can be quite pricey. The tile that spans through the main walkways in my house is outdated to say the least. It has tones of red and rust that clash with just about every neutral I throw at it. I decided a few months ago that while I’m waiting for a full floor reno, I was going to paint them!
Because these areas are high traffic, I have been testing sections with different methods and products over the past couple of months. I feel like I came up with the most durable option for “most” ceramic and vinyl tiles out there.
For a quick breakdown: FULL TUTORIAL CAN BE FOUND HERE.
Step 1: Aggressively clean all areas with a mixture of TSP & Water. I used these drill brushes and it saved me time and effort. These guys are so good for household cleaning chores ranging from scrubbing carpet stains, to cleaning grout, to a full on grill scouring. They come in a variety of options that are good for just about any task you can throw at them.
Step 2: Prime with this primer and let cure for one week! 3 days would be my hard minimum for this, don’t rush this!
Step 3: Apply thin coats of desired chalk paint: I used this product in Lazy Days.
Step 4: Finish with 3 coats of polycrylic.
Let’s jump into the main questions that you had:
Q: What do you mean by “curing”?
A: Curing is the time it takes for a paint to fully harden. “Dry” time is usually listed on the container and should not be used as a measure for use. Curing time can range from 7 days for oil based paint to 30 days for latex paints. This means that in theory, we should be waiting 30 days to abuse anything we paint with latex paint… feasible, not really. That’s why I’m suggesting 7 days. This gives it a fighting chance more than the typical 24 hours that I’ve seen recommended.
Q: Do I need to let each coat of primer and paint “cure”?
A: The longer the cure time, the better your results will be. I would aim for at least 24 hours between coats. If you can wait for 2-3 days before applying your polycrylic, this would be ideal, but not practical. I’ve had better results with less time for the polycrylic. Aim for at least 4-6 hours between each thin coat.
Q: Can I walk on the tile during “cure” time?
A: Yes… kinda. I would suggest a socks only situation after the first 24 hours and use some type of non-scratchy runner that can shield it from heavy traffic. Keep in mind, you will need to have a clean surface before painting, so the dirtier you get it, the more you risk messing up the end result. But yes, you can walk on it as it will be dry.
Q: Can I use this for other areas?
A: Yes and no. I do know that people have painted their shower tiles with success but I can’t fully recommend this unless it is a short term option. It will probably provide an aesthetic relief you are looking or but it will not be a long-term durable solution for places that get lots of water exposure. Fireplaces – yes, absolutely. Backsplashes – yes! I painted my old backsplash and had no issues with it for almost 2 years before I finally replaced it.
Q: Will this work for a linoleum/vinyl floor?
A: Yes! Prep is key, but this should work the same way and provide similar results.
Q: What if I used polyurethane on accident, how do I fix it?
A: If you’re not worried about the yellowing of the paint, then technically, it should be fine. If it affecting the color, you will need to start over by applying a primer that is suitable to cover oil based products. The Zinsser I used is suitable for this, so you would apply the primer, then repeat the paint steps.
Q: How did you apply the paint?
A: I used a stiff brush to paint inside grout lines in sections. After I covered about a 3’ square sections, I went over the entire area with a roller brush. You will want to use a 4” roller brush for smaller areas. I have a 6’ wide walkway, so I used a standard 9” roller which made the process very fast! If your tile is very smooth, you might want to test a foam roller which will give you a smoother finish. This was not necessary with my tile which has a little texture.
Q: Will this hold up with pets and scratchy paws?
A: Mine has been holding up to the fingernail test with no issues. I took a screwdriver with light pressure to mine as a test and I can say that it held up really well. If you prep the right away and give it the proper time to cure, I feel confident saying it will work for you.
Q: Can you make the grout a different color
A: Yes! I actually tested this and it will work, but I decided the time it would take me for such a large area was not worth it for me. I used this product which I saw recommended in this post by Young House Love and it worked really well… but a smaller area would have been more manageable.
Q: How do you clean it?
A: I have cleaned/mopped my areas with no issues whatsoever. That being said, I don’t think I will use a vacuum with bristles on it… it would probably be fine, but I don’t think it’s necessary. I have been using a broom and a soft mop and feel confident that it will hold up great.
So there you have it! Please leave a comment if you have any other questions and I will be happy to answer! Happy Painting!
Wife, Mama, Renovator, DIY Educator, and Founder of Making Pretty Spaces. If you’re ready to create a home you love with your own two hands, I’m your girl.