How to Paint Over Existing Tile Floors
It's been over a year since I finished the laundry room makeover, but I realized last week that while I've shared a video tutorial about how I painted over the existing tile floors in the laundry room, I never shared the full process over here on the blog. And while a video is wonderful to show you how quick and easy the process can be, I personally need a bit more in depth information when I'm actually ready to tackle the project. So bookmark this one for when the time comes!
When I started the laundry room I originally dreamed of pretty tile floors that looked like this or this, but this makeover was for the One Room Challenge and I was running low on time and budget (you can see the full budget breakdown for this project here) and I knew that painting over the existing floors would check both the time and cost saving boxes (this entire project ended up costing less than $50). I was actually able to knock out this project in about three days. So let's get into what I did to get these ugly brown floors from this...
- floor paint (I used regular white, but you can choose any color you want)
- paint roller with attachment (the attachment makes for way less bending overw)
- paint tray liner (optional, but worth every penny of time saved for not having to clean out my paint tray)
Let's get into it!
The first step is to prep your floors. Don't skip this! If you don't prep your floors properly your paint won't have good adhesion and will end up chipping and scratching within the first few months. To prep your floors the first thing you want to do is sand the floors down with 120 grit sandpaper.
Take your time and make sure you get each and every tile. After this I swept and mopped the entire surface to get rid of all of the dust.
Next it's time for the deglosser.
Technically, you can skip sanding and go straight to deglossing (deglossing is basically liquid sandpaper), but I think for a highly used surface like a floor you're going to want the absolute best adhesion possible. I poured the deglosser onto the floor and then wiped it on with a sponge.
Once everything is dry it's time to paint- I used regular white floor paint, but you can choose any color you want your floors to be. I used a short handled angle brush to cut in around the edges of the floors and then a roller to paint inside the middle. Make sure you work your way from the farthest side to where you want to end up so you don't get trapped and have to walk over your freshly painted floors!
Now rinse and repeat for as many coats as you need. I personally needed four coats to take my brown tile floors to a clean and bright white.
I let each coat of paint dry for at least 2-3 hours in between coats.
After this it's time to add any details or stenciling if you so choose. I wanted to make my floors look like they were still tile (just a prettier color) so I mixed up some beigey grey paint and painted it into the grout of my floors.
Once my grout was painted I was absolutely loving the look! At this point if you aren't loving the details you added you can always go back over your floors with your base color and start over if you need to. But for me it was time to seal everything!
This is by far the most important part and if you skip it your floors are going to look scuffed, scratched, and terrible in a matter of days. Before you seal make sure you give the floors a very good cleaning to get rid of any dust and debris. This is so important because even the tiniest hair or bit of dust left on the floor during this part will get locked into the sealant and be a part of your new floors forever. Take your time and get those floors CLEAN! I went over each tile twice with a damp magic eraser.
Then I sealed the floors with four coats of polycrylic. This Minwax Polycrylic is awesome because it dries crystal clear and doesn't yellow over time.
There would be nothing worse than spending all of this time painting your floors to have them yellow a few months later. To paint on the sealant I did the same process of cutting in around the edges and then rolling on in the middle. I let the Polycrylic cure for two hours in between each coat.
And that was it! I had these pretty new white floors in a matter of days.
I did get roasted on Tik Tok for not taking the time to move out our washer and dryer to paint underneath them and that's totally fair. Since I mentioned painting the floors was about saving time I did go the lazy route and just paint around them. For me, painting this floor is a temporary solution. Just like our painted kitchen countertops I know this is something that we will probably live with for 3-4 years max before replacing the floors and putting in the tile we want for the long haul. So I personally don't mind that the floors aren't painted underneath the washer and dryer, I don't even think about it!
But let me know what you think! Would you have moved your washer and dryer to paint underneath them? If you end up painting some existing tile floors in your home let me know and be sure to tag me on Instagram, Tik Tok, or Facebook- I would love to see them!
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