Painting your floor tiles can be a bit of a challenge the first time. In this guide, you’ll learn how to paint your floor tiles in 10 easy steps. Our step-by-step guide clarifies key details no matter which living space the change is in.
When is it worth painting floor tiles?
Nowadays, many people decide against floor tiles or want to get rid of them in their apartment. The reasons for this can be different.
The passage of time often plays a significant role so that the old tiles simply no longer correspond to fashion or personal preferences. It may also be that the floor tiles have worn out and no longer shine beautifully.
Regardless of disliking the old tiles, painting the floor tiles is often more worthwhile than a complete renovation.
Reasons for painting the floor tiles and against renovation:
- can be done independently without any problems
- lower costs
- less effort, dirt, and construction noise
- takes less time
- if you want to give the tiles a different look
- you want to provide free rein to your creativity
Reasons against painting:
- if the tiles are defective, they have to be replaced first
- modern design can partly not be realized
- long drying times
- tile varnishes and paints are relatively susceptible to damage by sharp objects
Painting floor tiles: step-by-step instructions.
Painting floor tiles isn’t strict – as long as you know what you’re doing. As is often the case, it all comes down to the right approach. With our step-by-step guide, we’ll give you an easy-to-follow guide you can follow to give your floor tiles a professional coat of paint.
Note: Be sure to factor in drying time before painting floor tiles – it takes about a week from the first brush stroke to complete drying!
Step 1: Brushing and sanding
The floor tiles should be thoroughly cleaned before painting. All grease and adhesive residues, as well as all dirt, must be removed. Otherwise, the paint will not adhere to the tiles.
If you have protective gloves handy, put them on first. Then take a bucket of water, the floor cleaner or a special tile cleaner, and a sponge. Now it’s scrub, scrub, scrub.
Once everything is clean, you can take your sandpaper or sanding fleece and roughen or mat the floor tiles. Then, give it another wipe with the sponge to remove any residue. Everything should be dry again before you move on to the next step.
Step 2: Identify damage
Before painting can begin, the tiles should be clean and free of damage. To examine them, you should first grab a pillow or knee pad and then search the floor extensively.
Mark corresponding places with a small object like a Lego block or a staple.
Caution: Do not use the adhesive tape; otherwise, you will go straight back to step 1 😉 .
Step 3: Touch up the joints
In this step, the joint white or, in the case of larger shods, the joint compound comes into play. Use the materials according to the instructions in the package insert and wipe away any material that overflows directly with the sponge.
Damaged silicone expansion joints should be removed using a cutter knife and a spatula. Do not redraw the expansion joints until after the painted floor tiles have been sealed.
Step 4: Fill cracks
You should use liquid plastic or flow filler for cracks in the old tiles. Very damaged old tiles can be replaced or repaired with a flexible tile adhesive.
Make sure to clean everything thoroughly after the work is done.
Step 5: Apply barrier primer (recommended)
The barrier or bonding primer will keep the color even, prevent the old tile color from showing through and make it easier to paint afterward. If you’ve done some repairs, you should use a primer. But even otherwise, the effort is always worth it.
Tip: The barrier primer provides a breathable moisture exchange and is super helpful, especially in the bathroom!
To apply the primer, follow the package insert directly. This must be followed by a waiting period of up to 24 hours, during which the floor dries completely.
Step 6: Paint with varnish.
One thing in advance: Stirred tile varnish can generally only be applied for six hours. Since something can come up from time to time and the waiting time must also be considered, you should not mix the complete coat directly. It is best to prepare the skins after the first coat before applying the paint.
Now grab your brush, paint roller, and the paint of your choice. Then begin the first coat of paint.
Note: The paint often does not look as expected after the first coat. This will change with subsequent coats.
Step 7: Decochips (optional)
Now is the time to use the deco chips. It would help if you did not take too much time to apply them, as the applied paint will be completely dry after about 30 minutes.
Tip: Dekochips can provide additional color accents on individual tiles and may even reduce the risk of slipping. In addition, they can be explicitly used to conceal rather dirty areas of the floor, such as the kitchen tiles, the entrance area, or the garage.
Before the next step, it is now necessary to wait as long as indicated on the package – usually a maximum of 12 hours.
Step 8: Further coats
Now, depending on the thickness of the color, further painting & drying phases follow. The darker the color of the tiles, the more coats are needed. The final drying phase should be around 48 hours.
Step 9: Draw silicone joints.
Once the last coat is dry, it is time to pull the silicone joints.
Step 10: Apply the sealant
Now apply the sealer to the floor flies. This is followed by another waiting and drying three days. During this time, the room should not be entered.
Is it possible to repaint tiles that have already been painted?
You can repaint already painted tiles if the basic requirements for painting the tiles are met. The old floor tiles should be clean, slightly roughened, and not damaged. All steps are described in detail in our step-by-step instructions.
What is there to consider for tenants?
Floor tiles may be painted in a rented property with a landlord’s consent. A written consent form is recommended.
Painting tiles or laying new ones?
If you want to save money, it is better to paint your tiles than lay new ones. However, if the floor tiles are deplorable and the appearance is no longer acceptable, new tiles should be laid.