DIY Tile Update in 5 Easy Steps

I’m a pretty impulsive person and when the wallpaper was finally installed something about the tile just didn’t sit right. The decorator in me could not stop thinking about how our off white tile was clashing with the crisp white of the fresh new wallpaper.

So, after reading many many articles I realized that all the supplies I needed to paint my tile I already had on hand. And once I realized this, believe me when I say there was no holding me back!

Now that it is finished let me just say I am so so much happier. It is so much brighter and appears overall cleaner. It was definitely the right call and I cannot wait to update you all in a few months to let you know how its holding up!

So, here we go! Update that tile you’ve been hating in 5 Easy Steps!

  • Materials to paint tile: (contains affiliate links, see policies page for more info)
    • Cleaner – I used my favorite Tub and Tile Cleaner from Grove Collaborative but you can use any cleaner you prefer.
      • you’ll need to scrub your floors like you’ve never scrubbed them before. Any remaining dirt will end up getting painted onto the floor and the paint will not stick as well. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP.
      • While you’re at it you might want to deep clean your toilet because you will be all up in that porcelain throne!
    • Primer – this is especially necessary if you are going from a weird or bold color, maybe like that 70s pink tile, to a lighter color or a white.
    • Trim Brush
    • Paint Roller
    • Exterior Paint – I opted to go this route because I already had white exterior paint on hand. Exterior paint was recommended because it is meant to withstand a good deal and it’s waterproof which is very important in a bathroom, especially with little boys who don’t have the best aim!
      • Other methods that I read said you could use Chalk paint or even special Tile Paint (which I imagine would give the best result because it is meant for tile).
    • Polyurethane – It is important that you use a water based poly and not an oil based because the water based will dry clear, whereas the oil based will leave a yellowed tint when dried…not the best to have yellow tinted anything in a bathroom if you know what I mean!

Step 1: Buff and Clean

Cleaner can be found here.

As I said before, this is the most important step. Do not get lazy in your cleaning! It is best to lightly buff the floors before starting to make sure all the tough dirt is lifted from the tile.

Step 2: Trim Out Tile with Primer

You’ll want to trim out the tile before using the roller, just to ensure you get all the nooks and crannies.

Step 3: Prime

After trimming out all the tiles, use the roller to complete the priming and smooth out the paint strokes left behind by the trim brush. Depending on how dark your previous tile is or how light you are planning to paint the tile, you may need a second coat.

Step 4: Paint Tile

Difference between the primer and coat of paint.

You’ll want to repeat the same steps as you did with the primer, except this time with your paint of choice. Be sure to trim out the tiles and then use the roller to complete the job and smooth out lines. I ended up going back over a few spots after the first layer dried just to touch it up and make sure it was all evenly covered.

Step 5: Seal with Polyurethane

This part is so so so so (is that enough so’s??) crucial. If it’s not the most important its a close second. Before putting the poly down my floor was a bit sticky. It pulled all kinds of dirt from the depths of my feet that I didn’t even know was there.

My footprints are so clear in this pic that it looks like a professional job by the local police department. Now, I’m unsure if all paint will be sticky on your floor or if it was just the paint I chose. I would imagine a chalk paint would be a lot less sticky.

Regardless, you’ll need to seal it and seal it well. I ended up doing two coats of poly just to be sure!

Final Look: Before and After

Thank you so much for following along! I hope you found this tutorial helpful and that it will help you make the jump and paint the tile! Stay tuned for the full Powder Room reveal coming soon!



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