I painted the floor tiles in my studio over 2 years ago. But did they hold up? I'm showing you how they look today PLUS answering all the FAQs you have on this DIY in this blog post and video!
Can you paint floor tile?
Yes, you sure can! You can paint almost anything with the right preparation, the right paint, and the right finish.
How to paint floor tile
There are a few different methods for painting floor tiles, but here's mine:
- Sand the original tile to make it rough & ready to accept the paint
- Tape off any trim and baseboards near the floor
- Use a small brush to paint chalk style paint in the grout lines and edges of the floor
- Use a foam roller to apply chalk style paint to the rest of the flooring
- Once the paint is dry, you can add a pattern with a stencil and a contrasting colour of chalk style paint
- If using a stencil, use a very small amount of paint on a foam roller to apply
- Use a small craft brush to touch up any of the stenciled areas
- Once all the paint is dry, seal with Varathane polyurethane in a satin finish
- Use a foam roller and at least 2 coats of polyurethane to protect the paint beneath
How to seal painted floor tiles
I think it's very important to seal your painted tiles with a polyurethane coating. This is a hard, durable clear coat that will prevent your paint from chipping or wearing as much (if at all). I like to use Varathane products for this step.
How to clean painted floor tiles
Cleaning sealed & painted floor tile is easy. I use the exact same method as I clean other flooring in my home - a mop and all-purpose cleaner! If you have any stuck-on residue, I'd be careful scraping it with anything sharp or metallic. Using soft, plastic tools would prevent the flooring from getting scratched.
Watch my YouTube video to see how I clean my painted floor tiles, and how they look after 2+ years:
How durable are painted floor tiles? Do painted floor tiles last?
I've had my painted floor tile since May 2018 and it still looks great! I think that most painted tile should last many years if the surface is prepared properly, a good paint is used, and if it's sealed properly. You may want to consider re-sealing the floor every year or two if it's in a high-traffic area.
Our painted floor in 2018:
Our painted floor in 2020:
Here are some spots that have worn. One was where I scraped something heavy over the tile, and the others are from water damage from a ceiling leak:
Can you do this in a high traffic area?
My painted floor tile is in a low-traffic area, so that's definitely one of the reasons it still looks so good. I personally don't have painted floors in a more used area, but I know that my blogging friend Dale has painted her bathroom flooring and you can find her thoughts right here. Last I checked, she had her bathroom flooring painted for over a year and it's lasted.
Do I used my wood stove over the painted tile?
Many of you have asked if I use my wood stove that sits on my painted tile and if the tile is still to code. I DO NOT use this stove as it's in my work studio, so I didn't worry about how the paint would affect fire code. If you do plan to paint the tile around a stove or fireplace that you're using, you should consult a professional to ensure that your finish will be heat safe. If we ever sell our property (which we aren't planning on doing in the near future), I may either have to remove the old wood stove in my studio or replace the tile.
Overall, I would recommend painting tile floors AS LONG AS you take your time to carefully prep and seal them. I'd recommend testing this method on a smaller spot first like an entry, and then proceeding to do a larger area after you're happy with the look and durability.
Would YOU try this DIY? If you have any other questions about painting tile floors, please let me know in the comments!