Painting Floor Tile
Not many people know that painting floor tile is a perfect way to live with the tile you have, even when it’s a color you don’t love.
When we moved into our house, this was what our entrance looked like. Isn’t that rose colored tile spectacular? Okay, I didn’t think so – you might disagree. But we weren’t ready to replace the floors yet, so I had to come up with a plan to make it work for now.
I was so happy to have a “real” entrance way, and I couldn’t wait to update it. Over the last year, it’s had a few different looks while I was trying to figure out which direction I wanted to go with the house.
One of the first things we did was to paint the inside of the front doors black. I loved that it gave a little bit of drama to the entrance way. Soon after, we literally tested six different gray colors for the walls, like this one…
Funny how on the paint chip, it was the most grey-grey I could find. Once we put it on the walls, it looked lilac. We finally decided to paint the walls Sherwin Williams’ Mindful Grey and the trim in Sherwin Williams’ Snowbound. This gray was perfect!
It was the perfect shade for this house – grey, but a creamy grey, not a blue-grey. Notice the brown circular table and the short umbrella holder in the above pic? Well that changed too…
The grey/black/white Ikea rug was put there to cover the reddish colored detail tiles. I could paint the walls, doors and trim. I could replace the furniture. But I couldn’t get rid of those tiles without ripping out the entire floor, and we couldn’t afford to do that, because the entire house – minus the bedrooms – has this tile through out. So, we covered it up with the rug.
Only problem is that we have four dogs that go charging to the door when someone knocks, or they think someone might be there, or if there is a frog on the glass door. And then the rug is no longer flat and perfectly covering the ugly tiles, but now is a big pile in front of the door, the shelf is pulled away from the wall along with it and the knick knacks are hanging on for dear life.
We tried the rubber grip pads underneath, but they didn’t work. They became part of the pile, bunched up at the door. We tried velcro strips, but they lasted about two visitors before they too came right off the floor. So, we had to get rid of the rug. Or train the dogs to ignore the front door. And that wasn’t happening.
Oh, yeah, this lovely detail border was around the fireplace too. The only option left was to paint the tile.
Since we were painting floor tile that would get foot traffic, we had to make sure the paint would stick. So, I went to my Sherwin Williams store, and they recommended X-I-M Primer. They tinted the primer to a shade just below what the paint would be. I chose Gauntlet Grey, which was a few shade darker than the Mindful Grey on the walls. Other than to wash and dry the floors, there was no prep needed for the tiles – BONUS!!
I used my Purdy 1″ brush and when about painting each tile by hand. I love Purdy brushes. They are seriously the best brushes out there! (no, they didn’t pay me to tell you that – I just love them) But painting the floor, one with a bazillion separate tiles, was painful. I watched four episodes of Mad Men on Netflix while I painted the tiles around the fireplace, and another four while I did the ones at the entry area. And then repeated the process but this time with Enamel paint. But it was worth every aching muscle to see the results!
I love that it brought down the pinkish tones in the tiles, and brought out more of the grey.
And finally, a shot from the same position of the original… I am in love!
Well, since I don’t want you to have to scroll up and down, here’s a before and after for both the entry way and the fireplace.
I so love this update! That tile was one of those things I noticed every time I walked by it. It seemed to call out to me – “you still haven’t fixed me!” In our old house, where oranges and cream reigned supreme, this tile would have fit right in, but not here. I’m so pleased with how it turned out. Now, I just have to paint the gold on the fireplace glass, and we can call it a day!
So, have you painted floor tile before? If you did, did it hold up to foot traffic?
Thanks for stopping by!
Psst… want to know how this held up over the last year? Check out the follow up post here.