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Painting Tile and Grout

Did you know you could paint tile and grout? Yes, it’s true.

When we first moved to our 80s-era house, the living room and adjoining dining room were sporting a whole lot of dusty rose and orange oak…..

….including three rosy-tiled bay windows between the two rooms.

After painting the walls and trim, those rosy window sills were begging for a color change! So what’s a girl to do? Why of course, paint those suckers right up.
I’ll admit I was a bit apprehensive about how this was going to go.
A coat of Kilz oil-based primer and semi-gloss trim paint later,
and that tile blends right in. I am so glad I took the plunge and painted them!!!
What a difference it makes to our house!
Here is our dining room when we looked at the house (excuse the horrible quality of this photo):
And here it is this morning….still a work in progress but coming along.
Can you imagine if I had painted the whole room and left the window sills dusty rose???
The painted tile sills are still going strong! I have given them a fresh coat of paint from time to time but after 7 years they are still in great condition. Come see what this room likes like now!
A Craigslist dining table makeover story.
In the living room, the tile is mostly hidden behind the couch, but the coat of white paint reflects the light and brightens up the room.
The paint on the living room bay window sill is still in perfect condition, and makes the tile disappear into the background. I am so glad I took the plunge and painted it years ago!
 Neutral living room with coastal touches.

I’ve even been desperate enough to paint the floors in this outdated abode.

In our foyer we have this sweet 80’s tile on the floor.
Our plan is to replace this flooring with hardwood when we do our kitchen over, since that floor will be replaced with hardwood too. Mark & I despise this floor that never looks clean, has crumbling grout and looks SO dated.
Earlier this year I spilled paint all over the foyer (floor, door, plant stand, and my good jeans!!!)
My spazziness left the grout by the front door looking like this:
I left it like that for months on end (passive aggressive – my angst towards the tile caused me to ignore it completely) and I realized that the painted grout held up surprisingly well to traffic and muddy paw prints. One day when the house was quiet I grabbed water-based white primer from the garage and mixed in some brown to try to get close to that beautiful tile color :).

I painted it on the grout lines with a small artist’s brush, wiping the excess off the tile with a paper towel as I went.

The grout is still a bit too white, but I think it’s an improvement, don’t you? With the grout lightened, the eye isn’t as drawn to the floor when you walk into the room. I’m not going to kid you, it’s still hideous, and Mark & I are both dying to take a sledgehammer to this tile and remove it, but all in good time.
Months have gone by since I painted the floor grout and I am happy to report that it takes a good scrubbing and has held up well in a high-traffic area.
the painted grout lasted for about 2 years, in a high traffic area with 3 kids and a Saint Bernard, with many floor washings before needing to be redone! The next time I painted the grout I went with a color that was a little closer to the tile, which is unfortunately still with us, but the rest of the space has changed a lot!
The stairs were the most dramatic makeover – check them out here!
DIY installation of a seagrass runner completes a stair makeover in an 80s era colonial.
If you have tile you dislike but can’t afford to rip it out and start over, consider painting it. Need some more encouragement? Check out Andrea’s painted tile in her daughter’s bathroom!
For tons of doable DIYs, check out my PROJECT GALLERY!
Thank you for visiting Shine Your Light!

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Monday 8th of December 2014

Your floors looks great! In more than one apartment, and in the laundry room of the home we now own, I've covered countertops with con-tac paper. I used green marble in my laundry room and it looks great. Unless you know, you really can't tell.


Tuesday 24th of June 2014

You can paint your counter tops. I did it using acrylic paints from Hobby Lobby. All you need to do is paint the counter tops with a base color (any wall paint will do). Then using a sponge lightly dab your colors. I used multiple browns giving it a granite look. Once you are done (it's really hard to mess it up, if you don't like it just keep dabbing). To seal it put 4 or 5 coats of polycrylic on it. Mine held up for 4 years, (we moved houses).

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.

Monday 23rd of July 2012

What a fresh and pretty update! I had no idea you could paint tile and grout. This opens up a world of new options!

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Friday 20th of July 2012

Oh my goodness Lisa this is amazing!!! I always wondered if you could do that, so good to know! Love love love!XOKristin

Heidi @ Decor & More

Friday 20th of July 2012

Hi Lisa! Saw you over at At the Picket Fence and had to come visit! That painted tile is AMAZING! And I love your dining room window treatment-- great solution to tricky angles and corners!Kudos!xo Heidi