Easy Steps to Painting Your Tile Floor

Uncategorized Feb 27, 2020
Yup, you read that right! I painted my vinyl, tile floor even with 2 busy little girls, tromping in and out of the house and dragging the elements of a New Hampshire winter all over it. Amazingly, it’s Spring and the floor and their bog boots survived it all. It looks just like the day I painted it, when I decide to mop, that is.
I’ll be sharing all the juicy details in this post so you can take the leap and update your outdated ceramic, vinyl & linoleum floors with confidence.
Let’s start with the dreaded before pic, shall we? Here’s where I share the embarrassing photo of my tired, dingy and worn tiles and grout. These are vinyl tile but they were also groutable so that got a paint job too in the process. My surrounding floors are painted white and distressed wood, just in case you’re wondering.
Before Painted Tile

Before Painted Tile

The Game Plan
  • Plan out where you’ll paint first. Will you paint the entire surface at once or do it in digestible bites? I like to be sure I have all of my supplies before I get started so I don’t squirrel off in a million directions after I get in a groove.
  • Do this project in sections so you can get to the clear coating and protecting faster for each area. Chalk mineral paint is porous and hard to keep clean without a clear coat so doing it in sections that you can complete within a 48 hour period of time will help.
  • Avoid the immediate spot in front of the entry door so that you can let it set
I Created a stencil with my Cricut machine and tested it out to be sure the design would work for my space and that it would fit the tiles. I’ll share the steps for creating the stencil in step #5 below.
Step 2 The MOST IMPORTANT step in the entire project is CLEANING but it’s the step with the least amount of satisfaction. Funny how that works.
Clean, Clean, Clean, Rinse, Rinse. That’s my redundant but effective strategy with just about every paint project that I do. Your finish is only as good as the surface it is going on so be sure you’ve cleaned REALLY WELL. 
  1. Start with a good vacuuming.
  2. Clean and scrub at least twice with the white lightning cleaner, scrubby sponge and lint free cloth. This is a de-greaser and de-glosser so it will pull off any oils and residue that is sure to be sitting on the surface of your tile floors.
  3. When you’re certain that the floors are clean enough to eat off of, rinse twice with a spray bottle of water and wipe dry both times. Be sure to clean the grout well too.

TIP-It’s best to clean the entire floor, even parts that you won’t be painting because you don’t want dirt floating around and hopping onto your wet paint.

Floor Cleaning Supplies
  • Vacuum & Broom
  • Dixie Belle White Lightning Cleaner mixed with water in a spray bottle ** Be sure to label so it is not confused with water. It has NO SMELL & NO COLOR but is a Costic Cleaner
  • Spray bottle with plain water to rinse
  • Clean, lint free rags
  • Scrubby sponge
  • Inexpensive foam knee pads or a gardening pad if you’d like to save your knees from the bruising and discomfort that mine endured.
  • Minor repairs could be done with Dap paintable caulking I was lucky enough not to have to repair any tiles. Whatever you choose, be sure it is paintable. Silicone based products often resist water based paints.
Step 3 Preparing your slick surface/Tile with Dixie Belle’s Slick Stick so the paint will have something to hold on to.
  1. Start by taping off your area
  2. Use the foam roller to apply 2 light coats of slick stick over the entire surface
  3. Let dry well in between coats
  4. Wipe off sanding dust with tack cloth or clean, damp lint free cloth

If you find that you have areas that are rough or have brush strokes, you can lightly sand with 220 grit sanding block or finishing pad to smooth out the finish. Touch up lightly where needed

Tip-Slick Stick should sit on surface overnight before painting over
Supplies for Preparing the Surface 
  • 2 coats of Dixie Belle Slick Stick 32 oz. container for 90 square feet so that’s about 3 oz. per 12 “ square tile including the grout.
  • High density Foam Roller Kit
  • Dixie Belle Synthetic Large Flat Brush
  • Finishing pad or 220 grit sanding block
  • Painter’s Tape to tape off edges and cabinet framing
  • 1” craft brush
Dixie Belle Slick Stick

Dixie Belle Slick Stick

Step 4 Painting the Surface
  1. With a damp brush or roller start applying the paint in light coats. Light coats will allow for good coverage and fast dry time as well as a smoother overall finish.
  2. Let dry completely in between coats. If you try to over-brush the paint while it is trying to dry and it gets a little prickly, just add a mist of water to it or let it dry and sand lightly until smooth. Touch up with a light amount on your brush.
  3. Keep your brush or roller damp with the mister to keep the paint moving smoothly. Don’t be stingy with the paint but if it is pooling in areas, you know it’s too thick and you can mist it to even it out.
Supplies for Painting the Surface
  • 32 oz. of Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint in Fluff (approximately 3 oz. per square foot
  • Tip: Your amount may be more if you you use a super stark white like Dixie Belle Cotton or if you are covering a very dark tile with a light color or super light tile with a dark color
  • Synthetic Large Flat Brush
  • High Density Foam Roller Kit
  • Lint free cloth
  • Finishing pad or 220 grit sanding block
  • Craft brush for detailed or tight areas
  • Mister or spray bottle with water
Painted Floor Layers

Painted Floor Layers

Step 5 Stenciling The Surface
  1. Choose A Stencil Design I chose a design that was free with my Cricut Access subscription and set it at about 11.5 x 11.5. I wanted to have some space in between my 12” square tiles because I decided to paint the grout with the hurricane grey as well.
  2. Carefully place the stencil on each tile, taping the edges to keep them in place. I decided not to use spray adhesive because I was concerned that it would affect the durability of my final product. When the stencil is where you want it, it’s time to stencil. This is a bit more time consuming than the past two steps so now would be a great time to grab your knee pads or garden mat & get comfortable.
Stenciling the Floor

Stenciling the Floor

  1. Dab your DRY premium chip brush in the paint color of choice ( I used Dixie Belle Hurricane Grey) and tap off the excess if it is drippy. Less is often more when you are stenciling. It’s a happy medium. You want to make life easier by using more paint but you don’t want your brush so overloaded that it seeps under the stencil. It’s a good idea to lift the stencil up after you’ve stenciled a bit to see how your technique is working.
  2. Keep your brush moving straight up and down so it’s less likely to work itself under the stencil as well. Dab, Dab, Dab, your way to a beautiful stencil finish.  I prefer the less perfect, hand painted look so slightly uneven coverage with some variance was what I chose but you can create any finish you’d like.
  3. After your stencil gets cakes with paint, clean it off and let it dry on an old towel.
  4. Use one of your other stencils to continue and repeat as necessary
stenciling the floor

Stenciling the floor

When you’ve completed an entire section, go sit for a spell and grab a cup of coffee, glass of wine or a cold beer and admire your hard work and beautiful floors because you’ll need it to finish this job up.
Supplies for Stenciling
  • Purchase a stencil Online. I suggest purchasing 2-3 so you can have one to use while the others are being cleaned and dried.
  • or Make your own with your cutting machine with list below
  • Premium Chip Brush to stencil with
  • Variety pack of craft brushes for touch ups
  • Dixie Belle Hurricane Grey Chalk Mineral Paint in 32 oz. Didn’t use all of it & wanted extra for framing out the tiled area of the floor
  • High density roller if that’s what you like to stencil with
  • Painters tape to hold down the stencil
I used my Cricut cutting machine to cut out my stencil on these stencil sheets made of 6 mil mylar.
I made 3 identical stencils and weeded them with my weeding tools so they’d be ready to use. Even though the 6 mil Mylar is durable to use many times in a project like this, it’s a good idea to have multiples because the paint will build up on them and you’ll want to clean them off and let dry. This way, you’ll have back ups to use while the stencils you’ve cleaned are drying.
TIP-I put my dial on a custom setting and chose transparency and set the blade pressure at 330 and cut 2x on a medium tack mat. 
If youd love to learn all about creating stencils with a cricut and Cricut Design Space, check out my DIY Decor Makers Group by clicking here
touch ups

Touch ups

Step 6 Touch Ups
  1. Start touch ups once the stenciling is dry and complete
  2. Use various sized craft brushes to do your touch ups.
  3. Go light with the paint and do a couple coats so that the touch ups blend seamlessly with the rest of the finish.
  4. Use the micro sized craft brush to clean up the lines and edges and use the ¼ inch to do larger areas of touching up. Fill in any areas that the tape may have blocked.
Go sit down again and admire your work with an adult beverage or two. Get some shut eye and wake up ready to clear coat and protect your amazing work, which I found to be the easiest part! Yay!!! Unless you’re super motivated and you want to get to it within a couple of hours, you can go for it, in which case you’ll be rocking this project like a BOSS!
Let the paint dry for at least a couple of hours before clear coating
progress on painted tile floor

progress on the painted tile floor

Step 7 Protecting the Surface
Take in the view of your freshly painted floor and get ready to make this super cool project last a lifetime!
  1. Clean the surface with a tack cloth to be sure there is no hair, dust or dirt that has settled on the surface
  2. Gently shake up the Gator hide or Mix well
  3. Apply one light coat with the high density foam roller
  4. Be sure it isn’t pooling in any areas
  5. Lightly sand with finishing pad in between coats for a super smooth finish, like a baby’s bottom smooth. Who doesn’t love a silky smooth finish though?!
TIP-If you find hairs or dust in it after it dries, you can sand lightly with the finishing pad
Ideally this finish should be left to cure for 24-48 hours before walking on but…if I’m being completely honest, it may have been a little less than that for me, at least with super clean socks on. I was however fairly strategic when planning out where I’d paint and when. The fact that this floor was in my kitchen area meant no cooking or dishes one night, and I was COMPLETELY okay with that.
Protecting the Surface Supplies
Dixie Belle Gator Hide 3 coats 32 oz. container
High density roller
Plastic Squirt Bottle to squirt out Gator Hide easily
Finishing pad
Lint free or tack cloth clean before application and after scuffing the surface with the finishing pad
I use squirt bottles my favorite paint and clear coat products because of the ease of use.
Gator Hide Top Coat

Gator Hide Top Coat

I hope you enjoy the outcome of this project as much as I have. My house is the size of an acorn and it really has brightened up my space and created a fresh, modern farmhouse feel that looks expensive but was done on a super slim budget. With a little patience and some great products, you can achieve this look on any slick surface in your home with the same strategies I used. YAASS, my friend, think countertops and outdated formica backsplashes too! I’ll leave you with that inspiring and thrilling thought. Check out my Painted Countertop You Tube Tutorial for more details.
Easy Steps to Painting Your Tile Floor

Easy Steps to Painting Your Tile Floor

Thanks so much for reading this blog & supporting my big dreams. I hope I was able to help you create something beautiful for your home on a budget and I’m always here to help so I’d love for you to leave a comment or a question. Share your ideas and tips as well.
Go be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your creative soul on fire.

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.