When it came to our bathroom, we wanted to add a lot of character without a massive budget. While eventually we may take a leap and replace the vanity, add new flooring, and update the shower it isn’t high on our current priority list. We have more pressing projects like finishing the basement, focusing on updating the exterior, creating more functional storage, and finishing the third bedroom to name just a few upcoming projects.
I think when it comes to flooring it can make or break your design concept. We wanted to rid ourselves of the dark and drab, when it came to the bathroom. But we didn’t want the massive project of a total renovation. When you’re working with a small space the best trick to making it look larger is by lightening it up and allowing natural light to be the star. So, we decided to take a leap and paint the floor.
I love the new fresh look of our bathroom tile. The best part? If you aren’t looking closely, it looks like real vintage hexagon tile. Here is the 4-1-1 on how you can paint your tile to completely change it as well. Let’s start with the supply list.
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-Medium Grit Sandpaper
-TSP or TSP Substitute
–High Density Foam Roller
-Small Detailed Paint Brush
-Two Colors of Chalk Paint (I love the Rustoleum brand)
-Polycrylic in Satin
-Stencil Pattern (Here’s my go to company)
The Simple Step by Step:
1. Sand Tile- You need to take off any protective coatings that would prevent paint from adhering to the surface. I’d recommend using a fine to medium grit sandpaper. You don’t have to intensely sand just make sure you scuff the area up well. Use a sanding block or a orbital sander depending on the size of the room.
2. Deep Clean with TSP- I used a TSP substitute. This is going to make sure any shellac or protective finishing is completely off the old tile. Be sure to follow label instructions and use any protective gear, necessary.
3. Prep the Room- Be sure to tape off any areas you don’t want paint on. For us, that meant the baseboards, cabinet, and the tub.
4. Paint Grout Lines- Grout isn’t the easiest things to paint. So, my best advice is to take the time to paint it first using a small brush.
5. Roll Base Color- Once the grout paint is dry, roll out the base layer of your design. (This will be the same color as your grout).
6. Lay Down Stencil- Ensure that wherever you lay your stencil, it is straight. Secure with painters tape to ensure it doesn’t shift while you are painting.
7. Paint Your Design- I recommend using a high density foam roller when doing this part of the project. Gently lift off the stencil after you’re satisfied with your design. And follow stencil instructions as far as where the stencil connects for the next design addition.
8. Touch Up, if Needed- The likelihood that you will have a few areas to touch up is pretty high, depending on how intricate your design is. Use a small artists brush for this step.
9. Seal and Protect- When it comes to chalk paint the product itself is great for one coat and done. HOWEVER, you must seal it (don’t even consider just using the chalk paint “wax.” That stuff won’t work on a floor). One drop of water will ruin your design otherwise. So, use a protective finish like Minimax Polycrylic to seal your design. Once you’ve done at least two coats, and its completely dry, you are ready to enjoy!
Honestly, painting a floor is much easier than it seems. However, it is not for the faint of heart. It’s a process and requires patience, strong knees, and a little room for grace. I wasn’t surprised at how much work I had to put into this project. There were a couple things I would have done differently, like go with my gut.
Candidly, I struggled with whether I should write the below info. But I think it’s important advice especially if you are DIYing and have never stenciled a floor before. Learn from my mistakes–even though they honestly didn’t ruin my project. And I am so happy with our floor!
When picking out my stencil I gave my wonderful husband three choices. I love hexagon tile so I didn’t think twice when he said that was the prettiest option. But let’s be honest. All those little, quarter sized hexagons were not the easiest thing to paint… especially at 1 am. I had a lot of touch ups to do before all was said and done. Granted, this would have been a lot easier if the old tile was even with each other and wasn’t installed at a 45 degree angle.
If I went with my gut I would have gone with a pattern that was a little less detailed, larger in size, and thus easier to paint. It was totally my fault for not listening to myself. I still love all the beautiful hexagons… even with the extra hard work. If our floor tile had been more traditionally installed and even, this stencil would have been perfect. I highly recommend Royal Stencils for any of your home stencil needs!
The second thing I would have done, differently? Listen to my gut, again. I originally planned to use my go to polycrylic sealer. However, I made the mistake of going with an oil based polyurethane based on some third party advice… (which made sense as the time). Needless to say, it did leave a slight yellow tint to the beautiful white I did as a boarder. It would have been fine if my boarder had been in the charcoal color. What can I say? You live and you learn. We have had several guests look at the bathroom and no one has mentioned noticing the yellowing. So, it’s just something I know and will live with until we do a larger renovation someday…
That’s my honest opinion and advice on painting a floor! I hope this honesty helps you when trying to choose a floor stencil or what specific sealer to use. I would have loved a very honest blog post when I was researching this topic. Well, here it is for you. For more inspiration follow me for daily tips and advice on Instagram!
Make today beautiful.