Most anyone who has opened a web browser or home improvement magazine in the past 16 years has been introduced to the term "upcycling". This is the process of taking something old or inexpensive and doing a little DIY magic to make it new and in style again. People do this with furniture, toys, clothes, and even garbage! The creativity out there is absolutely inspiring.
So, what would happen if we applied the idea of upcycling to our floors? Taking old, out-of-date flooring and transforming it into something completely unique? Yeah, we thought you would like the sound of that.
Interestingly enough, a new trend of painting tile floors and even adding designs to them is on the rise! Avid DIYers are showing off their transformed tiles all over the internet, and we've got to admit that we're impressed. Is there nothing a little determination and chalk paint can't overcome? Well...probably, but modernizing old floors isn't on the list!
Here's how you can join the movement and bring your tile floor into this century:
Step 1: CLEAN YOUR FLOOR
You don't have to remind us; we already know we say this in every "How To" blog. You absolutely have to thoroughly clean your floors before you do anything else. It's what is best for your floor and the outcome of your project overall. Skipping this step will result in little unpainted specks on your floor and grit in your paintbrush. No, thank you!
Step 2: IF YOU DON'T WANT IT PAINTED, TAPE IT
Grab some painter's tape and outline the area of the room where the floor meets the wall. This is to ensure that your paint makes it into all of the places you want it to be, and none of the places you don't.
Step 3: TAKE CARE OF THE SMALL STUFF FIRST
With an angled brush, paint along the edges of the room and over the grout around each individual tile with the chalk paint of your choice. Tile paint works too. One coat will do, but if you have the time, you should try to paint two coats for the best outcome possible.
Step 4: COVER THE REST
Use a foam roller to paint over the entirety of your floor. Start from the back corner and work your way toward the end of the tile or where your floor meets the doorway. You wouldn't want to paint yourself into a corner, right? Let the first layer dry completely, then move on to layer two, then three. Repeat the process until there are no more streaks or exposed spots on your floor.
Step 5: PICK THE RIGHT STENCIL (optional)
If plain, solid-color floors are too mundane for your taste, then add some flair to your floor with a stencil! The important thing here is to make sure your stencil is the right size for your tile, so you'll either have to cut along the edges of the stencil to fit said tile or order a custom size.
Step 6: REVISIT YOUR TAPE
Use painter's tape to secure your stencil in place over your tile. Be careful to line it up with the corners of your tile to ensure a straight design and uniformity from one tile to the next. Then, grab a new foam roller and paint over the stencil carefully and quickly until you're satisfied with the results. With some caution, remove the stencil once you are done.
Step 7: REPEAT UNTIL COMPLETE
Repeat step 6 until you have painted each tile in your room and are happy with the outcome. Just be sure to wait until one tile is completely dry before starting to stencil the next one. You don't want to ruin the work you've just done!
If you come across any partial tiles, like the ones that run under cabinets or appliances, simply bend the stencil to fit as closely as possible and then go back and fill in the fine lines with a paintbrush.
Step 8: TOUCH UPS
Once you've allowed your floor to dry for a few hours (2 at the very least), go back and touch up any areas where paint has bled over the stencil or smudged in the process. You'll want to start with the main, base coat color and then finish with your accent.
Be detail oriented here! It may be tedious, but if you take the time to fix any problem areas, you'll be much happier with the results.
Step 9: SEAL THE DEAL
Once you've allowed all of the paint to dry overnight you're ready for some polyurethane. Using yet another foam roller, cover your entire floor with the polycrylic. Let it dry for an hour, then come back and do it again for three more coats. Give it 48 hours to dry (or whatever the recommended amount is on the can), remove the tape, and you're done! A good-as-new floor for the home buyer on a budget!
Final thoughts: Painting your floor tiles is an inspired idea for style-savvy homeowners, but know that it's not always the best idea if you need something that lasts. Sure, paint is fun and versatile, but even the best quality of paint will eventually run into issues with scuffing, chipping, and fading. This is especially true if you have heavy foot traffic or allow shoes to stay on in the home. The only way to truly guarantee longevity in your floor is to replace old flooring with new tile.
If you have questions or would like to inquire about changing up your floor be sure to contact us! We'd love to help!