Do you have an outdated tile floor but don’t have the budget to replace it? Try transforming it with DIY painted tiles. It’s easier than you might think.
Today I’m going to share with you my most recent project. I painted the tiles in my kitchen. Not all the tiles, just a few choice ones to add a little punch of contrast.
So, we laid this floor about 2 years ago. You can read the post about how I created my patchwork style tile floor for more about it. When we were buying tiles for the floor, we had gone to a building surplus store and found these 18-inch white tiles for super cheap. I mean, we bought a pallet load for $40. That’s cheap! We still have a stack of these tiles in the garage, and I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with them yet.
The only problem with the tiles is that they’re white and there isn’t a clear coat. Have I mentioned that I have kids? I knew that within days, these white tiles would look dingy if I didn’t do something. Since I didn’t really want them to remain white, I painted them gray to match the rest of the floor.
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Fast forward two years and the paint had started to peel in some places and fade in others. I contribute the peeling to my inexperience with Polycrylic. When I first used Polycrylic, I thought it was basically the same as Polyurethane, only water-based. I didn’t know that you needed to apply several coats of Polycrylic to reach the strength of one coat of Polyurethane. Since I had only put one coat on my tiles, it wasn’t surprising that the paint began peeling a year later.
If you’re wondering why I didn’t just use polyurethane on my floor, check out this post where I compare the difference between them. While I could have used water-based polyurethane, and it probably would have been a better choice, I like the ease of polycrylic.
I painted our kitchen table that I bought at a yard sale, and the chairs I paired with it, which I’d bought at a different yard sale, to have a matching set. After I finished and set up the table where it normally goes, the beauty of the nicely painted dinette set had those peeling tiles sticking out like a neon sign.
Since I had leftover paint and Polycrylic, I decided to create a stencil with my Cricut machine and paint a design on the tiles.
DIY Painted Tile | Transform the Look of Your Floor
What You’ll Need:
Tools You’ll Need:
Cutting Your Stencil
There are plenty of affordable stencils on the internet and at your local craft store, but I decided to make my own. Why? Because everything that I used for this project I already had, so sticking with my no-money theme, it seemed like the best choice. Plus, I have a perfectly good Cricut machine, which I LOVE!
Making the stencil was a matter of finding a pattern that I liked. Once I found it, I cut the pattern into a quarter of its original shape. I did this because I was cutting my stencil onto cardstock, which is the size of a standard sheet of paper. The stencil I needed was going to be sixteen inches, roughly twice as wide as the cardstock. By cutting my pattern into ¼, it allowed me to cut it four times and then tape the pieces together to make one large stencil.
Here is a quick video to show you how easy it is to cut out parts of a pattern in Cricut Design Space:
Painting The Tiles
Since I’d already painted the tiles once, I started by sanding them down. Once they were nice and smooth and any loose paint was removed, I used thick masking tape and taped off each tile. Then, I painted them white. It took a couple of coats because some of the tiles still had quite a bit of gray paint on them. I used leftover Antique White paint in a flat finish. This was the paint I’d used to make chalk paint for my table and chairs refinish.
Once I finished with the white paint, I let it dry for a day. Next, I took my stencil and taped it to the front of one tile, leaving an inch gap on all sides. That’s the way my stencil was created but yours might be made to go to the very edge of the tile.
What Method to Use
I tried several different methods for applying the black paint to the stencil. They included using a stiff-bristled stenciling brush, a sponge stenciling brush, and a small roller. The roller applied the paint the quickest and created the worst results. Almost every line was blotchy to the point that I had to repaint the tile white and start over. The sponge stenciling brush wasn’t as quick as the roller, and while the results were better, it still required a lot of touching up. It took me more time to fix the tile that I stenciled with the sponge brush than it took me to actually stencil it.
The method I eventually stuck with was the stiff-bristled stenciling brush. I wish I would have had one slightly larger because it took about 30-40 minutes to stencil each tile. Since I was only painting about a dozen tiles, it didn’t take that long to finish but it was tedious.
Once I finished painting them, I started applying the Polycrylic. In total, I applied three coats, allowing it to dry in between. I may go back with some water-based polyurethane in a few months and apply another coat just to ensure that the finish lasts. For now, the Polycrylic is holding up great. The tiles look great and they add a cute accent to my floor of many tiles.
Some Notes to Keep in Mind
Just a quick note about the tape. I used masking tape for taping around the tiles because it sticks better than painters tape. But, I used painters tape for taping down the stencil because I didn’t want it to ruin my fresh paint job. I’m also pretty sure that if my stencil had been smaller—a 6 or 8-inch stencil—I would have been able to just roller it without a problem. But because the stencil was so large, it was easy for the paint to seep between the stencil and tile leaving blotchy lines. I’m going to be painting my bathroom floor in a couple of weeks and I’ll be using a smaller-sized stencil so I’ll let you know how it turns out.
What do you think? Do you like the design on the tiles? I’d love to know your thoughts.