DIY Painted Stencil Tile Floors

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I painted my tile floors!  Wait, what?  I can hear the wheels turning as you think about what I just said.  Do you know that some of the beautiful patterned floors you see floating around Pinterest and Instagram are actually painted with a stencil?  Well listen up, I’m going to tell you just how easy it is IF you have patience!  (Please excuse the quality of my photos in this post, most were late night via an iPhone).

Before painting the tile floor in my laundry room, the tile was a boring and drab brown.

Instead of paying thousands of dollars on labor and products, you can paint your floors for less than $100.  Here is how I did it AND how you can achieve that beautiful Joanna Gaines look in your home!

Preparing the primer in a paint tray to prime my laundry room tile floors.
Getting the Bulls Eye 1 2 3 Primer ready to go!

Pro-Tips for Stencil Painting Tile Floors

If you go to Instagram, you can watch my video highlights.  Truthfully, I almost gave up three times.  Once was because I only had one stencil.  So LISTEN to me here.  BUY more than one stencil.  If I could do it all over again, I would buy THREE or FOUR!  Seriously.  The second time I almost gave up was when I was touching up.  This process took hours.  Why hours?  Because I was working on this project after working full-time days and when the kids went to bed.  My knees and back were aching so badly for weeks.  The third time?  When I was partying hard at midnight, jamming out to who knows what, dancing around and touching up the paint.  Actually, I was quietly listening to Chris Stapleton radio on Amazon Prime Music through headphones and I knocked over my one glass of red wine.  The things we do for a little peace while the kids are sleeping.

My point to all of this is when going into this project, please know it is not going to be perfect.  It is going to be messy.  You are going to get super frustrated at times.  But when you finish it, you will be beyond pleased.

Supplies Needed to Stencil Paint Tile Floors

Thinking of stencil painting your tile floors? Here's all the supplies you need for this DIY project.

Step 1: Prep & Prime Your Floors

  • Tape off anything you would like to keep protected.  I used this frog tape, which is my favorite for painting projects.
  • I cleaned the snot out of my floors.  Then I wiped them down with a deglosser to make sure there was no sheen or products left on the floor.  Next, I sanded them lightly with 120 grit sand paper.  All of this was preparation for the Zinsser Bulls Eye 1 2 3 Primer.  You might be able to get away with cleaning the floor and using the primer only, but I was not taking any chances!
  • I primed the floors by painting the grout lines first, then used a roller to paint the spaces in between.  Some tutorials skip this step and it is up to you.  I recommend testing your chalk paint on your floor to see if primer is needed.
  • I used two coats of primer on our floors.
To prepare to stencil paint tile floors, start by priming the tile and tile grout with white priming paint.
Painting primer in grout lines then filling in the spaces
Before stencil painting tile floors, start by priming the grout lines and tiles with primer.
Primer continued
Before stencil painting my laundry room tile floor, I painted the tile with two complete coatings of primer.
Two coats of primer complete

Step 2: Paint the Base Coat on Your Tile Floor

  • I used the same method of painting the grout lines first then rolling small sections at a time.  This paint goes on so smoothly that I almost considered leaving it without a pattern for a while.
  • I applied two coats to be safe.
To paint the base coat of paint on my tile floors, I started by painting the grout lines, then the full tiles.
Rustoleum Chalk Paint in “Charcoal” first coat
The second coat of charcoal black paint is complete, now it's time to stencil paint these tile floors!
Second coat complete

Step 3: Time to Stencil Paint the Tile Floor

  • Now the fun really begins.  I started in the middle and worked my way out because I was only using one stencil.  Once you get to the edges, you have to bend or cut the stencil.
  • Attach your stencil exactly where it needs to go.  It should line up perfectly with your grout lines.
  • Use a thin coat of paint and roll it on lightly.  This is very important, you do not want the paint to bleed or you will end up with smudges, like me!
  • Lightly pull back and remove stencil.  Important note, make sure your stencil is clean on the backside before placing it on the next tile.  If you have to move it at all to straighten it, etc., you will end up with smudges.
  • Using a hair dryer between painting tiles helped with drying time.
  • Alternate tiles to allow the first tile time to dry.
  • Fill in the tiles with paint roller.
  • The corners and edges get difficult, have patience when bending and wait to cut your stencil until you are almost finished.  Just know that you can always touch up!
  • Speaking of touch up, you can now get down and use a tiny paint brush to fix all of those smudges.

Attaching the stencil to the painted tile floor with some painter's tape

I used a light coat of white paint to paint over the stencil. Light coats avoid bleeding and smudging. This is how the stencil painted tile looks after carefully removing the stencil and letting the paint dry.

I alternated stencils while painting my tile floor to allow the tiles to dry.
Alternating tiles to allow tiles to dry
Stencil painting the tile floor in my laundry room, and using a fan to help dry the paint faster.
The floor is starting to come together
Once the stencil floor is complete, it's time to touch up the stencils and grout lines on the floor.
Now time to touch up the grout lines, smudges, and under the washer and dryer
I'm so proud of all the work it took to get these awesome stencil painted tile floors done!
Touch up selfies and proof that I did this alone
I love the new look of my stencil painted tile floors in the laundry room - it really brightens up the space!
Last step, touch up under washer and then seal the paint

Step 4: Seal the Stencil Painted Tile Floors

  • USE POLYCRYLIC and not POLYURETHANE.  Polyurethane will yellow with time.
  • Using a paint brush, paint the sealant onto the floors in a light coat and do not over brush.  Make sure you cover every single spot of tile.
  • Let it dry completely between coats.
  • Lightly sand the floors using 120 grit sandpaper.  Be really careful here because any spots that you accidentally missed with the sealant are actually exposed chalk paint and your pattern can be smudged again.
  • Wipe clean with a damp rag.
  • Apply another coat and repeat the steps above.  I applied four coats.
  • Let cure for several days before heavy traffic.

The stencil painted tile floors in my laundry room are painted and sealed to last a long time.

What did I learn from stencil painting my tile floors?

My parents recently came to visit and my dad said, get this, “What the heck happened in here?”  I responded, “dad, I painted my floors to look like ceramic tiles.”  “Well why would you want to do that?” said dad.  “Because it costs thousands of dollars to replace the tile.”  “Hmmmm… well it’s no Rembrandt.”  Well, gee whiz, thanks dad.  Sidenote, he was just giving me a hard time and it looks fabulous, maybe more like a work of Pablo Picasso.

As a wrap, here are a few pointers:

  • Buy more than one stencil.  Buy two or three, for real.  Don’t skimp here!
  • Keep those floors clean between every step.  We may or may not have several dog hairs and lint affixed to our floors now.
  • Do not have any liquids in the vicinity of the floor until it is sealed.  Trust me.  I spilled a glass of red wine on one of those long touch up nights.  It made the worst smudges when I wiped it up.  Chalk paint will smudge like crazy when it gets wet!
  • Go to Home Depot or order your Rustoleum chalk paint from Amazon here.  Lowe’s only carries the Valspar brand and I’m only recommending Rustoleum for this project.

 

How to stencil paint tile floors: give any room an update with this budget-friendly tutorial for painting tile.

Now, I need a new washer and dryer, counter top, and hardware to really pull this room together.  HA!  Wishful thinking, but this $100 project will get us through until we can renovate the laundry room.

Happy painting friends!

DIY Stencil Painted Tile Floors

Stenciled Tiles During

If your tile floors need an upgrade but you don't want to foot the expensive bill for new tile, here's a DIY tutorial on how to stencil paint tile floors.

Instructions

Step 1: Prep & Prime Your Floors

  1. Tape off anything you would like to keep protected. I used this frog tape, which is my favorite for painting projects.
  2. Thoroughly clean your tile floors. I wiped them down with a deglosser to make sure there was no sheen or products left on the floor. Next, I sanded them lightly with 120 grit sand paper.
  3. I primed the floors by painting the grout lines first, then used a roller to paint the spaces in between.

Step 2: Paint the Base Coat on Your Tile Floor

  1. I used the same method of painting the grout lines first then rolling small sections at a time. This paint goes on so smoothly that I almost considered leaving it without a pattern for a while.
  2. I applied two coats to be safe.

Step 3: Time to Stencil Paint the Tile Floor

  1. I started in the middle and worked my way out because I was only using one stencil. Once you get to the edges, you have to bend or cut the stencil.
  2. Attach your stencil exactly where it needs to go. It should line up perfectly with your grout lines.
  3. Use a thin coat of paint and roll it on lightly. This is very important, you do not want the paint to bleed or you will end up with smudges, like me!
  4. Lightly pull back and remove stencil. Important note, make sure your stencil is clean on the backside before placing it on the next tile. If you have to move it at all to straighten it, etc., you will end up with smudges.
  5. Using a hair dryer between painting tiles helped with drying time.
  6. Alternate tiles to allow the first tile time to dry.
  7. Fill in the tiles with paint roller.
  8. The corners and edges get difficult, have patience when bending and wait to cut your stencil until you are almost finished. Just know that you can always touch up!
  9. Speaking of touch up, you can now get down and use a tiny paint brush to fix all of those smudges.

Step 4: Seal the Stencil Painted Tile Floors

  1. USE POLYCRYLIC and not POLYURETHANE. Polyurethane will yellow with time.
  2. Using a paint brush, paint the sealant onto the floors in a light coat and do not over brush. Make sure you cover every single spot of tile.
  3. Let it dry completely between coats.
  4. Lightly sand the floors using 120 grit sandpaper. Be really careful here because any spots that you accidentally missed with the sealant are actually exposed chalk paint and your pattern can be smudged again.
  5. Wipe clean with a damp rag.
  6. Apply another coat and repeat the steps above. I applied four coats.
  7. Let cure for several days before heavy traffic.

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