When we bought our house many years ago, one big problem was the big front entry and hallway. They were tiled in a mauve-y purple thick ceramic tile. Mr. Mod had just put down hardwood floors in the large great room and we had them stained and finished by a professional (at that time we lacked DIY know how), and we were tapped out.
Contrary to the advice of every single paint store person I interrogated, I decided to go ahead and paint the tiles.
We've been here well over fifteen years and I've only touched up the paint once. I don't even have a rug running down this hallway and I've never had to touch up that stretch. BTW-that door on the right goes down to the studio so it gets lots of foot traffic.
Here's how to paint a tile floor:
- Clean all the tiles with TSP (water and a mop)
- Block off a path so you can get upstairs
- Open all the windows and set up fans
- Apply the oil-based primer with a long handled roller
- Let the paint dry dry
- Cover a portion of the newly primed floor in brown paper so you have path to the stairway
- Prime the rest of the tiles, let dry. The drying process went on for days in between coats
- Once dry, begin rolling the Porter Paints Glyptex Alkyd Paint (Behr Paint from Home Depot will do the trick too) over the tiles, repeating the whole path to the stairs process
- Let the first coat dry for a few days
- Apply second coat, let dry
- Since the paint was very light, I lightly applied an ever so subtle darker shade on top of the first color. Barely noticeable. This provided an ever so slight variegated surface so dust and dirt wouldn't be quite so obvious.
- Let dry for a few more days
- Finally, begin rolling urethane over the entire floor, not once, not twice but three times with ample drying time in between.
As I recall, the fumes were pretty bad (try these masks to help cut the smell) and we may have slept on the porch for a few nights but this was a quick fix that has lasted more than a decade.
Sometimes you win one.
This Curbly post was originally published in July 2009.