How To Recolor Tile

Renovating kitchens or bathrooms is an arduous process. Aside from the overhaul of the fixtures, you will have to change the tiles to create a new look for the room. Porcelain may look clean when it’s brand new, but after a long time, it may look old, worn out, dingy and just plain dirty. You may find it too expensive to have the entire thing removed and re-tiled, and it may be too time-consuming or expensive for your budget. A cheaper option is to do it yourself and recolor the tiles on your own. While this may not be as convenient, it will be a cheaper option for you. Here’s how you can recolor the tiles in your kitchen and bathroom.

  1. Start with cleaning up the tiles that you plan to recolor. Over time, tiles will accumulate a lot of dirt and grime, leading to their discoloration and wear. Remove the buildup by vigorously scrubbing your tiles with an ordinary cleaning material. You can use all-purpose cleaners to do this, just make sure you completely remove all the dirt that has stuck to your tiles. Leave the tiles to dry completely before you proceed to the next step.
  2. Clean up all the dirt from the grout. It will not be enough for you to just clean the tiles. You have to make sure that the tile grout is clean as well. Using the same cleaner, remove all the mold and mildew that has built up along the grout. If you are unable to do so on your first try, you can make a cleaning solution out of bleach and water. Scrub the grout thoroughly and remove as much of the stains as possible. In severe cases, it will be impossible to completely remove the stain. Do not worry. You just have to remove the actively growing portions of the mold and mildew to prevent any further damage to your grout.
  3. Mark the area you want to recolor and line them with drop cloths and tape. You should also protect your walls and other fixtures from paint splatter, so keep them covered as well. If there are any electric fans in the room, turn them off. Keep yourself protected at all times, so wear gloves and a mask. An N95 mask is preferable, because these keeps out even microscopic particles.
  4. Buy a commercial tile recoloring kit. These are easily available in hardware stores. Recoloring kits come with instructions, so these will be relatively easy to follow. The first step usually involves etching with chemical agents, so make sure you take your time and be careful when doing this step. The instructions in recoloring kits will vary, so make sure you read and understand the steps before pushing through. Etching will be permanent, and will provide the solid base for your new paint.
  5. Apply the coloring. The manner of applying new paint depends on the kit – it may be spray paint, or may require handling with a brush. When you do this step, make sure you use even and steady brush strokes. The paint should be spread in a homogenous layer, so avoid running paint or globbing. Grout may be colored separately so make sure that you seal it off with tape before you start applying the tile paint. Follow the kit instructions for the tiles and the grout. Wait for it to dry.

If you find yourself in doubt with any stage of the recoloring process, don’t hesitate to ask a neighbor or professional to assist you. Recoloring may not require a lot of experience, but you have to be careful and deliberate with each step.


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