How To Paint Old Tile Grout

Have you ever tried scrubbing a tile-covered bathroom floor or kitchen counter and emerge with nice looking tiles but still dingy-looking grout? Dirty, graying grout can make your whole wall or floor look grimy no matter how hard you clean it. You can use a grout saw to scrape off the graying parts but this can take so much time and effort. You can also soak the floors and walls with bleach or vinegar. This will whiten the grout but can also weaken and dry it out too. Eventually, you could end up with cracked or peeling grout. The best solution is to apply grout colorant or grout paint. This can instantly improve the appearance of your tiles and it lasts for a very long time. You can stick with white but you can also try coloring your grout with different shades to match the color scheme of your bathroom or kitchen. Here are the steps to making your tile grout look brand new again.

  • Check and repair the grout and surrounding tiles as needed. Inspect the grout and tiles to make sure that they are in good condition. Replace the grout if it is crumbling or if some parts are missing. If only a small part is cracked, just re-grout the area. Replace any broken or missing tiles.
  • Choose the colorant or paint. Purchase the grout paint from any hardware or home improvement center. The paint can usually be found at the tile section. Most people choose to repaint their white grout with white colorant. Consider using colored variants as well. It can greatly enhance the appearance of your tiles especially if you choose a color that complements the décor of your room. You will also need a brush that has the same thickness as your grout. Foam brush is better than regular brush because it doesn’t shed bristles that could stick in the colorant.
  • Remove all the dirt and grime from the old grout. Prepare the grout surface by cleaning it thoroughly. Clean the surface using a special cleaner. Purchase organic cleaners that are not very harsh to your floors as well as to your skin and eyes. Rinse the floor or wall with hot water and let it dry completely.
  • Put on the grout paint. Before beginning this process, make sure that you have read the usage instructions on the package of the grout paint. Transfer a little of the colorant into a small and shallow container like a tuna can or paint tray. Dip your foam brush into the paint and coat the grout evenly. Two coats of grout colorant should be sufficient. Allow the paint to dry in between coats. Let the paint dry completely. Throw away the unused grout paint in your small container and wash the brush with soapy water.
  • Remove any excess grout paint. Once the paint is completely dry, you should clean the tile and grout again. Spray the surface with water and scrub it with a soft brush or light-duty cleaning pad.

Prior to painting the grout, make sure that your tiles won’t be damaged by the paint. Unglazed tiles, like terrazzo, raw clay, or natural stone tiles, must be sealed first because these will absorb the paint. If unsure, test the paint on a small, unnoticeable area of your floor or wall first.


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