The tile in my upstairs bathroom is very dated but I’m not in a position to replace it anytime soon. I’ve been working on a mini refresh in the bathroom and needed to do something to update the tile. When I came across grout paint I figured I’d give it a try and I’m so glad that I did. Grout paint has completely transformed the look of my dated tile and refreshed the bathroom floor. It was extremely easy and cost less than $15! I’m so impressed. I’ll be able to live with this tile for a few more years until I have the time to remove and replace all of the tile in the bathroom. If you’re wondering why I don’t have time to replace it now, well I’m focused on finishing an entire 1,000+ sf basement and that project is taking all of my free time for the foreseeable future.
What is Grout Paint?
Grout paint (also referred to as grout colorant) is a paint made of latex, fillers and different pigments. It is specifically formulated to tint grout and can completely transform grout color with ease. Grout paint is extremely easy to work with and will not stick to sealed tile so you can easily wipe it off of the tile after applying the product. It can be purchased in two forms including a bottle and a pen.
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Grout Paint Colors
The available colors will depend on which manufactured product you are using. That said, there are a wide range of colors on the market so I’m certain that you will find something that fits your needs. I used the GroutRenew product which is available in 40 different colors including white, black, different shades of browns, different shades of grays and even a blue color.
Why Paint Grout?
Whether you have old dingy grout lines that need refreshed or you just installed new grout and hate the color, you can totally transform the color of your grout with grout paint.
Painting grout is super easy
Painting grout is much easier than replacing it. Is it as permanent? No of course not but you’ll save a ton of time and money and ultimately get the look that you desire. With touch minor touch ups in high traffic areas over time no-one will ever know that your grout is painted. Removing old grout is a tedious process and often damages the surrounding tiles.
Painting grout is inexpensive
A bottle of grout paint costs less than $15 and can cover up to 80 sf. The single bottle that I purchased will cover my floor and shower tile leaving plenty for touch ups in the future.
Does Grout Paint Hold Up?
Most grout paints not only recolor your grout but they also seal it. The GroutRenew product that I used is stain and fade resistant. It is also mold and mildew resistant. The products are very durable and hold up well. That said, in high traffic areas, you’ll likely see some chipping or wear over the years. Be sure to keep some extra grout paint on hand so that you can touch up every few years as needed.
Grout Painting Supplies
To paint grout you’ll need just a few items as listed below:
Wash cloth or small rag
How to Paint Tile Grout
Step 1 -Seal unglazed tile if necessary
The great thing about grout paint is that it doesn’t stick to sealed tile. This makes it very easy to apply because you can wipe the excess off of the sealed tile with a wet rag and have a perfect finish. If your tile is not sealed I would highly recommend sealing it before painting the grout. It will make your life much easier and provide a better looking finished product. Here is a great tile sealer that you can purchase from Amazon.
Step 2 – Prep the grout for paint by cleaning it thoroughly
Before applying the grout paint be sure to thoroughly clean your tile and grout. Start by vacuuming the floor to remove any loose dirt and debris. Then you’ll want to scrub the tile and grout. I prefer to clean my tile with steam cleaners. I use this floor steam cleaner for the tile. It’s great for hard surfaces including tile and wood.
For the grout, I have a handheld steam cleaner that works wonders. It comes with an attachment that is specifically made to clean grout and gets grout cleaner than any product that I’ve ever used. That said, after I paint the grout I won’t be using the steam cleaner to clean it. I think that the steam and hard bristles on the attachment would be way too aggressive on the paint.
Once you’ve cleaned the tile and the grout, let it dry before applying any paint.
Step 3 – Paint grout lines
Once you’ve settled on the grout paint color be sure to read the manufacturer’s directions before you begin. As mentioned previously, I went with the GroutRenew product shown below.
For this product, they recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush to apply but I used a small paintbrush since I had that on hand. A little bit of the paint goes a long way. After shaking the bottle I poured a small amount of grout paint into a small disposable cup and got to painting.
It is very simple to apply the grout paint. If your tile is sealed you don’t have to be too precise with the application since it will wipe off the sealed tile with a wet cloth.
Simply apply the grout paint to the grout line using a small brush or soft-bristled tooth brush. Be sure to work in small areas at a time.
Then, wipe the excess paint off of the tile with a paper towel. You don’t have to get it all off of the tile at this point. After the grout paint dries you can remove the remaining paint on the tile with a wet rag.
This is what it looked like after I had wiped it off with the paper towel. As you can see, there is still paint on the tile. That said, it’s just a thin layer which makes it easier to wipe off. There were a few spots where I didn’t wipe it off with a paper towel and it was harder to remove the paint on the tile in those areas. Not impossible, but it took some elbow grease.
Here is a progress shot showing a portion of the bathroom floor with painted grout.
It’s amazing how much it brightens up the floor.
Step 4 – Wipe excess paint off of tile
After the grout paint has dried, you can remove the excess paint on the tile.
Below is a picture of the grout and tile before I wiped away the paint. It’s hard to tell, but there is a thin layer of paint on the edges of the tile making the grout lines look larger than they actually are.
Wet a washcloth or small rag with water and then wipe away the excess. I noticed that it was easier to remove the paint on the tile if I wet it first and let it sit for about 30 seconds. The water loosened the paint and made it much easier to wipe off. If you are using the GroutRenew product be sure not to get the grout wet within 72 hours of application. The colorant and sealer need 72 hours to cure.
And this is what the tile and grout looked like after all of the paint was wiped off of the tile.
Painted Grout Before and After
Before: Bathroom Floor Tile (View 1)
After: Bathroom Floor Tile (View 1)
Before: Bathroom Floor Tile (View 2)
After Bathroom Floor Tile (View 2)
A few more after photos:
How to Clean Painted Grout
Do: Use a mild cleaner and soft sponge on painted grout lines. A simple mix of mild detergent and water would work.
Don’t: Use solvent based strippers. They can remove the paint from the grout. Also, don’t use hard bristled brushes that could scratch the paint.
How to Remove Grout Paint
If you aren’t happy with the painted grout you can use a solvent based stripper to remove it.
I am extremely pleased with the finished product. It has brightened and updated my bathroom so much. Sometime in the next few weeks I’ll be painting the grout in the shower as well. It’s going to look so good!
More Bathroom Home Maintenance and DIY Projects
- Removing etch marks on marble
- Keep shower glass looking brand new
- Natural stone countertop maintenance
- Remove old caulk easily
- How to remove floor tile
- Remove hard water stains on marble
- How to replace a toilet seat
What do you think of the painted grout? Let me know in the comments.