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How to Paint Grout

Freshen up a tiled surface with our simple steps explaining how to paint grout.

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If you have a glazed tile surface but you're tired of the grout -- or if your between-tile spaces have become discolored or are in disrepair -- you might want to consider learning how to paint grout. It's a less expensive and less invasive solution than redoing an entire tile surface, and it allows you to quickly freshen the look of a floor, backsplash, or accent area. Even for a novice DIYer, it's simple to learn how to paint grout. Here are nine steps to help you successfully revamp your grout color.

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1. Fix the tiles and grout where possible. There might be areas that have broken tiles or disintegrating grout. Clean up and replace what you can.

2. Buy the right supplies -- and don't take shortcuts. You'll need:

  • Grout paint. Your first impulse might be to go for white, but colored grout paint in a darker tone might be a good option. It will hide stains better and can provide welcome contrast.
  • A foam brush that's as wide as the grout. Foam works best because it won't leave behind any loose hairs.
  • Any other recommended supplies including cleaning items listed on the grout paint directions.

3. Clean the tile surface using a tile cleaner. This cleaner inhibits the growth of mold and mildew. Follow the directions closely, including allowing the time to let the spray rest on the surface. Protect yourself with plastic gloves and safety goggles. Thoroughly clean the area, then rinse to remove chemical residues. Finally, allow the surface to dry for the recommended amount of time.

4. Consider taping your tile. Whether you use painter's tape depends on how detail-oriented you are. If you will clean up paint as you go, you might be able to skip this step. If not, use painter's tape to cover the tile, allowing only the grout to show through.

5. Work in small sections at a time, with small amounts of paint. Use long strokes to apply the grout paint.

6. Paint one coat over the whole surface and clean as you go.

7. Let dry completely, according to manufacturer recommendations. Then complete a second coat, and a third if needed.

8. Follow the instructions on the grout paint regarding cleanup and tool cleanup.

9. Seal the grout. This will help maintain the surface color and protect from dirt and stains.

Note: Have unglazed tile? Grout paint is not recommended, as its porous surface will absorb the paint and may cause permanent stains.

 

Grout Cleaning Tips

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