How to paint old tile grout

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Dingy-looking grout makes an entire floor or wall look bad. You can remove the old grout, but it's one of the worst jobs in home improvement. Thank goodness for grout paint. Grout paint comes in white and a variety of colors and makes tile look significantly better. Also known as epoxy grout colorant, grout paint lasts up to fifteen years. Follow these steps to paint old tile grout.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tile cleaner
  • Plastic gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Grout paint or colorant
  • Paintbrush
  • Light-duty scouring pad

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  1. 1

    Inspect the tile. Make any necessary repairs, including removing crumbling grout or replacing broken tiles.

  2. 2

    Choose the grout paint. Look for colorant in your home improvement store next to the tiles. Many people choose white, but consider colored grout paint to improve the look of tile even more. Read the directions on the grout paint while still at the store to see what else you will need. Read again before you start the job.

  3. 3

    Buy a brush that will cover the width of the grout. If you can find the right-size foam brush, you may want to choose it instead of a regular brush. Foam brushes never leave loose hairs sticking in the paint. Purchase any cleaning supplies you might need as well.

  4. 4

    Clean the tile with a special tile cleaner. These harsh cleaners should be used with plastic gloves and eye protection. Rinse well to remove all chemical residues from the floor. Let it dry completely.

  5. 5

    Pour a small amount of grout paint into a clean and shallow container. Old plastic trays that once held food items work well.

  6. 6

    Dip the brush into the colorant and apply to the grout in long strokes. Plan to paint at least two coats.

  7. 7

    Clean up the brush with soap and water. Clean tiles as soon as the colorant instructions say it is okay to do so. Wet the floor, and then scrub tiles with a light-duty scouring pad safe for ceramic tile. Rinse the scouring pad with clean water often.

Tips and warnings

  • Consider whether you want to seal the grout once it's dry. Although not necessary, it helps the grout stay clean longer.
  • Plan to spend a lot of time on your knees when you repaint old grout. Use kneepads or some type of cushion. Your knees will thank you.
  • Slightly overlapping colorant onto tiles seals the colorant.
  • Painting old grout is not recommended for unglazed tile. Grout paint can permanently stain the tile.
  • Fast drying time can make cleanup more difficult. If you have a medium or large floor, you might have to stop painting grout to clean up areas already painted.

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