When the grout on your tiles floors or walls becomes dingy, dirty or stained it can ruin the entire look of the tile. Even if your tile is still beautiful and clean, dirty, old grout can make it look dated, drab and messy. While you can remove old tile grout and re-grout it is a tedious and time consuming job. Fortunately, as long as your grout is in decent shape and is not crumbling away, you can take the easier option and just paint the tile grout instead. Here are some tips to get you started.
Before considering painting your grout you need to look at your tile and make sure that it won’t be damaged by the grout paint. Unglazed tiles cannot have the grout painted because their surface is porous and will absorb the paint, ruining the tile. If your tiles are glazed you can typically paint the grout without any problems. Always do a small test area in an out of the way spot to make sure that you won’t ruin your floors or walls with the grout paint.
The first thing you will need to do is inspect your grout to make sure it is in good shape. If any areas of the grout are crumbling or missing you may need to replace the grout instead. If just a small area is crumbling consider just re-grouting that section and then painting all of your grout to match. If you do have spots that need fixing you will need to remove the crumbled grout and apply fresh grout according the manufacturer’s directions. Otherwise, as long as everything looks good with the condition of your grout you can paint it.
Head to your local home improvement or hardware store and find the tile section. They should sell paint specifically designed for painting grout next to the grouting supplies. White grout paint can often look a little bit harsh unless you are using it next to white tiles, so you may want to opt for a more neutral color of grout paint instead. Choose something that will compliment your tiles nicely and that will work with the decor of your room. While you are at the hardware store you should also pick up a small paint brush that is the same width as your grout lines.
Once you have your supplies you are ready to start painting the grout. Use a tile cleaner to thoroughly clean the tile and grout, wearing gloves and eye protection if recommended by the manufacturer. Once the grout is clean and dry, begin painting it using the small brush that you purchased and applying it using long, overlapping strokes. You will probably need to apply two coats of grout paint in order to get the coverage that you need, so allow time for the paint to dry before applying the next coat.
When you are painting grout it is inevitable that you will get a small amount of paint on the tiles as well. It is easier to clean this off before it has thoroughly dried, so rather than painting the whole floor or shower and then going back to clean up, try cleaning small sections as you finish them and just wipe any excess paint off of the tile. You will need to clean the tiles completely once you are done painting, so check your paint for instructions on how long to wait before cleaning. Once it is OK to clean the tiles, go over them with a soft brush and scrub away any excess paint.