Grout Coloring Made Easy
by Bobby Walker
Description: How to change the color of the grout on your tile floor.
Before you attempt any grout coloring, you must acid wash the floor to prep it for the color to bond properly. Since you will be investing a few hours making your ceramic tile look beautiful, you don't want it to last a few months only to start chipping and fading. You can compare it to painting a car. First you sand, then primer and finally the paint. The same rules apply to the grout color, if you paint it without acid washing the floor, it simply will not last.
Here are some essential items you will need to perform the task at hand. Home Depot has a great selection of grout color, along with a color chart you can take home to get the desired color for your ceramic tile. Keep in mind that you will need more color if you are painting your grout a lighter color than it is now. If you are going darker than the grout, it will not take as much. The coverage area is clearly printed on the back of the grout color bottle.
Butter Bowl Lid
White Terry Cloths
Make sure your measure the floor before applying grout color, so you know how much colorant to buy. Always buy more than you need so you won't have to make a second trip. Estimate 20% over the sq. ft. coverage. If your grout is brown and you want to paint it white, you will probably have to apply two coats, so keep this in mind when purchasing the coloring.
After you acid wash the floor, you will need to wait 24 hours before applying the colorant. There can be absolutely no moisture on the grout lines, since the paint also contains a sealer that helps bond the color. Also, you may want to tape off all baseboards to avoid getting any paint on them. Important note: Wait 5 to 7 days after painting your grout lines to mop your floor. Do not use any harsh detergents, 4 oz. of vinegar for every gallon of water will work fine.
Shake your paint vigorously for 30 seconds to make sure the sealer and the paint mix well. Pour some of the contents on your butter bowl lid and dip your toothbrush lightly in the paint and begin painting the grout lines starting at the wall working your way backwards. You will have to paint both the vertical and horizontal lines together, so you don't walk back over any fresh paint. Make sure you apply the paint evenly, not using too much or too little. You will get a good feel for it after you have painted a few lines. Do not worry about being perfect, you will get some paint on the tile, this is normal. After you have painted 50 to 75 sq. ft. you will need to stop and clean the tile that has accumulated on the tile before it dries.
Make sure you have been painting at least 30 minutes, so the paint will not be removed from the grout lines when you wipe it with a wet towel. Wet a terry cloth and wring out some of the excess water, so it is not dripping. Wipe the edge of the ceramic tile just outside the grout line as shown in picture. If you notice the paint is not coming off very easy, you can place a scouring pad underneath the wet cloth and place your palm on top of the scouring pad, scrubbing in a circular motion until the excess paint is removed. Repeat this process on the next 50 to 75 sq. ft. of tile until the job is finished.
Bobby Walker is a 14 year cleaning industry veteran who owns and operates Carpet Cleaning of Dallas, a carpet, tile and upholstery restoration company. He is also a webmaster for 4 websites, including 2 do it yourself sites. His passion for helping people has been his motivating factor for his love of the service industry.
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