How to Paint Grout
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Sometimes, mold and mildew in high-moisture areas like kitchens and bathrooms leave permanent stains. When you have glazed tile in such areas, the simplest and cheapest way to freshen up its appearance is to paint the grout. This technique does not work, however, with non-glazed tile because the porous surface is prone to absorbing paint and becoming discolored.
If you want to paint the grout in your home, follow the step-by-step instructions provided in this article.
Prepare the Surface for Painting
Step 1: Clean. Gently scrub the tiled surface with a cleaning brush and special ceramic tile cleaner. Your regular cleaner may not remove oils and sealant to properly prep the surface for paint. Wear gloves and protective eyewear when performing this part of the process.
Step 2: Rinse and air dry. Rinse thoroughly with hot water to remove all traces of cleaner and grime. Allow the tiled surface to air dry before proceeding to the next part.
Paint the Tile Grout
Step 1: Tape off the tile. Using painter’s tape, cover the edges of the tile. This way you can avoid getting paint on your tile. If you have particularly steady hands and a small area to work on, you can skip this step and just be very careful when applying paint.
Step 2: Apply a thin coat of grout paint to the grout. Pour a bit of grout paint or colorant onto a paint tray. Then apply the colorant in long, smooth strokes to the grout. This works best when using a brush the same width as the grout line.
Apply a second coat and allow the paint to dry three to four hours, or according to the instructions on the colorant package.
Clean and Seal the Surface
Step 1: Clean the tile again. Remove the painter’s tape and lightly scrub the tile — not the grout line — with a light-duty scrubbing pad and cool water. Use a circular motion. Next, rinse the surface with cool water and then air dry.
Step 2: Apply grout sealant. Paint a thin coat of clear grout sealant in a similar manner as the grout colorant. Use long, smooth strokes and a brush that’s the same width as the grout line.
Since the sealant is clear, it is not necessary to tape off the tile, but try to get as little sealant as possible outside the grout line. Allow the sealant to dry according to the instructions on the package and then admire your work.