How to DIY: Stencil Paint a Ceramic Tile Floor the Cheap and Easy Way

9 Materials
2 Weeks

I know, who needs another lesson on how to stencil paint a ceramic tile floor? This one is different though. It’s cheaper, it’s easier. And you get great results. Check it out!

Our hall bathroom floor is a disaster. I have never seen such a poor tiling job in my life. Everything was wrong with it, on top of the color(s) just not working for me.

Rather than rip it out I opted to stencil paint it.

There are a few steps to this and a lot to be aware of so be sure to swing by my blog and read what I learned about painting a tile floor by clicking here.

The main lesson I can share with you is that you don't have to buy the fancy specialty paints. You can do this whole project inexpensively with regular paints.

Tip 1: Buy your stencil and have it sized exactly to the tiles you're painting. Then plan your color layout.

Pick up a bonding adhesion primer that's meant for ceramic tile.

After cleaning the floor and grout (skip the vinegar on the grout!), prime with 2-3 coats then base coat the floor in the background color of your choice using latex paint, 2-3 coats there too.

Trust me, painting is like a sandwich cookie; you need a good top and bottom and everything between is fluff.

So use latex paint, craft paint -- it's cheap and it works!

Now it's time to stencil! Yes, I realized here that I bought the wrong stencil for my offset tiles but I figured it'd still be ok. If you have OCD, best avoid the rest of the photos, heh. Noooo, it's fine.

Use cosmetic wedges to dab on the paint. They're soft, pliable, cut-able, easy to use especially for a beginner, and they help regulate the amount of paint used, cutting down on leaks.

Then just keeeeep going, this a long long long process that takes a lot of time and plenty of patience, especially if you have a shedding pet....oh the fur. The fur.

When you're done, seal up the floor with water-based polyurethane, at least five coats. I stopped at five as the dog fur was making me insane.

Be sure to swing by my blog, Flipping the Flip, for more details about this project and a slew more!

And there we have it folks, a painted stencil floor, cheap and easy!

Click the link below to read more about this project!

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Becky at Flipping the Flip

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 10 questions
  • Peggy M
    on Apr 17, 2019

    Could you use this on a tile backsplash in the kitchen? I have an awful brownish yellow tile that was put on in1978. I would love to cover it.

  • Toni Kephart
    on Jun 30, 2019

    Do you just stop at the bathroom door or do you put a door stop under the door

    • Becky at Flipping the Flip
      on Jun 30, 2019

      I would shut the door as I was going along as needed to reach the floor behind it. If that’s not what you’re looking for, let me know as I’m not entirely sure what you meant.

  • Corrinne Ellis
    on Nov 26, 2019

    So, quick question. The poly is not for tile, but for wood, correct? You know, I'm finishing up my kitchen tile backsplash today. Got three coats of latex on the tile and now want to add the poly, but I thought the poly you used was for tile, but the only Varathane poly I can find is for wood. The wood poly works well on the tile? It's ok? Your tile floor still looks good and clear, no yellowing? My cabinets are already an aging yellow wood. I've painted the backsplash SW Snowbound. If that turns yellow after painting the poly, I will just scream. ;-D

    • Corrinne Ellis
      on Nov 26, 2019

      Aha!! Thank you for clarifying the poly types! I think my mind was trying to tell me to use the poly acrylic I already have!! Ohhh, can you believe it? There would have been tremendous screaming! Crisis averted!! Yay!! I don’t know if I have the energy to do 5 coats but I’ll certainly get to at least 2. I mean, it is a back splash after all and I won’t be walking on it but understand the backsplash concerns. Appreciate your time & response!!

Join the conversation

4 of 34 comments
  • Diana Deiley
    on Sep 19, 2019

    Oh I am definitely going to do this! I moved in with my elderly mother who lives in a manufactured home with 80's tile bathroom floors.  Can't even describe the shower stall.  I think those are plastic tiles! But, you just gave me a reason & hope of a beautiful DIY project makeover. Thanks for sharing with all of us. Great job.

  • Maura Campbell
    on Oct 11, 2019

    What an improvement!!! You must smile every time you walk into this bathroom!

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