Painted Tile Floor

3 Materials
8 Hours

I am always amazed at what a little paint can do to transform a space. When Cutting Edge Stencils offered to send me the stencil of my choice to try, I couldn’t wait to use one of their stencils for this painted tile floor! But I had such a hard time choosing the stencil pattern as there are SO many great options. I took a poll on my Instagram account and the metro hex stencil won! It’s such a beautiful pattern and looks really great and modern so it was perfect for this small space.

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Time, Supplies, Tips for Painted Tile Floor
Length of time for project: 2-4 days to account for paint drying time, touch ups, your sanity and it’s need for a break

Cost and supplies: Next to nothing! I had the acrylic white paint and grey chalk paint on hand and  Cutting Edge Stencils provided the stencil. So all I purchased for this project was some primer and foam rollers. Estimated cost if you purchase everything new: primer, Acrylic white paint, Chalk paint ( Rustoleum Country Gray),  polycrylic top coat,  Stencil,  Foam rollers,  Spray adhesive. Approximate total painted tile floor: $100

What I learned: The  metro hex stencil is GORGEOUS!!! But it is not intended for the perfectionist. There will be mistakes. It will not be perfect. You can do touch ups until the end of time and it would still likely not be perfect. But man is it beautiful. And totally worth it. So if you can live with a little imperfection, totally get this stencil! If you can’t- try a bigger pattern.

Floor/Tile Prep

Start by cleaning the floor really well. I vacuumed and mopped and then got on my hands and knees and into the corners to make sure there was no remaining dust and debris. Once this was complete, the space was prepped with painters tape all along the edges of the baseboards, tub, toilet, and sides of the vanity. Check out a few before shots:

The tile was then primed with two coats of a white primer to help the paint adhere better. I first took a paintbrush and went along the walls and baseboard edges. I also used the paintbrush to get into the grout lines. Then I used a  small foam roller to apply a thin coat of primer to the top. Again, two coats were applied in total. (You may notice that the vanity is a different color here than the before shots. I will post about that soon!)

After the primer was completely dried, I painted the tile with white acrylic paint (on hand from previous projects). I used the same technique as above and applied an additional two coats to get nice clean and even coverage.

Stenciled Tile
Now it is time for stenciling! I’ll admit, this step made me a bit nervous. I knew it would be tough to get crisp clean lines with the stencil in every single spot, so I was prepared for touchups. My plan was to 1) use  spray adhesive, 2) reapply  spray adhesive to the back of the stencil every couple of applications, and 3) clean the stencil in between to make sure there wasn’t a ton of buildup of paint and spray adhesive. Even with these measures I couldn’t keep the lines super crisp throughout…but it wasn’t too bad.

Then I picked a corner in the far part of the room as a starting point. I applied a  gray chalk paint that I had on hand using a  small foam roller. Just make sure you get rid of any excess paint to avoid any possibility of paint leaking underneath the stencil.

Chalk paint dries super fast and I was able to remove the stencil after about 30 seconds or so. That said, I actually applied two coats of the  chalk paint  prior to removing the stencil just to be sure I got the right amount of coverage. BTW- this grey is perfect. It reminds me of the color of concrete and that is exactly what I was going for!

Then just continue the process by moving the stencil over to the side or down below and matching up the pattern along the way. For the most part, this went pretty fast. It did get tough in the tighter spaces and along the wall edges. I ended up cutting my stencil in half to make it easier for me to get into some of those tighter spaces.

Touch Ups
Once the stenciling was done, it looked pretty great! Well, it looked great from far away. When I got down on my hands and knees to look around, there were a ton of little mistakes. I don’t consider myself to be a crazy perfectionist, but I knew if I didn’t fix the majority of these that it would eventually drive me crazy. So I spent the next couple of days, on and off, down on the floor making touchups. I tried using a grout line stencil (I had received with a different stencil set) but I felt like it didn’t really help with some of the edges that weren’t super crisp. So I ended up converting to freehand which actually went a little bit faster. I would recommend using a small flat brush for the grout touchups.

One thing I found that actually works pretty well was a paint pen. I grabbed a white paint pen from my local Joanne’s fabrics and felt like it gave me a little more control in some of those tighter spots. After I touched up the majority of the white paint I also went back and did some touch ups with the gray paint. Finally, I got to a point where I could live with the minor imperfections and then it was time to seal!


The polyurethane goes on using the same process as the paint/primer and goes really fast! I applied 3 coats of a satin  water-based polyurethane. It actually smoothed things out for me and added a light sheen that really pulled everything together. Once the polyurethane was on I was super happy with how great everything looked!

I had quite a few paint supplies on hand so the cost for me for this project was really just the cost of the primer and a few  foam rollers. Given the transformation, I think the time I had to put in was totally worth it! It really transformed the space just using paint and I’m super happy with how it turned out. I also painted the vanity and I will do an additional post on that process very soon. This stenciled painted tile floor project may just be my favorite inexpensive DIY update to date! Check out all the incredible stencils at  Cutting Edge Stencils! I promise you will not be disappointed!

Finished side by side picture. Isn't it an incredible transformation?!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Carole White
    Carole White
    on Apr 13, 2020

    Great job, looks perfect from this end! I wonder if using a roller instead of a stencil brush to "pounce" caused the bleed-thru? Enjoy your beautiful new floor!

    • Sarah
      on Apr 20, 2020

      Probably! The roller is definitely harder to control but the stencil brush would've taken a ton of time. Either option is good though!

  • Jan
    on Apr 13, 2020

    Love the gray color of your walls! What color and brand did you use??? Great job overall!

    • Sarah
      on Apr 20, 2020

      Thanks!! It is Sherwin Williams Alpaca. It is a great neutral light gray and the main color I use in my home.

  • Bunny
    on Apr 13, 2020

    Why did you not fill in all the grout lines to make it level to the tiles? I could see the tile outlines in the second to last photos here. You did a great job and it certainly looks better than the Before photo! I have been searching every project like this on the web b/c my tan tiles look just like yours and I hate that floor in our guest bathroom... the one “everyone sees!” Going to search a little more.🙂 Enjoy your beautiful floor!

    • Sarah
      on Apr 20, 2020

      In all honesty, I probably should've chosen a pattern that was the exact size of my tile and kept the existing grout lines. Filling the grout lines seems like a lot of additional work...but that might be a great option for someone that is really bothered by the faint lines being seen.

Join the conversation

3 of 22 comments
  • Dorothy
    on Apr 19, 2020

    Im in the process of gathering my materials and stencils ideas and will be putting into play within the next few days. Thank you for your idea! I just did a makeover of my bathroom painting the vanity etc so this will finish the look I was trying to get!!!

  • Gabrielle Falk
    Gabrielle Falk
    on Apr 20, 2020

    Tried the floor painting idea. It absolutely does not last for long. Been there done that. Better to find other options, in my opinion.

    • Sarah
      on Apr 20, 2020

      What products did you use and how long did it last? Mine is perfect after several months and I've read lots of blogs prior to starting my own project, many of whom say their floors held up really well for a year and beyond.

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