How can I paint this 1960's terracotta tile?

Kathy Wood
by Kathy Wood

This tile was set in cement mortar that will not come clean. I love the shape of the tile, but do not love the color. I would love some tips on how to paint and seal the tiles and mortar.

  10 answers
  • Gloria McCarthy Gloria McCarthy on Jul 23, 2018

    Stanley Cleaner cleans grout and tile very nicely.

  • VarAway VarAway on Jul 24, 2018

    Please, please, do NOT paint terracotta tiles!

  • Theresa Brown Theresa Brown on Jul 24, 2018

    They are fabulous the way they are! Don’t do anything

  • Kellie Ahnmark Kellie Ahnmark on Jul 24, 2018

    They need to be painted and stenciled!! Sorry they are outdated.

  • Lara Curtis Lara Curtis on Jul 24, 2018

    Terra cotta is an awesome tile and timeless. They are nvr outdated.

    Change other things in your kitchen and you will find it compliments everything. The more worn they are, the better they look.

    I wouldnt change a thing about them except clean the grout.

  • Lara Curtis Lara Curtis on Jul 24, 2018

    Ways to clean grout...

    1. use vinegar and toothbrush/scrubbrush

    2. Try bleach straight and brush

    3. Diuted muratic acid in a drip/squeeze bottle and brush

    4. Steamer

    5. Last ditch...


    ***ventilate room well and wear mask and gloves***

    mix 1/2 bleach, 1/2 greased lightning. Recommend using spray bottle with bleach and spray bottle of greased lightning. Have bucket of clear water. (This is to nuetralize/dilute mix)


    Spray same amount of each onto grout. Scrub thoroughly. Use water and sponge to pick up chemicals.

    Repeat if necessary until clean.

    Last step, let dry and paint grout sealer onto grout.

    **I have used the bleach spray and greased lightning mixe on numerous occassions for cleaning stubborn grout stains, mildew removal, dried grease removal from sides of appliances and cleaning white gym shoes. Greased lightning contains ammonia so a chemical reaction happens when bleach is added. It is not as bad as when straight amonnia is used. Works great and can be done safely without a prob. Prob safer than the muratic acid actually. Less chance of being burned.

    • See 3 previous
    • Dwp7470b Dwp7470b on Aug 18, 2018

      Good job! I was gonna recommend She uses a toothpaste with Baking Soda and Peroxide, with a lengthy similar plea to: never change it, you'll be sorry. Thanks.

  • Mmo33642442 Mmo33642442 on Aug 02, 2018

    Try baking soda and peroxide. Try it in one small obscure place and don't breathe it in

  • Cindy Hagemann Cindy Hagemann on Aug 18, 2018

    I painted mine, followed all of the instructions and it was just a few months before it started chipping away. I sealed it before and after too - now I will have to wait until we can pull it up and it looks worse than before I painted it.

    • Lara Curtis Lara Curtis on Aug 19, 2018

      Use paint stripper and light sand paper to get off paint. Then use that greased lightning/bleach mix i posted following instructions. Should clean up nicely, then you wont have to rip it up. Just seal grout/concrete.

      Nice thing about that tile is the more worn it gets, the prettier it gets. The down side everything dropped on it breaks.

      Hope this helps!

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Sep 02, 2022

    This is a wonderful tutorial showing you how to paint your tile floor: