| | | | | |

How we Changed our Bathroom Tile for $150 bucks

Before you rip out your ugly bathroom tile, you should read how to paint floor tiles! We changed our bathroom tile for $150 bucks and it is the best deal for a cheaper alternative to replacing tile! A huge thank you to Rust-Oleum for sponsoring this post and helping us create a bathroom we love!

Our dated bathroom needed a major overhaul and needed to be brought into the current century.

But the previous year, we had just gutted and replaced the tile in our master bathroom. So I wasn’t ready for another home improvement project that involved new tile.

80s style bathroom with white speckled tiled walls and hexagon tiled floor.

After getting a cost estimate, we decided to DIY that bathroom makeover with the exception of a few plumber charges.

Needless to say, my heart wasn’t in that big of a home project.

Plus, we didn’t have money in the budget to rip out the ugly tile and install new.

But we also didn’t want to live with this:

close up of dated white tile with brown flecks.

With older homes, you will find the tile on most walls which makes for additional work to remove and replace.

And since the ceramic tiles were in good condition, we opted for an option that would help out the total cost of this bathroom reno.

By painting this tile ourselves, we were able to save hundreds on the total budget and focus on the little things that can make this feel like a new bathroom.

Just look at our tile now!

Changed bathrooms tiles for $150 bucks with white painted tile walls with gray painted hexagon tile floor with black painted walls and cedar wood elements.

So what can you do to update your tile in a cost-effective way?

We recently revealed this bathroom makeover and the most asked question is about our tile renovation.

Our goal was to transform this bathroom for less than $1000 – including lighting fixtures, an updated bathroom vanity, new toilet, a new glass door for the shower, and a fresh coat of paint not to mention the tile!

Friends, we changed our bathroom tile for $150 bucks in just a few days and gave it a fresh new look.

Here’s how we did it!

Let’s start with the supplies you will need.

HOW WE CHANGED OUR
BATHROOM TILE FOR $150 BUCKS

(Some affiliate links are provided below. Full disclosure here.)

SUPPLIES

Step One: Surface Prep

Rust-Oleum Tub and Tile packaging

First things first, make any needed repairs to the tile. For this bathroom, the grout needed to be handled and I share all the details of that project in this post.

Prepping your area is so important when it comes to painting tile. Remove or tape off all metal drains, shower head, knobs, bathroom faucets (especially if it’s a new faucet like ours), etc. as well as any caulk. We also taped off any areas we didn’t want the paint to hit, like our walls.

Be sure there isn’t any mildew present and repair any cracks or peeling paint.

For the Tub and Tile Paint, you will need to prepare the tile with an abrasive pad or wet/dry medium grit sandpaper. Make sure to hit each tile. It can be daunting scrubbing the entire space, especially if you have as much tile as we do, but it’s so worth changing our bathroom tile for $150 bucks! Just make sure to remove all the sanding dust once you are done.

TIP: I opted for 2 directions to ensure I hit each spot.

Thoroughly rinse the area and clean with the Krud Kutter and a scrub brush. It’s hard working without being an abrasive cleaner. You want to make sure the surface is very clean before applying the paint.

For the floor, the wet sanding isn’t necessary, but the clean surface is a great idea. Especially if your floors were like ours.

scrubbing hexagon floor tile grout using Krud Kutter cleaner and scrub brush
Close up of cleaning floor grout

What a difference, right?

And the sad thing is, these floors are clean. The grout just wouldn’t come clean. This Krud Kutter cleaner is no joke!

I used paper towels to wipe up the cleaner.

Once you are sure your surfaces are thoroughly prepped, you are ready to paint.

Step Two: Painting the Wall Tile

red paint pail filled with white paint, paint brush and roller

Before you open the paint cans, make sure you are properly ventilated. We opened windows and had 2 fans blowing the air out the window. Especially if you have a small bathroom.

This is an epoxy paint and does have a strong odor.

I made sure to wear a breathing mask while I was applying this along with protective gear like my goggles and gloves.

There are two cans inside the package that you mix together. Take your time and make sure they are thoroughly blended.

Make sure to mask off any areas you don’t want painted using painter’s tape.

hand painting wall tile using a black handled brush

We started brushing any areas that needed cutting in. Then we immediately starting rolling after.

Work in small areas. We found the paint got tacky quickly.

Here’s a side by side of our tile painted vs unpainted.

Wall tile half painted white

This stuff goes on super smooth. We had the first coat of all the wall tile finished in about 2 hours. That included the tub around the tile and all the tile on the walls of our bathroom – which was a lot.

FYI: We didn’t paint our cast iron tub. It was already white and in great condition. But it would be an excellent option to make an old tub look new.

Allow to dry at least 1 hour before you start a second coat.

taped off shower surround with painted bathroom wall tile

In one day, we had both coats finished.

We started on the floor a few days later, but probably could have started painting the floor the next day.

It looks so smooth!

Painted wall tile squares

One package covers 110 square foot, which should work for 2 coats on an average bathroom.

We needed 2 packages since the tile extended into the double vanity area. And we had lots left over.

I suggest measuring the square footage of tile you have before purchasing. It’s a good idea to have enough product to finish the project.

Step Three: Painting the Floor Tile

Rust-Oleum HOME Floor Coating can

The Rust-Oleum HOME Floor Coating is a two step process that was so very easy!

I think this floor tile paint was what made the huge difference in this bathroom makeover.

The first coat of paint is the base coat followed by top coat to protect the surface. What I love most about this system is the variety of awesome colors that are available!

Before we began painting floor tiles, we made sure to sweep any debris from the floor. You want to have a clean surface.

If you are painting the walls as well as the floors, make sure to allow the walls to completely dry before moving painting floor tiles.

Again, take a moment to make sure everything is in good shape before starting.

Next, we taped off the edges. We didn’t want to get any gray paint on our new white wall tiles!

taped off walls prepping floor to paint

Once prep is done, you are ready to paint the floor.

Stir your floor paint before applying, especially if you have a darker tint. Make sure all color is incorporated together. Settling and separation can occur which may show up.

Pour a small amount into a paint tray.

First we cut in along the edges of our ceramic tile floor.

Then we used a foam roller to fill in the tiles. You could also use a small nap roller as well.

Floor in process of being painted gray

Since our floor was this hexagon shaped tile, we found that our roller didn’t easily get into each grout line.

As we worked our way out, we would brush the grout lines and follow up with the roller.

Sponge Roller applying floor paint

TIP: A great place to start would be in a far corner and work your way out toward the door! We also removed the tape as we went along checking for bleed through and cleaning if necessary.

The entire first coat process took just under an hour. I couldn’t believe how quickly it transformed the room.

bathroom floor drying base coat of floor paint

In just 6 hours for dry time, you apply the top coat.

While we went with a solid color over the entire surface, we have seen some gorgeous applications using tile stencils.

We allowed the floors to dry fully overnight and applied the top coat the next day.

Rust-Oleum HOME Floor Coating Top coat

The Matte top coat is a very milky texture and goes a long way.

paint tray filled with paint sealant for floors

So we used the same technique as we did with painting the floor, combining the brush and roller to ensure it got into the grout lines.

You can see here how the roller wasn’t going to work for the grout lines.

sponge roller applying top coat to gray painted floors

Allow the floors to dry for 24 for a full cure before any foot traffic is on them.

The can does state that it takes up to 7 days for the floor to fully cure, so we kept the boys at bay until then.

But just look at this huge difference in our bathroom floor!

hexagon floor tiles overhead shot
Overhead picture of hexagon bathroom floor tile painted gray

Doesn’t that look like new tiles? Like I said, I think painting the floor tiles made the biggest difference in this space.

We saved so much money on the cost of installation of new tile as well as the labor costs from a general contractor. And with a just a few simple steps and a little bit of hard work.

UPDATE: Do Painted Floor Tiles Last? Read our full review 2 years later!

It was very DIY friendly and is one of the easiest and best ways to update an existing space.

So before you get your sledgehammer out and start tearing out your old tile, consider this diy job as an economical approach.

We changed the overall look of our bathroom tile for $150 bucks and just a few days and it looks amazing!

Changed bathrooms tiles for $150 bucks with white painted tile walls with gray painted hexagon tile floor with black painted walls and cedar wood elements.
Black floor vent in gray painted hexagon tiles
Floor Register from Home Depot
Changed bathrooms tiles for $150 bucks  with White painted wall tiles, gray painted hexagon bathroom flooring and white toilet with black painted walls
White painted bathtub surround with gray painted floors and black shower doors
Changed our bathroom tile for $150 bucks with Half tiled wall painted white with black painted upper wall and wood arched piece hanging on wall

But we couldn’t have done this room makeover without these two amazing products from Rust-Oleum.

It took this room from drab and dated to fab and and new!

We are certainly glad we did!

THE BEFORE
RAISE THE ROOF: HOW WE MADE THE BATHROOM CEILING TALLER
DIY SHOWER DOOR UPDATE
HOW TO MAKE A BATHROOM VANITY TALLER
REGROUTING BATHROOM TILE
INSTALLING AND LIMEWASHING BRICK VENEER
DIY CEILING PLANKS FROM LAMINATE FLOORING
HOW WE CHANGED OUR BATHROOM TILE FOR $150
HOW TO MAKE CEDAR FRAMED MIRRORS
THE BIG REVEAL!

Originally Published November 7, 2019 / Updated July 10, 2021

Similar Posts

83 Comments

  1. Hey Vickie – thanks for reaching out! In this bathroom, we didn’t use any wallpaper. We painted the walls in a dark charcoal, called Iron City from Romabio Paints. And the brick wall was a DIY made with thin brick. There’s a full tutorial post if you’re interested! Here’s the link:

    How to Install and Limewash Brick Veneer

  2. Hi Claudia! The wall color is actually a soft black color. The lighting makes it appear blue in spots, but it’s Iron City from Romabio Paints.

  3. What color is the paint on the wall? The dark blue and the white that matches your tile?

  4. Great question, Kym!

    I know it would fully cover it, but the epoxy coating is still on the thin side, so I don’t think it would cover the texture. You could always try contacting Rust-Oleum directly to see if they could give any other insider tips!

  5. I am wanting to know if this would cover a lightly textured wall tile and make it look smooth? My tile has a slightly raised speckle and I would like it to look smooth. Thank you.

  6. Great question, Robin! And yes, this paint can be used for stencils, but I’ve only seen it on the floor. You should reach out to Rust-Oleum about using it on the wall tiles. Hope that helps!

  7. I plan on using this method to upgrade my bathroom tile before trying it out on the kitchen floor.My question is can designs be stenciled onto the floor and wall tiles because I’d like at minimum do an wall design?

  8. How has the paint job on floor tile held up? If you scrub the grout to you scrub off the paint?

  9. Hi Sarah – that’s a great question! I would be hesitant to use the floor paint for the counters simply because Rust=o-Leum’s website strictly states its for flooring only. But it’s worth a call to their customer service to see if they recommend it. Hope that helps and thank you for your kind words!

  10. Hi Jen – thanks so much for reaching out! Our floor has held up remarkable well with this being a bathroom for two teen boys, however, we recently did have to touch up a few spots where after an evening of rough housing in the bathroom, a fallen item dinged the floor. Other than that, it still looks great!

    I’ll be sharing a follow up post soon to show what we did. All in all, when I compare it to the complete bathroom retiling job we did, this temporary fix was well worth it and it’s been over 2 years. Hope that helps!

  11. Lynn – these are awesome questions! For our bathroom, we used 1 and a half kits to cover the half tiled walls as well as the entire bathtub surround. I don’t have any pics of the sanded tile because it really didn’t look different. The main thing we went off of was feel. Once the tile no longer felt slick, we were confident to move on. There is only one tile that we didn’t sand enough that is starting to peel slightly, so we will have to go and touch that one up.

    Hope that helps!

  12. Can you tell me how long it lasts and if it seems to peal at all. We hired someone a few years ago to paint our floor tiles and I am not sure if he didn’t use the correct material, but it started pealing almost immediately when we walked on it. I’m scared to try again given our previous experience, but yours looks so beautiful that I am tempted.

  13. On your beautiful DIY bathroom wall tiles… I have those same lovely 70s/80s white glittery tiles in my hall bathroom. At least as many as you do! I will measure to see if I need one kit or two, but do I really need to sand them? How long did that take and do you have any pictures of the “sanded” tile? I’m worried I’ll spend a lot of time and do too little or too much? Thank you, Lynn

  14. Great work, Jenny! It looks like you had your own remodeling done right. As a local tile installer, I understand that restoring or replacing the tiles would’ve been a lot more expensive, yet your very own bathroom makeover is very impressive. Loved the initiative and creative mindset. Thanks for sharing this DIY transformation.

  15. Hi! Thanks for the great post! Just curious— how has this stood up over time? Thanks!

  16. I so want to paint the tile in our bathroom! We have a brownish tile on the floor but also the same brown tile but smaller squares on the countertop. It looks like Olive Garden! I am tempted to use the floor tile paint for the countertop as I feel it would work better and be more durable. It’s such a strong stone tile. Do you think that would work? You did a great job with your bathroom! ❤️

  17. I so want to paint the tile in our bathroom! We have a brownish tile on the floor but also the same brown tile but smaller squares on the countertop. It looks like Olive Garden! I am tempted to use the floor tile paint for the countertop as I feel it would work better and be more durable. It’s such a strong stone tile. Do you think that would work? You did a great job with your bathroom! ❤️

  18. I’m so glad this encouraged you! I plan to share a follow up post now that it’s been 2 years, so be sure to check that out! 😉

  19. Thank you for this. I was in Home Depot over the weekend and the guy in the paint dept told me I couldn’t paint the wall tile. Thank you for sharing how easy it is!

  20. Hey Kimberly! Thanks so much for your kind words. And I’m right there with you on how you are feeling about your dated bathroom. We were in the exact same predicament! I did a lot of research on Rust-Oleum’s website and found it best to use the right products for the right application. They specifically mention that the floor paint isn’t to be used for the walls. However, the tub and tile is a bit different. Since that can be applied to a tub, then I imagine it would work for flooring application.

    Another reason why I went with a different product was choice of color. You are limited to the one color with the tub and tile, but have many different options for the flooring color choices.

    Hope that helps answer any questions you may have! Reach out if you have any more – I’m happy to help. And good luck with your project!

  21. Hey Carmen – thanks so much for reaching out and for your kind words on our bathroom reveal. We tried both the wet and dry sandpaper as well as the scuff pad and found the scuff pad to be easier. You can purchase those from a paint store. Some big box retailers, like Home Depot or Lowe’s may sell them, but we like the options from our independent paint retailer better.

    Hope that helps and good luck with your project. Let me know if you have any other questions. I’m happy to help!

  22. Hi,Grace!You did an amazing job on that bathroom. My question is for the tile wall did you used the 400 wet and dry grid? What is the abrasive pad. How do you used and where do they sale it? Thank you for the information. Carmen

  23. Sure thing! We got it from Home Depot – there’s a link under the picture in the post. 😉

  24. Certainly! We chose Aged Gray. Hope that helps!

  25. I have a master bathroom that is allllll tile & beyond outdated. Funds are limited, so I’ve been searching creative ways for a makeover, which led me to painting floor tile….which led me to your post! I absolutely love your finished product – the bathroom looks fantastic!!!
    I am curious though, why you chose to use the rustoleum tub & tile for your tiled walls & the rustoleum floor paint for your tiled floor? Is it necessary, to use the two different products or was that just your preference?
    My tub area is all tile and that same tile travels throughout the entire bathroom, halfway up the walls, all the way around. My plan is to paint it one color (likely white), along with my floor tile, a different color (undecided shade of gray).

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  26. Great job ! What was the colour called that you used on the floor please ?

  27. Hi Nancy – thanks for reaching out – that’s a great question! I actually asked Rust-Oleum about this and they said that it is manufactured specifically for horizontal surfaces and would not work on wall tile. As far as difference in texture, no, but I do see a difference in sheen. The wall tiles are much more shiny than the floors, but I also chose the matte sealant, so that plays into it as well.

    Hope that helps – reach out anytime if you have any additional questions.

  28. Jennifer, Hi. Great project. I noticed you used the Tub & Tile product for the wall tile and the Floor product for the floors. Do you think it would be possible to just use the floor paint on all the tiled surfaces? I especially love the fact that you don’t need to sand with the floor products. What do you think? And are you able to see a difference in the wall and floor tiles in the look, or texture?

    Thanks
    Nancy

  29. Not on the walls, but there are a few nicks in the floor from my rowdy boys. I’m about to do a follow up post all about it, so stay tuned!

  30. Hi! Does the paint on the walls and floors chip or crack easily?

  31. That is seriously impressive You did a great job. There is certainly a lot to find out about this topic. I think its must be helpful.

  32. Hi Julianne! Those are great questions! The floor does have a slight different texture. The previous floor had a sheen and was quite slick. Since this is a matte finish, it’s not as slick, but feels the same with bare feet.

    And we had to purchase a new register cover. The other one was too rusty to spray paint.

  33. Awesome! Does the floor have a different texture once painted? Do you think anyone would be able to tell it was painted?

    Also did you spray paint the heater cover for the floor?

    Thanks!!

  34. We did our coats on consecutive days, so our mix lasted in that short amount of time, but I wouldn’t let a week pass between coats. Hope that helps!

  35. I’m starting to paint my wall tile in a couple weeks. I have a pretty small bath so did the paint last between coats or did you need separate kits for each coat of paint?

  36. Definitely! It’s a custom color I’ve created with Romabio Paints – called Iron City – named after our home town of Birmingham. You can get it on Amazon.

  37. Love the wall color. Would you mind sharing the brand and color name? Your finished product looks fab. Actually love the floor tiles, it’s adds character and not boring! Many thanks! 😊

  38. Hi Leslie – thanks for reaching out! It’s been just about a year and the tile looks just the same… well, with the exception of those weeks when it needs a deep clean since it is a boys bathroom! LOL

    In all seriousness, it really is holding up well and looks great! Maybe I will do a follow up post on how everything is holding up!

  39. Bathroom looks amazing! Just wondering how the shower tiles look today? Does the rustoleum tub and tile refinishing come in different colours or do you have to get it tinted?
    Thanks
    Leslie

  40. Looks so fab!!

    Can I ask how much of the tub and tile product you needed to do your bathroom. Mine is a similar size and want to do the walls and shower stall and just wondering how many to order.

    Thanks so much 🙂

    Alex

  41. Hi Alexa – thanks for reaching out! Yes, in one year, it has chipped in one spot, but this is a boys bathroom and coming from a clumsy momma – they aren’t the most graceful either. My 6’7″ boy tripped and fell into the door, knocking it off it’s hinges and resulting in a gash in the floor. We hope to fix it later this month and will do a follow up post to let you know!

  42. Hi, this looks so beautiful. I’m thinking of redoing my bathroom and painting the tile but my boyfriend is skeptical. Since it’s been a year or so can you tell me how it’s held up? Has it chipped on the floor or wore down at all? Thank you!!

  43. How did you do the distressed brick for the walls?

  44. Hi Carla – thanks for the nice comment! I would be happy to share. The walls are painted Iron City by Romabio Paints – a mineral based paint that is non toxic and great for places like the bathroom. It’s from my custom color collection with them which you can read more about here.

  45. Looks great! We just did the same with our powder room. Can you please share what color/brand you used to paint the walls? Thanks!

  46. Oh, I’m so glad this post inspired you Kari! It was such a simple DIY! In fact, we may be doing it again with our basement bathroom downstairs.Good luck and let me know if you have any questions! I’m happy to help. 🙂

  47. Just the tutorial I was looking for! We have this same tile in our master bathroom…its so ugly! Cant wait to transform it!

  48. Just wondering how you removed the towel rack without damaging the tile. I have 2 that I want to remove!

  49. Hi Kim! Those are some great questions. We are about 6 months in and so far it’s holding up fine. We only had one touch up to do, but it was an odd circumstance. Our boys knocked the door stopper off and the screw head nicked the floor. But it was a sharp screw – not a typical thing you have on your floors.

    I will make sure do to a 1 year follow up to keep you up to date!

  50. Hi Sunny – those are great questions! We are about 6 months in with our painted tile and two rowdy teens, and it is holding up really well! Even with cleaning! And we applied this in their shower and it still looks great!

  51. The bathroom looks great – what a fresh new look! I’m researching painting my tile now, and wondered if you have any info on how it withstands traffic and cleaning after months, years…? Perhaps not since you just did you yours in recent months, but any examples or reviews you could point to? In the months since you did yours, any cautionary tips on maintenance? Thank you!

  52. Hi there!
    I was thrilled to find this diy for your boys bathroom, It’s exactly what I needed to tackle our master bath! Before I get started though, I would like to know how has the paint on the wall tiles held up? Our shower stall is all tile & I would love to be able to paint it as opposed to doing a full demo. Do you think this product and method would be long last lasting in a shower stall???

    Thanks so much & keep up the great work!

  53. Love this! You are so talented and I never realized you could paint the tile. Thanks for sharin!

  54. Hi Joanna! Thanks for reaching out. We moved from this home about 2 years after we put it down. Up until the time we moved, the floor held up wonderfully under the traffic of 2 rowdy boys and a puppy! Hope that helps and thanks for taking the time to ask.

  55. This looks great! I will be interested in how it holds up. I would love to do this to our bathroom floor.

  56. Thank you for your kind words! And that’s a great question! The sponge did leave a bit of an orange peel texture, but the top coat smoothed it out a bit. You only really notice it if you get right up on it, but it’s not noticeable at all when you are standing.

    I am super pleased with how it looks!

  57. I sure wish I had seen this tile painting before I started smashing my marble bathroom floor! The floor was in great condition except for the rust stains. This would’ve been so much easier. But! Since I haven’t started on the kitchen floor yet, I will definitely use the floor paint!! One question though, when you use the roller to paint, doesn’t it leave a “spongy” texture? It looks like it does on the base coat. I hate using rollers on furniture/cabinets because of the texture it leaves. Thank you so much for all of your amazing ideas. I love your blog!!

  58. Thanks Libbie! I’m so glad to have this room finished for my boys! They absolutely love it – especially the ‘new’ floors!

  59. Thank you, sweet Kelly! Our boys are going to enjoy this room so much! Let’s hope that this makeover will inspire them to keep it cleaner than before! 😉

  60. AWESOME! Where’s the pictures of you in your mask and goggles? Tee-Hee!

  61. So impressed! Turned out beautifully and what a transformation for only $150!! Pays to research all options for sure!!

  62. Jen,

    I love how this turned out. It’s such a wonderful bang for your buck. I have pinned for a future project!

  63. Oh my gosh Jen your tile looks amazing!!! What a great resource this post is! I have some tile I would love to paint over and you just made that dream possible. Thanks for sharing and I hope you enjoy that bathroom!

  64. So how did you refinish your cabinets (sorry if you posted that already)? Did you use a paint stripper or just lots of sanding?

  65. Wow! That is amazing! Never occurred to me to paint tile. Hope you will keep us updated on how it wears. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.