Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Project Fail // Painted Tile Floors

I consider myself someone who does a good amount of research before taking on any project. I spend nights weighing the possibilities, projecting costs and itemizing supplies I'd need to have on hand before taking on any major DIY endeavor. I'm a cost cutter if I can help it, but I will also stretch my budget to get a hold of a better can of paint, higher quality brush or the right tool, especially where I know I will save my dollars on the labor. I've been lucky in that most of the projects I've set out to do around Holtwood House have been successful - both in finished outcome and cost savings. But you can't win them all and I found out the hard way in early July, just a mere week before our big SummerBash. 

I've talked about our dated entryway floors and one of the plans we've had to update them.  Research into that idea proved it would fall outside our near term budget. So I set about looking into other options that might not only hold us over in the meanwhile, but buy us a couple of years while we still worked on other areas of the house. Enter the idea to paint the tile.

I can already hear the collective thud of hands to foreheads on this one, but dear readers, let me lay out my thought process. I researched expensive floor and porch paint, watched countless You Tube videos,  looked into primers of all varieties and read first hand accounts by other bloggers on their experience painting out high traffic entryway tile. It was only after all of this that I landed on the idea of using Chalk Paint, as I understood it to not need a primer - in the vein that it "sticks to anything".  

Before I go any further, my disclaimer: this is not in any way a criticism of chalk paint, nor any brand of chalk paint. I was actually pretty darn giddy about the coverage and consistency of the brand I chose for my project. 
What I learned is that my particular tile- plus, my lack of preparation both collectively played a large role in my outcome.

I cleaned the surface well, made sure it was absolutely dry and then proceeded with two coats of Chalk Paint. By Wednesday evening, I was feeling pretty good about the first coat. Thursday evening brought  an even higher degree of satisfaction with the final. It dried incredibly fast and even and I found myself scratching my head at the ease of it all. By Friday evening, my confidence started to wane when I found a small chip in an area I knew I had coated a little too thickly. My Dad came to paint out the walls the next day and we quickly realized that even our protective activities (taping and tarping off) were starting to wear on the floor. By noon, it was evident that the paint was scuffing off fairly easily from tile.

A trip to two local paint stores later and I learned that perhaps if I'd coated the tile in primer, a good floor and porch paint might have been a solution. But most of the paint suppliers I talked to recommended against painting out the ceramic tile in my entryway to begin with. Painfully hard lesson learned.

It took a solid 12 hours to thoroughly scrape the paint from the tile and luckily, my Dad and husband were helpful in the clean up, though they were not complicit in my mess. I was feeling pretty defeated by Sunday afternoon when I realized I still had some scraping to do around the perimeter. 

Eventually, the paint did come off - though our grout lines still hold some of the color. We are back to the drawing board, but perhaps a little more motivated to tear out the tile (now worse for the wear) and move forward with a fresh solution. 


celine@aquahaus said...

You are so awesome for this post.

Kristen said...

My mom just bought a house that has a dated tile that she hates. We were literally just talking about trying to paint it with chalk paint. So glad I saw this post before we made the investment! What's the plan now? Are you going to try another paint? or just go a different route?

Emily Davis said...

Darn! Can't imagine how frustrating that was. Thank you for sharing, though! Hopefully it helps someone else out.

Albertina M. Cisneros said...

oh no!! so sorry you had to go through this....I'm sure what you come up with with will be even better! A Summer bash too? You guys throw the best parties!!

Unknown said...

I could have almost written this MYSELF! With that said, I wish I had found this sooner because I definately feel your pain. My project was the same, living room porcelain tile...and also researched that NO priming was necessary. Long story short, my tile is still painted but chipping in many areas, even after 2 and in some areas 3 coats of a supposedly VERY durable lacquer. I applaud everyone who's had good luck with this method but in my honest opinion I'd save the chalk paint for smaller projects such as furniture. And as for the original poster I agree that the reviews for "painting" tile are all over the board. My hind sight is this; I ALMOST went with a professional company that would sand and prep and pour an epoxy cover (any color desired) over my floor @ 9.00 sq ft but I cheaped out. Hmmm, maybe I should've come off my wallet, who knows! :)

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