Bathroom Refresh: Stenciled Tile Floors

Hey friends! Whew, it’s been a while!

I’ve been easing back into social media after a much needed break. The change of season has me feeling creative again and I think I am finally ready to tackle a few more projects around the house. Before I start on any of my new ideas I just had to take time to share with you our “new” bathroom floors.

I remember touring this house for the very first time and day dreaming about the ways I could spruce it up. The bathrooms had mostly been left out of the real estate listing photos and for good reason. Some aspects of this house were pretty shocking. Even still, I just knew this was the home for us and that the issues (for the most part!) were purely cosmetic. A little paint here, a little paint there, and viola! Home sweet home.

First, let me start with a disclaimer: My floors have only been done for 3 months as I am writing this. I am in no way a professional, nor have I lived on them long enough to know how they will really hold up. That said, I read a few blogs and watched several Instagram stories on the topic and almost everyone (that’s had success!) has used this exact process. Everyone must be on to something, right?

Let’s Talk Supplies!

My stencil was custom ordered in 14″ through Cutting Edge Designs – their Augusta pattern. Many sizes are easily available online but the custom size wasn’t much more in price. Picking out a pattern was the hardest part! I suggest going ahead and ordering two stencils while you’re at it. Save yourself some shipping, especially if you plan to do more than one floor.

Next, through a combo of Amazon shopping and Lowe’s, I was able to collect the other necessary items. You’ll need a few small foam rollers, an artist’s brush, a regular paint brush, and painter’s tape, along with whatever paint tray and liners you’re comfortable using.

The important products I used were:

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer in white
Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint in Linen White
Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint in Country Gray
Minwax Water Based Polycrylic Protective Finish in Clear Matte

Getting Started

The first step is to clean your floors really, really well. I swept, mopped, scrubbed, and vacuumed (and I repeatedly used a hand held vacuum to pick up debris that made it into the room over the course of the project). Next, I used painter’s tape to tape off any areas I was concerned about like baseboards and the toilet and then I got down to business.

Using my foam roller I spread the first layer of the Bull’s Eye Primer over the tile and followed up with a second coat of primer once it was dry. Using a foam roller and a 3″ angle brush (with a short handle!) I put down two coats of the Chalked Ultra Matte Paint in Linen White with at least an hour of dry time between coats. Chalk paint is famous for its quick drying abilities! I was in love with how much brighter this room looked with the new white base coat.

Fun tip: wrap your brushes in saran wrap in between coats to save on washing and clean up time. Simply unwrap and get back down to business when you’re ready for your next coat. (By the way, I really kind of hate the word “coat.”)

Next it was time to stencil. I was so NERVOUS about this part. I had to remind myself that the look I was going for was handmade, concrete tiles and those would not be 100% perfect either. There were guidelines built-in on the stencil to help you line it up properly with your existing tiles/space. I used the foam roller to put down my Country Grey and was thrilled once I saw 3 tiles in a row. A few small pieces of painters tape were helpful for holding the stencil in place. I immediately had a “blob” of grey paint go through the stencil, but I knew I could clean those messes up with an artist’s brush. Don’t sweat it!

I worked my way around the room being sure not to put the stencil down over an area that was still wet (since the stencil is large and overlaps other tiles). The process moved rather quickly. Another quick tip I have for you is to blot the back of the stencil off on a old towel after each tile so that you don’t build up excess paint. This was a HUGE help to me. Don’t skip this part!

I wound up cutting my stencil at the end to fit more easily into the odd areas, especially around the toilet, but it wasn’t anything you can’t manage! If you’re unsure of how it is going, just pick the stencil up. Take a break! Don’t press on if you think you’re making a mess. It’s okay to pause. This is also when I broke out the artist’s brush. I used it to both touch up areas where paint was out of line, as well as to create lines that didn’t go through on the stencil. It takes some patience but the results pay off! The transformation was unbelievable.

Once the floor had really dried well I began the process of putting down the protective poly. I used the same 3 inch angle brush to put this down, being sure not to put it on too thick. I was also sure to go in a different direction with each layer. I settled on three coats of this, following the dry time on the can, but I have heard of others doing up to five. Three has held up fine for us in the last three months. It isn’t a forever fix, anyway. One day we will remodel both bathrooms.

For now I am loving the new look the stenciled floor gives our bathroom. It tied in perfectly with the DIY concrete counters and shiplap backsplash, and has brightened up the room in a wonderful way. I would love to do this process again in our small bathroom and perhaps the laundry room where we had the same beige tiles.

If you have any questions feel free to ask or hop over to my saved Instagram stories to see the videos about process. I hope if stenciling has been on your radar that I can help inspire you to finally get it done!

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