How to Paint and Stencil Tile with Chalk Paint

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How to Stencil Tile
I just finished painting my entryway tile for the second time and I love it soooo much! I love it so much in fact that I'm going to share how to do it with you so that if you too have ugly tile floors that you hate you can fix it in one day. Yay!

 I should probably talk about the stars first, though. They make me so darn happy. I do realize that a galaxy of stars on the floor isn't everyone's cup of tea, but they are mine. I love how they make me feel that I am walking into a magical home. A kind of Hogwarts-ish home.
How to paint tile with chalk paint
One of the best things about decorating your home is that it's yours. The decorating police aren't coming; you can do what YOU like. When I look online and in magazines I see a lot of white, minimalist homes. They look great, but guess what? That is so not my style! I used to worry that the way I decorate was too "off trend," but lately I'm realizing that the things I do that are the most funky and unexpected are often the things that make me smile the most. Also, the design world is huuuge, even if your style isn't the "it" thing of the moment, there is inspiration and validation out there.
stenciling stars on tile
If you're wanting to add a little whimsy to your home, painting the floor is a great way to go. You can, of course, make it as conservative or as crazy as you want, and if it ends up looking like a hot mess you can always paint over it. It's about as low commitment as you can get!

This is actually the second time I've painted my entryway tile with chalk paint. When we moved in it was this awful orange, and I painted it blue.
That blue held up to heavy traffic really well for several years, but this year we had massive rain here in Northern California and our entryway flooded at least three times. After spending several nights under water the paint started bubbling up in a few places. It had been wet before from mopping or rain tracked in, but this was extreme and unusual water exposure. I'm totally comfortable painting again because we are going (I sincerely hope) to fix our flooding problems before the rainy season comes again. 

Alright then! Here's how you do it.

Supply list:

*sanding sponge if tile was previously painted 

*floor cleaner like simple green

*scrub brush, rags, bucket of water

*chalk paint-I use Annie Sloan, it doesn't need primer and it sticks to almost anything

*2" angled paint brush-I like the Purdy brand

*2 or 3 disposable paint pans, the third is only if you are stenciling a design

*paint roller labeled for a smooth surface

*clear varnish

*paint pad for applying varnish

*small touch up brush if you stenciled

1. You probably won't need to do this, but in my case step one was to sand all of the places where the paint had bubbled up. If the tile you're painting was previously painted then you should do this too.

2. Vacuum and then wash the tile really super well. I like to use the cleaner Simple Green and a good scrub brush. Really get in there and give it some elbow grease; you want to get the tile as clean as you can so the paint will stick. Rinse/wipe with a rag and clean water.
3. Once the tile is dry begin cutting the edges of the floor using an angled brush and your base color. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color "graphite," which is fancy talk for black.

 4. After the edges are cut it's time to roll. Use a roller cover that says it is for smooth surfaces.
Bonus points if you can get your husband to help with the rolling :-)
5. Chalk paint drys pretty quickly, within about two hours you should be able to begin stenciling. Put on clean socks and be prepared for the paint to show where you walk. Even though it is dry, there will be scuff like marks from your feet. These will go away when you seal the paint. Get ready to stencil by putting your second paint color in paint pan, lining a paper plate with several paper towels, and getting a small roller brush with a foam roller.
Place your stencil down. Lightly load your foam roller with paint and then roll it on the paper towel plate until it is nearly dry. If your roller is too wet the paint will bleed under the edges of the stencil. With one hand hold the stencil firmly on the ground and roll the paint with the other hand.  

I'll be honest, I had some trouble with the stencil. The paint wouldn't cover the areas that had grout lines, and I also got little flecks of paint outside of the lines. I decided not to mind that the stars had some light spots, and when everything was done I went back over the floor with a little paint brush and touched up the white flecks and places where the paint had spread out of the star lines. It wasn't as tedious to touch up as I thought it would be.
All the little mistakes disappear when you are just looking at the whole floor.
My best advice is don't give up. When I had about 1/4 of the floor done I felt like it looked awful and I had made too many mistakes. Marc convinced me that I was "too close" to the project and to just finish it up and see what I thought.
I'm so glad I did! After a little touching up I felt that the overall effect was awesome.

6. Let the paint dry for a couple of hours and then wipe on the lacquer. 
Marc used a paint pad on a long handle. We let the first coat dry overnight and then did another coat in the morning. Of course, no one walked on it during that time.
The lacquer dries nice and clear and gives a little sheen to the paint. It is super durable and you can clean the floor with regular tile cleaner.

All of the Annie Sloan Chalk paint products clean up with regular soap and water. Bonus!

And that, my friends, is how we did it. Let me know if you have any questions.
I have this thing about floors

starry night
And if you're here because you have ugly floors, you might want to check out my kitchen makeover where I ripped up the old gross linoleum and painted the supfloor.

20 Responses to “How to Paint and Stencil Tile with Chalk Paint”

  1. Cool! I love that you branched "out of the box." I didn't know there was a chalk paint laquer. So cool. More durable than wax, I assume.

    1. Hi Kim. The lacquer is made specifically for floors or other high wear projects. I really like it but it is a bit expensive. I'm pretty sure you could use a clear polyurethane with the same results.

    2. My granddaughter just painted something with chalk paint and she told me it smells so bad. How does Annie's smell?

    3. Annie Sloan is very low VOC so there isn't much odor to it. It's one of the things I like best about chalk paint :-) No paint fumes headache!

  2. Your blog has inspired me to do my first project with chalk paint. I bought some paint and wax and am waiting for all my kids to be at camp.

    1. That is so awesome Charlene! Kids away at camp definitely makes paint projects easier :-)

  3. You have definitely created a magical floor. I think if I were to stand on it, I would expect it to take off and float me up to the real stars. I'm remembering a book I loved as a child; I think the main character was Miss Pickett. Couldn't she take kids on a magical doormat ride?

  4. I really love the starry floor!

    1. Thanks Becky, I'm pretty pleased with it myself :-)

  5. Just when I thought you had maxed out on marvelousness, you present us with this lovely project.

    1. Friend, you always say the nicest things.

  6. I had to come look at this again to get momentum to start mine. I was so nervous, but now after talking to you and reading this again I’m ready to tackle my terrible entryway!!!

  7. This is easily one of the most amazing DIY projects I've ever seen. SOoo inspired.

    1. That is so nice of you to say! Paint is pretty magic, right?!

  8. Big Thanks!! An Apartment Therapy post led me to your blog. I have been searching forever for a budget friendly solution for a friend's small master bath that has an old tiled floor. Chalk paint with lacquer or a poly coat is it! PS Please give the source for your fantastic star stencil...would love to use it on a bedroom wall. Best wishes!!

    1. That sounds awesome! I'm thinking of tackling my upstairs bathroom too. Here is a link to the stencil I used, and if that doesn't work go to the shop Dizzyduckdesigns on etsy and search for "eight point star."

  9. Your floor is MARVELOUS. I don't have tile, its more like one piece linoleum. Probably 15 yrs. old.
    Also did you make the stencil, or buy it. If so where did you get it, and what is the pattern name.

    1. I'm pretty sure it would work just as well on linoleum. I got the stencil at an Etsy shop called DizzyduckdesignsUK and it is the 8 point star. I used the large wall size. Here's a link:

  10. Shelly it'sreally amizing!!!! How much colour needed you per m²? I know the colour but I'm unsure about the quantity for painting a whole floor with tiles. I used A.Sloan chalkpaint for several times in the past - it's really the best. At the first moment I was a little bit shocked by the price. But with just one little cup of colour you really can paint a lot! Much more than with chalkpaint for less money.

    1. I tried to find an answer to this online and the best I could come with was a rough estimate that someone used 2.5 quarts to cover 165 square feet. I hope that helps. If you buy from a local stockist you might buy a little more than you think you need and then take back what you don't use?


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