How to Paint a Basement Like Faux Tile

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If you've had it with the basement's boring concrete floor and you're looking for a quick but attractive transformation, give the floor a makeover by painting it to look just like a tiled floor. Painted faux tile is a relatively inexpensive home renovation project, but it will require some careful planning to make sure the floors turn out just right. Armed with a plan, in just a few day's time your floor will look brand new, with no evidence of the dull concrete that lies beneath.

Things You'll Need

  • Wide painter's tape
  • Concrete primer
  • Paint roller
  • Satin acrylic floor and patio paint for grout lines (light color)
  • 1/4-inch painter's tape (1/4-inch detailing tape)
  • Satin acrylic floor and patio paint (main tile color)
  • 2 small cans of satin acrylic floor and patio paint in accent shades
  • Sea sponge
  • Cover the bottom edge of the walls with wide painter's tape to protect the walls and baseboard from the paint.

  • Apply a coat of primer on the basement floor and let it dry according to the manufacturer's instructions. Thanks to this process, the paint will benefit from better adhesion and quality.

  • Use a paint roller to apply a coat of the light-colored satin acrylic floor and patio paint over top of the primer. This layer will serve as the color of lines between the faux tiles, the grout. Allow the paint to dry for two days before proceeding to the next step.

  • Measure out the dimensions for the new painted floor tiles. Use 1/4-inch painter's tape to mark the tiles on the floor. You can create any size tiles you like, from 12-inch to 48-inch tiles or larger; the smaller the tile size, the more taping will be required. The 1/4-inch tape will act as your grout lines, covering up the light-colored paint underneath.

  • Mix the paint for the tiles. Combine three parts satin acrylic floor and patio paint with two parts clear, low-luster acrylic polyurethane to make a glaze mixture that will resemble the sheen of tiles.

  • Use a paint roller to paint the tiles with a thick layer of the mixed paint. Work in small 2-foot sections. When you have covered one section, dip the sea sponge in a tiny amount of the accent paint. These paints should be the lighter and darker shades of your main tile color. Dab the sponge over the painted section gently to create a realistic pattern on the tile. Remove the painter's tape from the section as soon as you are finished by pulling very gently. If you leave the tape until the paint is dry, it will pull up some of the paint, too.

  • Continue working in 2-foot sections, first painting and then dabbing with the accent colors. Start at the far end of the room, painting around the edges, and then work your way through the center of the room toward the door. This way, you avoid having to step on any freshly painted tiles. Give the paint two to three days to ensure it is thoroughly dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • If any of the paint ends up on your grout lines when you remove the 1/4-inch tape, let the paint dry and then use a small artist's paintbrush to touch up the areas with the grout paint.
  • You can get creative and use the same idea to transform any wall in the house as well. Instead of using floor and patio paint, use paint designed for interior walls, and tape off the floor instead the wall.

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References

  • Young House Love; Sherry Petersik, et al.
  • 50 Ways to Paint Ceilings and Floors: The Easy Step-by-Step Way to Decorator Looks; Elise Kinkead
  • Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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