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If you’re like me and this summer’s (crazy!) record-breaking high temps have you looking for a weekend project that won’t cause you to break a sweat, then I have just the project for you: reviving your bathroom’s stained grout. Don’t worry, this is WAY easier than it sounds, costs less than $20 and no grinder or chisel is needed.

bathroom tile before

My sad bathroom floor before. This is the original 1950′s tile and, although you can’t tell, is a beautiful Robin’s egg blue.

Start with a trip to your local hardware store for cleaning supplies like a scrubby sponge, non-abrasive cleanser (such as Bon Ami or Comet) and a grout paint pen — these are in the tile department typically right next to the grout and cost around $6. Tip: Don’t trust the manufacturers’ coverage estimates; my bathroom floor is only 5′ x 8′ and I needed 2 pens.

First, clean the tile and grout, making sure to remove all powdery cleanser residue and allow it to thoroughly dry.

painting bathroom grout

If you’ve used a paint pen before, then you know the drill: Shake it for about 2 minutes to mix the paint, then press the tip down until paint begins to flow. I started working in the corner furthest from the door which, for me, was around the toilet base. Keep a damp paper towel handy to clean up any errant smears but, honestly, I found that with a little pressure the pen easily stayed in the grout lines. Also, some grout lines needed 2 or 3 coats of paint to achieve a consistent white color; just give them another pass while wet — no waiting between coats necessary. The paint begins to set up in just a few minutes but allow 3 hours dry time before any heavy foot traffic.

bathroom tile after painting grout

And…voila! Just a few hours later, my 50-year-old bathroom floor looks (almost!) like new.

UPDATE: Several of you asked about my paint colors so here you go. Both the bathroom and bedroom paints are Valspar which is available at Lowe’s. The bathroom paint is High Noon in a semi-gloss and the bedroom paint (visible in the after photo) is Nostalgia in a satin. Happy Painting!

Ready to tackle your own summer project? Check out our features: bathroom fast fixes and summer design ideas at hgtv.com.

52 Responses

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  3. Benjamin Patten says:

    Thanks for sharing of this bathroom re-modeling, a very organized approach you have!
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  5. well written article.. well done

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  7. Sherry says:

    I had the same tile. I washed the walls and went over it lightly with fine grit sandpaper. Then used a good mildew resistant primer then white glossy bathroom paint. Turned out perfect. Looks new.

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H. Camille SmithCamille is a managing editor for HGTV.com, fine artist and antique furniture devotee. As a former interior designer and Nickelodeon animator, she has a real passion for balanced, beautiful interiors...

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