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How do I Choose the Best Grout Paint?

By Anna B. Smith
Updated May 16, 2024
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The best grout paint will complement the color of the existing grout and penetrate through the upper layers of the existing material. This type of paint is actually a stain may be brushed directly onto the discolored grout joints. It does not require the use of specialized rubber bristles, sponges, or markers, which are added to many grout stain containers at a higher price. Consumers should examine the quality of the tile being used in the project to ensure that it has been sealed prior to applying any staining agents.

Grouting is the material that holds tiles together and creates a smooth surface across the face of a finished tiling project. Grout paint is used to recolor old, damaged grout. Over time, these joints may become discolored by soap and lime stains, mildew, and age. The only way to completely replace this material is to dig it out of the joints with a grout saw and reapply a new mixture, which is time consuming and can risk damaging tiles in the process.

Grout recoloring agents sold through home improvement stores are typically only provided in a limited color selection that coordinates with in-stock grouting dust. If the entire tiled area in question is being re-sealed and painted, then any paint color will be suitable to complete the job as long as it is the same shade or darker than the existing color. If only one portion of the area is being re-colored, then the paint must match the current grout. Grout paint and stains are available in a wide variety of colors from specialty grout manufacturers that can complete custom orders through the Internet, by telephone, or through an in home consultation visit.

Products that use a staining agent are actually preferable to using grout paint because the paint itself is usually epoxy based and only creates a new layer over the existing surface of the joints. It can chip over time and eventually begins to peel away. This peeling process makes it more difficult to paint again because it can create a patchy work surface.

Do-it-yourselfers may wish to use a grout stain instead of the more commonly recommended grout paint to avoid these hassles. Grout stain penetrates the upper layers of the porous, concrete based grout. The color blends with the existing materials down to a depth of several millimeters to create a uniform appearance throughout the entire project. The stain cannot chip or peel because it becomes part of the joints. A grout sealant may be applied once the stain has had adequate time to dry.

Consumers should check the recommended drying time on the grout paint or stain before purchasing it to determine if it allows enough time for them to complete the entire project. For example, if an individual wishes to re-color a large kitchen floor, he or she will generally require several hours to apply the stain and clean the tiles in any areas where the product may have become smudged. If the color agent begins to set permanently after only two hours, then it is not a suitable choice for the kitchen floor. The paint in this scenario would be dry before the installer had time to return and clean any affected tiles.

Many grout paints are sold in special applicator bottles that are designed to improve the painting process. It is generally not necessary to purchase these more expensive, uniquely designed products to achieve the look of professional installation. The recoloring agent may be applied with a simple art or make-up brush that has been trimmed so that the bristles are short and easy to manage. Consumers will tend to find higher quality products for painting grout when they avoid specialty applicator packaging.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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