Natural stone tile is one of the popular materials for flooring, walkways, patios, and even for roofing. While it does come in a variety of colors that result from the thousands of years it took them to form in the earth, after a while the color starts to dull and doesn’t seem as vibrant as it once was. Natural stone lasts and lasts, which is why you really do need to keep the floor looking new. The good news is that you can paint natural stone tile. The bad news is that you cannot paint it different colors like you can the walls of your home. However, applying a sealant can make a world of difference to how easy it is to keep a lasting paint job.
Step 1 – Clean the Tile
Whether you want to paint natural stone tile that is indoors or out, you first have to make sure that is clean. Sweep the tiles with a broom and pick up all the dust you can or use a vacuum cleaner if you really want to make sure you get it all up. Then you need to wash the tiles. If you intend to paint natural stone tile that is outside, the easiest way to really get it clean is to use a pressure washer. No dust or dirt can remain or it will show through the paint when it is dry.
For inside cleaning, remove all the furniture from the room so that there won’t be anything in your way. Then, use a special cleaner specifically for the stone tile, which you should already know if you have had stone floors for a while. Mop the floor with the cleaner and let it dry.
Step 2 – Seal the Stone
Before you start painting the natural stone you do have to apply a sealant. You can purchase this sealant at home improvement or flooring stores. Shake the can vigorously before you open it, even though it has probably been shaken a lot already. Open the can and pour out some of it into the paint tray. Use a long-handled paint roller to make the job easier on your back. Roll the sealant onto the floor in the same way as you would paint a wall. Then let the sealant dry thoroughly, which could take a few hours.
Step 3 – Inspect the Look of the Natural Stone
As the sealant is drying on the floor, inspect it very carefully to make sure that you have covered all areas and that there are no spaces that look duller than the others. If everything is to your satisfaction, all you have to do is sit back and wait. Allow at least 24 hours for the sealant to dry completely before you walk on the tiles or move any furniture back into the room. If you do notice any imperfections, you may have to repeat the process.
Step 4 – Apply Primer
Primer always comes before paint and this project is no exception. Make sure to pick out both paint and primer specifically intended for use on stone from your local home improvement store. Pour this in a clean paint tray and spread it on in the same manner as the sealant. Give this coat plenty of time to dry as well, before proceeding.
Step 5 – Paint the Topcoat
Once your sealant and primer have passed inspection, you can go ahead with the topcoat. Again, make sure this paint is a type made for stone, or you will likely not get the result you want.
It is best to apply your paint in a couple thin coats, as opposed to one thick one so it will cure properly and have an even surface. Let each coat dry between applications and then, finally, let the last coat cure overnight.
Step 6 – Use a Second Coat of Sealer
To maintain the finish of the paint, you may wish to use a second coat of sealer at this time. This can be useful, especially in areas where you anticipate a lot of traffic or abuse.