How I Whitewashed a Brick Floor for $14

When you have a brick floor in your home with dark bricks or where the bricks and grout are a similar color and you want to create contrast – whitewashing the floor is one easy and inexpensive way to do it.

Back in January, I posted about a DIY floor painting project I planned to do in my foyer. Well, I finally did it and could not be happier with the results.

The space is a two story open foyer that makes my house seem much larger than it is. It is like the hub of the house since all the rooms revolve around and open to it.

Brown brick floor in foyer of home

Since moving to the house, I have stained and painted the staircase and we built a hidden closet underneath. I also chalk painted the sideboard in the room navy blue, which added a needed pop of color.

Why I Wanted To Whitewash the Brick Floor

brown brick floor

Doing the foyer DIY projects brightened up the space, but I wanted to see more contrast on the floor between the bricks and the grout and decided to whitewash the bricks and grout.

When I open the door to take photos the floor looks lighter…

Looking down from second floor of home onto a brown brick floor.

…but the door is closed all the time. Therefore, I needed to find a way to lighten the floor so it was more to my liking.

Since this photo was taken, the orange-toned floors that connect to the foyer have been refinished and are now a soft driftwood grey.

How my brick floor in foyer could look
Photoshopped image of what whitewashing bricks would look like

I knew I was going to like what whitewashing could do to the floor after a reader, Debi Garcia made me the above Photoshopped image back in January. Thanks Debi. :-)

Foyer Floor AFTER Whitewashing

After photo showing how brick floor looks now that it has been whitewashed.

Whitewashing the floor has made a huge difference to the room, even with the door closed. It adds the contrast in color and lightness that I sought.

Close-up shot of whitewashed brick floor in entryway foyer.

AFTER. Brighter, lighter and more my style.

Photo taken from second story of house looking down on first floor foyer brick whitewashed floor.

I only wish I had painted the floor sooner. It was such a fast and easy project that I completed it in an afternoon. The best part was I used paint I already had, so it was practically a free project to complete. Technically, it wasn’t actually paint though. Read what I used below.

Many readers have commented that I should add an area rug to add color and pattern to the space. While I agree with this conceptually, we found that a rug became a tripping hazard and got in the way of the swing back of the door. Both Ed and I like the open uncluttered appeal. It makes the house seem more spacious.

What Did I Use To Paint the Brick Floor?

Entryway with whitewashed brick floor and navy blue chalk painted sideboard

I used a product called Grout Renew that I had left over from a project at my previous house.

The how to tutorial showing the process of how to add a layer of color wash in this case white over a brick floor.

When I went to my paint stash to find what paint to use on the floor, I was looking for primer or chalk paint, but then I saw a bottle of white grout renewing paint, I thought to myself… “Hmmmm… this could be exactly what I need.”

I tested it out first on the floor of the hidden closet in the room to make sure it would work. It did, so I went with it.

I started at one end of the foyer around 1:00 in the afternoon and finished at 3:30 that same afternoon.

Close-up photo showing the before and after of the brick floor side by side with grout paint and without.

Here is a side-by-side close up of floor showing the color difference.

 A section of floor showing the completed whitewashing over the brick and grout floor.

I love the contrast and color variations with the wash of white over the floor now.

Foyer with blue sideboard and brick floor that was washed over with grout paint.

And I love how it looks with the navy blue sideboard.

Photo taken from above looking down on the process of whitewashing the brick floor.

Step-By-Step: How to Whitewash an Interior Brick Floor

supplies needed to whitewash bricks on a floor

Time needed: 3 hours

When I first thought about what paint I was going to use to whitewash the brick floor, I looked into using Porch and Floor Paint, KILZ Primer and also White Chalk Paint.

If using latex paint or chalk paint: Water the paint down first: 1 part paint to 3 parts water and mix well. Apply in the same way I show below.

Instead of using paint, I chose to use Polyblend Grout Renew for two reasons. I had a bottle of it and I knew from using it on a tile grout in my previous home that it would give me the exact color grout lines that I wanted, plus it would be permanent.

supplies needed:

Water, dish detergent or TSP cleaner
Polyblend Grout Renew – Bright White or Chalk Paint in White or Off-White
2 cloth rags – one damp rag/cloth and one dry rag/cloth
Small plastic container

  1. Clean Brick Floor

    Clean brick floor with hot water and dish detergent or a few tablespoons of TSP mixed in warm water. Scrub well. Rinse well with clean water and let dry.
    Clean a brick floor before painting it with a whitewash

  2. Apply Grout ReNew to Grout Lines

    Pour about 1/4 cup of Grout ReNew into a small plastic container. You don’t want to pour out too much as it will dry out.

  3. Apply Grout ReNew or Paint Mixture

    Working in a 8 – 16 block of brick section at a time – use an old toothbrush to scrub the Grout ReNew or watered down paint into and along a section of grout lines.

  4. Quickly Rub With Damp Cloth

    As soon as you have a section of grout lines covered with Grout ReNew, wipe over the entire section, including the bricks, with a damp cloth. Don’t use a wet cloth or you will remove too much of the Grout Renew or paint.

  5. Go Over With Dry Rag

    As soon as you finish wiping the surface with a damp cloth, go over the surface with a dry cloth for a few seconds to move any of the Grout Renew or paint to where you want it or to touch up an area where there is too much.

  6. Repeat Process

    Repeat the process section by section, until you have every grout line and brick whitewashed.
    the four steps to whitewashing a brick floor to lighten it and the grout

I sat on my yoga mat and moved it as I worked on the floor, section by section.

How to white wash a brick floor using grout whitener

In this close-up shot, you can see how the wash of the grout paint brought out the texture of the bricks.

I did not seal the floor. I like the way it looks and it is very durable like a primer that sticks right away and is hard to rub off.

If I do end up sealing it at some point, I would use a water-based clear matte sealer as I would not want to add any shine to the surface. I like the rough textured look.

Whitewashed Brick Floor Update

update on how DIY whitewashed brick floor has held up

I took this phone photo of my floor to show you after just short of 2 years since I did the floor, how it has held up. It has held up very well. Maybe not as white, but still it looks like a whitewashed floor.

How to whitewash a brick floor for $14 using grout paint. Find out how easy it is to do this DIY floor painting project in an afternoon for a room this size. 
#brickflooring #brickfloormudroom #brickfloorfoyer #brickfloorkitchen #paintedfloor #whitewashbrick #DIYdecor

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  1. Hello, so i really like the way this looks and want to do it in my house only problem is my bricks have like a yellows dark orange tint to them and im afraid i wont get the same results as this, what would you recommend?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Haley – Before I can answer your question about white-washing your brick floor, are the bricks actually the color or is there an orange tinted sealer over them?

  2. I am curious to know how the finish is wearing since you painted the bricks? Is there anything you would have done differently?

  3. Robin Neeley says:

    Wow! I love how this floor looks! I would like to know what you mop it with and how do you care for it if you have pets? I can’t imagine not using a sealer lol.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Robin – If you want to seal the floor and keep the flat sheen, you could seal it with General Finishes Flat Out Flat sealer. You can see it here:

      To clean my floor, I sweep it with a broom and sometimes a vacuum. Then use a dry Swiffer pad that I spray with tiny bit of floor cleaner. If something gets tracked in from our shoes, I use a damp paper towel to clean it.

  4. This was exactly what I needed. Great tutorial and helpful links. Thank you!

  5. We followed your instructions during the 2020 pandemic lock-down–and love it. The previous owner’s contractor was experimenting with a varnish for wood when this split brick was installed over 25 years ago, but it yellowed and looked horrid. Over the years, we tried to find contractors to strip it, but instructions from the varnish company scared everyone–including us.

    So, when we found your post during pandemic boredom, we decided to try TSP & Grout Renew–first in just the pantry. I was a little heavy-handed at first, but was able to lighten it up with fingernail polish remover and a hard brush. We used a lighter hand under the wine fridge and then felt confident to go with the rest of our kitchen, hall and laundry room.

    We love it nearly 2 years later–would have never thought of this, so can’t thank you enough…

  6. Hi! I love the way this ended up looking and am doing my kitchen in brick floor. I’ve read and read this.. as this was older brick floor before you whitewashed it, did you already have it sealed before you whitewashed it? I know you said you weren’t. Sealing it after ? Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rebekah – My brick floor was most likely sealed at one time, but I am not sure. When we moved into the house it looked unsealed. This could be that the sealer over the years simply wore away. The grout will work better if the floor is unsealed so the product can get into the surface. Have you tested out a small area to see how it looks on your floor?

  7. Diane, I love the look of your tiles!
    Do you think I could do the same on ceramic mate tiles or does it have to be a porous surface? In which case can you suggest another method I could use to age them?
    Thanks and congratulations! I love your site so much that I have a special dossier for your ideas!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Roselyne – Thanks for enjoying my blog. That means a lot to me. For your ceramic tiles, you can use the same product, but it will only stick to the grout, not the tiles. So you can’t change the tile color since tiles are usually glazed. If your tiles are unglazed, tumbled stone style tiles, then it may work. The more porous the surface the better. If as you described your tiles are matte, they still are probably glazed? The only way to change their color would be to sand them to rough the surface up and then paint them with a bonding primer and then a floor paint or tile paint. The Grout Renew does come in a few colors, so if changing the color of the grout would help you like the tiles more you can see how I used it on a bathroom floor in this post:

  8. Emma Kubach says:

    Hi ,
    I want to do this for my outside garden. Do you think it would work? Would I need to use a sealer? Would the rain wash it a way?

    Thank you

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Emma – The grout whitener is pretty durable, but I am not sure it will last being exposed to the elements. A sealer would help, but it would need to be an exterior one – like a marine varnish.

  9. I am wanting to do this to my floors… I have paver brick tile in my kitchen, back hall, hall bathroom, laundry room and breakfast area. They are all very high traffic areas. I was wondering if that in addition to mopping will take the finish off too quickly. Any advice will be appreciated.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Patricia – My foyer gets traffic, but not a huge amount so I am not sure if with washing and high traffic how long it will take to wear off. So far, mine has not worn at all, even after mopping the floor every few weeks. If you do like the look, you can apply the grout whitener to the floor and then seal it with a water-based matte sealer with no shine. This would protect while not looking sealed. Here is the type of sealer I would use:

      I would not add the sealer until the grout is cured. This would be just to make sure the sealer doesn’t get mixed in with any wet grout.

  10. Did you have to strip any existing sealer? Or did you just go over as is?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Joshua –

      I did not remove any existing finish. My floor had a finish at one point, but it was well worn. If you see a sheen on your floor, you may want to try scrubbing the floor well to remove as much of a finish as you can. let dry and then whitewash. You can also do a test in a least seen corner to see how the whitewash takes. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  11. Can you comment on how this has held up for you? We are looking at property with the entire downstairs in this same brick tiling and I want to lighten it. It also has a high sheen sealer on it. I am guessing we need to strip that first?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Michelle –

      It has held up perfectly. Every time I walk over the floor, I smile. It looks the same and as good as the day I did it.

      If your floor has a high sheen sealer on it, it will have to be removed to get the matte white washed look I achieved. My floor might have had a sealer on it at one point in time, but it was worn and porous by the time we moved into the house.

  12. Darla Burton says:

    Thank you so much for the step by step instructions. I whitewashed our entry way brick. I so love how it turned out. Wish there was a way I could post pics.

  13. How is it holding up? Have you needed to reapply in high traffic areas?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Randy – The grout paint has held up very well. No wear at all, even where we walk across it every day and I didn’t even put a sealer over it. I wanted it to look very matte.

  14. Really love the basketweave pattern! They are a very dark brick colour, have you done a deep clean of them recently?

  15. Alicia Matiacio says:

    Did your brick floor have existing sealer on it? I am planning to use your method to whitewash a large section of our home and have a water based sealer on most of the brick tiles. I’m not sure if I should remove the sealer (almost 35 years old) or clean with TSP and just go to town!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Alicia – The brick floor in my home was stained and sealed. My floor was 35+ years also. I wasn’t sure the grout would work without stripping the floor first, but it did…and beautifully. Test out an area if you can just cleaning with TSP and then using the grout whitener.

      I didn’t seal the floor once I whitewashed it. I love the matte look the grout whitener added. If any area does get worn over time, it will be super easy to add more grout whitener right over the worn area. :-) I am so happy with how the floor came out. Every one who comes in, can’t get over how nice the floor looks now.

  16. Hi! Love love love the whitewash! We have very similar floors in our kitchen that we are currently renovating. Some type of sealant was put over the brick & grout (entire floor) in the past to make it shiny. Would your process still work? Or would we need to strip the floors before whitewashing? Thank you!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jess – My floor was stained and sealed back in the 1970’s. I thought I would have to strip it, but instead opted to try washing it well and then seeing what the grout whitener did. Since the sealer was old, the brick was porous and it covered exactly like I wanted it to.

      For your floor, I would suggest cleaning an area of the floor with TSP that isn’t in view. Once clean and dry, test out the grout whitener and see how the brick takes it? If it just sits on top and can be wiped away, then you will have to remove the sealer on the floor first. But if it seems to go into the surface, then you can proceed without having to strip the floor.

      I am wondering if your floor was made shiny by a wax product for floors. Most of them add a lot of shine. You may want to try a floor wax remover cleaner to see what happens. If it is just wax and not a urethane type sealer then it would be easier and less caustic than having to use stripper to remove the sealer.

  17. Katarina - says:

    Love how your brick floor looks like now! It has an antique charm mixed with the modern vibe and some unique shine. And it’s incredible how affordable it was to do it. Thank you for sharing great tips!

  18. Looks great…drab to fab as they say. It even makes the brick look cleaner.

  19. Looks fabulous! You’re so clever!

  20. It is beautiful… what a great job! I just love all your DIY projects they always look wonderful!

  21. Hi Diane – What a beautiful transformation! Thanks for sharing and inspiring me to get to work on some of my grout. I do have a couple of questions if you have time to answer – and I tried to read thru to see if you had already answered these two : )
    1) I noticed you said it will not whitewash/color tile since it is sealed, so is it just a matter of wiping the tile with a wet cloth vs. damp cloth to full clean it off the tile? (I’m not interested in re-coloring my tile; just the grout.)
    2) Do you think this would hold up well for outdoor grout?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lori – Here are the answers to your questions.

      1. If your tile is sealed, then you will be able to wipe the Grout ReNew right off. It will only stick to porous surfaces. It is a wonder product for whitening or coloring grout as it come in many colors. I used Bright White on my floor.

      2. It can be used both for interior and exterior.

  22. Beverly Poag says:

    From experience I would seal it. If not the grout will get dirty and look horrible. I cleaned the grout in my kitchen , DR & laundry room on my hands and knees with a toothbrush only for it to go back exactly like it was before ? only because I didn’t seal it. Please seal it! It is beautiful!

  23. Very innovative work. Great utilization of resources!!

  24. Stunning transformation! Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge and talent with us ❤️

  25. Such a huge, huge difference. I can hardly believe you got every grout line and brick in 2.5 hours. You must have been whizzing along. As much as I love your lake home, and have been green with envy ever since you moved in, I always wondered how, with your energy and determination, you had not done something to that foyer floor. IMO, it was definitely an area that needed “refreshing.”
    It’s beautiful, and now your stairway and that gorgeous chest can take center stage and not be dulled by their dowdy cousin, the floor. You are an inspiration to us all.

  26. Georgianna says:

    I like the way you think! This looks great, costs next to nothing, easy to do, has a big bang for the buck!

  27. I love Grout Renew. Amazon and Floor and Decor have it in many colors. I have changed the grout color in both my bathrooms and am planning on changing the grout color in the kitchen and laundry room.
    Grout renew has a sealer in it so it does not stain.

    Love how your brick came out. Great job.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Dee – Thanks for your comment. I didn’t even know Grout Renew had a sealer. WIN WIN all around. It is a fabulous product.

      1. Beverly Poag says:

        I didn’t either. I need this!

  28. It looks FABULOUS! What a great result for 2-1/2 hrs of work— I wish my projects were like that?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Merri Jo – thanks. Getting the floor whitewashed went far faster than I expected. I also wish all my projects were as easy and fast to do. :-)

  29. You amaze me! This looks beautiful.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Mary – It was one very easy DIY.:-)

  30. Carol Heartfelt Whimsies says:

    It looks absolutely amazing!!! Your DIYs are some of the very best in the blogging world!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      You are so kind to say that Carol. Thank you so much.

  31. Oh, very nice! Love the cleaner, fresher look.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sharon – Thanks. I like how you describe the new look… cleaner and fresher. Says it all. :-)

    2. Mary Ann howat says:

      Love the way it looks. Might try it on my brick bathroom floor.

  32. Oh my, this looks fantastic! I love using brick inside homes and am so glad you found a way to make yours work for you. It’s lovely.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Tiffany – Thanks. I would love if it were in other rooms in the house as it adds so much character to a house.

  33. Wow, what a difference, looks fantastic!! That feeling when we wished we would have done something sooner?. Great job!!

  34. Looks absolutely stunning – a real improvement!

  35. Cathy L CLARK says:

    I LOVE how your floor looks now!!! GREAT job!

  36. This is very nice. Do you think it would work on tile? I have a fireplace faced with driftwood grey tiles that look too ‘cement blocky’ (the tiles have a wood grain surface). I’d like to lighten up the tile and thought of whitewashing but didn’t know how to go about it.
    Do you think the Grout ReNew is a better option for tile than chalk paint?
    Thank you,

  37. Love it! I don’t have brick, but just seeing what you’ve done told me I need my floor do be lighter. The good thing is if what I do doesn’t turn out, it is so old I can just rip it out. :-)

  38. This looks great! Really cleans up and opens up this space. Nice!!! Thanks for the how-to.

  39. Really like the new look of the brick! I love the whitewashed look and have been meaning to do my fireplace one of these days. Wish I had your energy! Do you think this would this work in a bathroom covering the tile floor? Have a lovely week and thanks for all your wonderful tips.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ina – Yes, it would work on the grout on a tiled bathroom floor. But not the tile itself since the tile has a sealer on it. The grout paint or any paint would not work on the tile. The only paint that would is an oil-based tile paint, but they are very toxic to use. If you just want to change the porous grout between the tile then you will love how the grout paint will transform it.

  40. Nan, Odessa, DEa says:

    Are the floors real brick?
    Could you have used lighter brick and grout to obtain this color originally?
    What brick and grout would you use for the sharing you desire?
    Are brick floors hard to keep clean? Advise please

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nan – The bricks are real. If I was putting in a brick floor I would use lighter bricks and grout like I showed in my first inspiration post about the floor. You can see these photos here:

      The brick floor is the way it has been since we bought the house. It is real brick that extends right out the front door and onto the front porch where the color is a tan/peach. At some time in the house’s history, the foyer bricks were stained to the darker color since you can see how they look unstained out on the porch. The porch and foyer are one continuous slab of the same brick.

      I love the brick floor and wish there was more of it in the house. It is so easy to clean. I go over with a damp mop every so often. On a weekly basis I use a dry Swiffer and/or a vacuum if there is a lot of dirt and debris on the floor.

    2. It Looks fantàstic!! I’m a Follower of your nice improvments, Bests regards from Barcelona

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cindy – That is exactly what I said when I stood up after painting the last section of the floor. :-)

  41. Oh, I like this so much! I agree that the previous finish was just too dark. This is great. The most important part of this is that you and your hubby love it. This has given me an idea for the future for our slate floor. It also is a bit “too” something. Bossy may be the right word! But I can see that a subtle white wash might be just right. We have a white washed pine ceiling in the great room so I think it would look right at home. Thanks for a great idea!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Janet –

      I like your description of your floor being too bossy. :-) It would work on slate just as well since it is a porous surface.

  42. That looks fantastic, did you seal it at all. Will the grout renewal wash off eventually! Do you think i could use this on fireplace tiles?
    Thank ou

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Dee – Thanks for asking this question. I did not seal the floor. I like the way it looks rough hewn, plus the grout paint is very durable like a primer that sticks right away and is hard to rub off.

      I will see how it wears. If I do end up sealing it at some point, I would use a water-based clear matte sealer as I would not want to add any shine to the surface. I like the rough textured look.

      1. How has this worn over time?

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Kerri –

          The whitewash on the floor has held up very well. I love the floor since I did it. :-)

          I just took a photo of the floor with my phone this morning and added it to the end of the post under the heading Update so that you can see how it looks now almost 2 years later. Here is the link to the post:

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi again Dee – I forgot to answer your question about using the product on your fireplace tiles. If the tiles are sealed you won’t be able to whitewash over them, only the grout or mortar between them. If the tiles are not sealed, it would work. Test it on a small inconspicuous spot first to see how it looks.

      1. Linda Weeks says:

        …Diane! Another good thing is what an excellent exercise it is to sit on a yoga pad schuntching all over the floor!

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Linda – Great idea and I even have an old yoga mat upstairs in a closet. Thanks!