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.
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
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…
…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.
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
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.
AFTER. Brighter, lighter and more my style.
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?
I used a product called Grout Renew that I had left over from a project at my previous house.
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.
Here is a side-by-side close up of floor showing the color difference.
I love the contrast and color variations with the wash of white over the floor now.
And I love how it looks with the navy blue sideboard.
How to Whitewash an Interior Brick 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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Repeat Process
Repeat the process section by section, until you have every grout line and brick whitewashed.
I sat on my yoga mat and moved it as I worked on the floor, section by section.
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.
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.