Flashback: Painted Checkerboard Tile Floor

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Flashback: Painted Checkerboard Tile Floor


By Brookelynn Morris

Black and white checkerboard floors are classic and you can create them without setting a single tile. I transformed my tile entry way with paint and you can too!



Mop and bucket
Scrub brushes
Paper towels
Concrete etching solution
Paint brushes
Paint roller
Floor paint in black and white




Step 1: Clean the floor as thoroughly as possible, then tape off the baseboards with painters tape. Sweep, vacuum, swiffer or dust, then scrub and mop with soapy water.


Step 2: Apply the etching solution, per the manufacturer’s directions. Be especially cautious to follow the safety directions. Wear a respirator, safety glasses and gloves. Do not let your skin come into contact with this caustic product.


Step 3: After you have let the solution do it’s thing, mop it up and clean the floor again. Removing every trace of the etching solution is essential, so mop the floor several times. The surface of the tiles will now be rough, instead of smooth. Leave the floor to completely dry, preferably overnight, and take precautions to make sure that the floor stays as clean as possible while it dries.



Step 4: Paint the whole floor white. Use a brush to apply paint to the grout, and then work the paint onto the tiles. Then use the roller to smooth out the paint to create an even surface. The brush gets the paint right in the grout and ensures good coverage, while the roller evens out the texture. My terra cotta tiles needed 3 coats of white paint, and 8 hours of drying time in between.


Step 5: To create the black checkerboard, tape off a square pattern. I wanted large checks, so the black and white squares are made of 4 tiles each. Cut the painters tape at an angle, and lay it down over the squares you intend to remain white. Split the grout down the middle to include it in the pattern.


Step 6: Paint the black. Start with a brush, as you did with the white. When the whole square is covered, make a pass with the roller. It is imperative to roll the roller very slowly, to avoid splattering any black onto your white squares. Let the black paint dry, then apply a second coat.


Step 7: When the second coat of paint is totally dry, remove the painter’s tape to reveal your new floor. Make any required touch-ups with a small brush. Defer to the manufacturers’ directions, but try to avoid heavy foot traffic for at least a day to let the floor cure to a perfect finish.

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Haley Pierson-Cox from Red-Handled Scissors is a maker of crafts, a lover of cats, an avid swearing enthusiast, a cross-stitch book author, and a general purveyor of quirk. She's also sometimes an irritable cartoon named Tiny Cranky Haley. https://www.redhandledscissors.com

View more articles by Haley Pierson-Cox


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