Paint A Kitchen Floor With A Black Brick Pattern

by THAT Painter Lady

faux brick floorThe results are fantastic… but getting to a beautiful floor was not easy.

Linda shows us how she learned to paint a kitchen floor with a brick pattern by trial and error!

“Thanks for the compliments on my kitchen.”

The Floor, well the old stuff that was already down in the kitchen dining room was easy to paint even the first time I did it about 15 years ago.

The first time I did it I washed it down with a very strong solution of Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) Heavy Duty Cleaner.

Then I lightly sanded the surface with a very fine sandpaper. Just to take the sheen off of it.

Then I put an oil based primer on it and gave it at least 24 hours.

First to dry and then to cure a bit. That is you most important part of this.

You must get the floor clean of oil and take the surface sheen off so that stuff will stick to it.

Floor TileThen the first few times I painted the floor I used Tremclad paint. It is oil based and requires a longer dry time. When I used the tremclad the first two times I used beige. Then I did the pattern in brown.

The third time I did the floor I decided to try something different. I again used the strong TSP, but did not worry about sanding the top coat because it had been down for five years and I figured it was thin enough that the TSP would do the trick. It seemed to have worked because the floor was painted white for at least 5 years.

And when I used my electrolux floor scrubber and Mr. Clean to scrub it and then ran my buffers over it I always had a great shine.

Anyway, after the cleaning with TSP. I allow a good length of dry time. Then I used an oil based primer that was designed to allow you to use water based paint. I also allowed it about double the dry time before putting my pattern on it.

This time I had an added problem before I painted the Kitchen floor.

We put down a new piece of flooring, and it was of a different composition. I really have had to work at that one.

I thought it would paint up just like the old floor. But no…………….it had to be a pain in the ***. (bleep) 🙂

I painted the entire floor and four days later on the new flooring I could peel the entire thing off like pulling mac tac off in big hunks.

So, I had to go back to the original solution.

  • First a strong solution to TSP. Did it twice with TSP and rinsed well between both scrubbing.
  • Allowed a long drying time.
  • Then went at it evenly with a very fine sand paper.
  • Then had to rinse it again twice but this time I used paper towel that was lightly wet and basically was taking off the stuff I had sanded off.
  • Kept wiping with a fresh or well rinsed piece of paper towel until the towel came out clean all the time.
  • Then I used an oil based primer that again would allow you to paint over it with water based paint.
  • I like to use the water based when ever possible because it dries so much faster and it does not stink you out for two days.
  • Once that is done, I then used water based white paint, and I mixed a glaze in it. (for water based paint) This makes the paint a little harder.
    • Even if the store sales persons say it does not they are wrong. It does make the paint very tough and it dries harder. It takes a little longer to dry because it is designed to allow you more working time for special finishes. I gave it a little more than 36 hours to dry and cure a bit.
  • Then I got down on my knees and put 1/4 inch painters tape on for the white grout lines. When I was done that (This pattern took me 4 days to put down. ) Before applying my total grey coat I had to take my finger and go over every piece of tape to be sure it was down good. After 4 days there was a few spots that the tape was coming off so it had to be checked.
  • Then I applied the grey paint over top of the white paint and the painters tape. NO GLAZE in the grey paint. The glaze was to make the white paint more stable for when I took the tape off. I allowed about 24 hours for the grey to dry and then cure a bit.
  • Then, I did the black pattern.

If you recall they have a special sponge mop out on the market that they say is special for washing walls. It comes with a special handle to squeeze the sponge mop and the sponge mop itself it rounded on the edges. Just for washing walls.

faux brick floor before Well I got one of the replacement sponges. Peter cut 1/4 of it off to use for the small squares and the other 3/4 fit perfectly for the longer or rectangular spaces. Of course you see my original floor was imprinted with little squares and I wanted to make use of the original pattern.

We got lucky that the one sponge that we cut fit perfectly into the small and large area’s. If not I just would have gotten a second sponge to cut it to size. ‘

What I liked about this sponge was that it was designed with the large and small holes just like a sea sponge but it was synthetic. The sea sponge holds a lot more fluid and it releases too much fluid for this job. The synthetic sponge is just right.

The black paint I mixed with the glaze. First it makes the top coat tougher, second it makes the paint more stable to stay in the place it is put. It does not allow it to run.

I did not use the large amount of glaze recommended on the container because I did not want it to have an irredecent appearance. I just wanted it to make it tough and not allow it to run or bleed into itself.

It helped to hold the sponge pattern and the holes, the way I applied them. I varied the direction of the holes and put some darker than others.

I decided that I would do the small squares darker and then do the long ones close to the small squares a little lighter and the next ones even lighter.

That all has to do with how hard you push on the sponge,(and too much pressure just blurrs the holes from the sponge.) mostly it was to figure out how many times you could use the sponge before you had to apply more paint.

I found it better to apply the paint to the sponge with a brush rather than pushing the sponge into the paint to suck it onto the sponge.

By applying the paint with the brush I could also control dark and light areas of paint on the sponge that transferred onto the floor according to how much paint I put on the sponge.

Try not to go over top of a spot twice because it blurrs the holes and you loose the effect that you are trying to create by using the holes in this type of sponge.

Now I had to decide when the paint was dry enough to remove the tape.

  • I had the floor dry, for the required time on the can. About 3 to 4 hours.
  • Then carefully start to remove the tape starting and working in the same direction and area that you started painting.
    • You do not want the tape to stay on long enough to get too hard or you will likely start to pull off the paint underneath it along with the tape. I got lucky and because of the glaze in the white paint the tape never pulled up any of the paint underneath it. (On the new flooring that was such a problem this time) I took the tape off carefully as I went along.
  • So I would paint an area just big enough that I could reach all the tape and take the tape off (((VERY CAREFULLY))) and then continue on another small area with the pattern until the entire new piece of flooring was patterned and the tape was all removed.
  • It was still a little testy, and tricky because in some places as I pulled the tape off you could see the entire floor wanting to pull up, but I pulled back on the tape, not up and back and used my fingers to secure it in touchy places just enough to get the tape off. I was very gentle with this section of flooring for the next week and it seems to have finally adhered to the flooring completely.
    • (You never know, it may have done the same and finally secured to the floor the first time if I had waited long enough, but I feel better about it having re-done that section).

I had wanted to use “Stays Clear” for the top coat, (comes in oil or water based) because it is white in the can and goes on white and dries clear. It does not yellow.

But we had originally picked up a gallon of Varathanes Oil based to use on the cupboards when Peter was not in agreement to me putting the cupboards white. He thought they should be wood grained or painted a different color.

So I had the full gallon of Varathane that is expensive and he wanted me to use it. Well, it immediately yellows white paint, but I figured it was minor on this particular floor so I used it.

It is the diamond finish so it shines very well and it is tough and I put three coats on it. Remember if you top coat is amber in the can it will go on amber and continue to amber with age.

Stays Clear goes on white and after three years you can barely see the difference between three years and fresh paint.

So, now that you know how much work is involved in painting your kitchen floor are you still game to give it a try??? This fourth version took the longest because I did a very detailed pattern.


Update – Linda sent me a scan of the sponge she used!  Pretty cool what you can do with simple supplies…

sponge from wall washing mop

Linda says “You  have seen them in most large grocery stores in the section where they sell the mops and brooms and the refills for the mops.

I have shown the short sponge on its edge.  The longer one on its round side and then show the entire mop in the holder.  (The handle is sitting on my office chair).  But it may help you to see it is not hard to find the sponge.”
Thank You Linda for your effort to help us all!  :0)
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc June 27, 2009 at 8:10 pm

the sponge idea is great, I have done faux finishes using sea sponges, but with your pattern, am not sure it would work well. But of course finding an artificial one with odd patterns and different holes will be a challenge.

Linda Connolly July 5, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Hi Marc:
I have sent Debbie the scanned sponge that I used. Hopefully it will not be too difficult to add the photo to this article. They are a very common sponge that you find in the grocery store where they sell the brooms, dust mops and such stuff. This is the replacement head. It slides into the holder of the mop handle. Maybe when you see the picture you will realize you have walked by them in the grocery store all the time. Recall I said that I had cut one sponge to do both the small and large brick. I have scanned the short sponge and the longer sponge and then scanned the full length sponge before cutting it and show it attached to the handle to make it easier for people to recognize.
Hope this helps.

Cookie Buoncore July 6, 2009 at 12:36 pm

God bless you. That really sounds like an awful lot of work. I painted my basement floor several years ago with a sponge. I painted it to look like a terracotta tile. I thought that was a lot of work.

Linda Connolly July 8, 2009 at 11:15 pm

Hi Cookie: Why Thank you. Yes it was a lot of work, but worth every minute of it. My kitchen floor should be good for at least five years if not 7 or 8. And it is “MY Floor, and MY design, and My colorings, and My favorite of all the ones I have done over the years. The only thing I think I was as proud of was the painted rug I did with the cut out floral pattern. Debbie has also put it on her site here. I hope the picture of the sponge mops make it easier for folks to find in the store now. Did you ever take a picture of your terracotta tiles. I would love to see that.

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