Sunday, March 15, 2020

Stenciling My Bathroom Floor

At the beginning of February I decided to give my tiny bathroom a refresh. It has always been a space that was fairly neglected and just seemed so cold and....boring. I will share how I completely transformed it into a little oasis in a blog post later on, but the biggest transformation was, hands down, my stenciled floors! 

I knew ceramic tile could be painted and stenciled but I was a little nervous to try my hand at it since I had never done it before. I read some blog posts and did a little research and decided to give it a shot! I'm so so happy that I did. 

Here is what my brown ceramic tile bathroom floor looked like before...

Definitely needed some help. 

After ordering my stencil and brushes from Royal Design Studio Stencils, I went to Lowes and got the rest of my supplies. For the stencil, I was inspired by Moroccan tiles and found this one to be the perfect choice for this space. 

I usually love Behr paint at Home Depot but they sadly don't sell floor paint samples so I picked out some colors I loved and they were able to color match them at Lowes. I purchased 3 floor paint samples for roughly $3.50 apiece and I was able to get my base color mixed into my primer. Always about saving that money! :) 


Valspar floor paint samples (color matched them to Behr paint colors) 
High quality mini foam roller 
Painters tape 
Sander/Sandpaper 120 grit 

The Behr colors I used are: 

* I apologize in advance for the poor photos! I was so consumed with the project and documenting it on Instagram stories, that I didn't take any progress shots for the blog. The following photos are screenshots of my stories. 


First off, I sanded my floor with 120 grit sandpaper. I then thoroughly cleaned my tile by scubbing it down and making sure it was sparkly clean. I didn't want any residue that would be stuck on there for life when I painted over it. 

I then took blue painters tape and taped over the toilet, baseboards, and cabinets. 

Ready to paint! 


As I mentioned before, Lowes added my base color to my primer so it saved me a step! After taping everything off, I went to work priming the bathroom floor with a mini roller. Because the floor was so dark, I had to roll two coats. The primer took at least 24-48 hours to dry in between coats so just keep that in mind! Don't rush it and let it completely dry before adding a second coat or before painting your stencil. 


After your primer is completely dry, tape your stencil down with painters tape. I started painting closest to the far wall and working my way out toward the door. 

Dab your brush SUPER LIGHTLY with paint and begin stenciling your design. If you are only using one color then I have heard that a high quality foam roller is must faster and easier. Because I was doing multiple colors, I obviously used several stencil brushes. 

I can't stress enough how you hardly need any paint on your brush. The more paint is on your brush the more likely it will bleed through your stencil. I learned the hard way. I had to redo my first couple tiles because the pattern was bleeding. 

After applying paint to my stencil, I swiftly lifted the stencil as not to let the paint run together. I then moved my stencil to another part of the tile that wasn't touching the tile I had just painted. See middle photo in the above collage. 

After the majority of the floor was stenciled, I then went back after it was dry and painted the hard to reach places. You can try bending your stencil to fit or if you don't plan on using it again, just cut it to fit where you need to use it. I cut my stencil in half and then painted the rest of the floor around the toilet and cabinet with the two pieces. 

Finally, I took a few tiny paint brushes that I had grabbed at Hobby Lobby and touched up the places that needed it. Some tiles didn't look as crisp as others so I just used my detail brushes to make it look much neater. Tedious and time consuming but totally worth it! (especially if you are OCD like me). 


I used Varathane Ultimate Water Based Polyurethane in Matte (which came highly recommended by stenciling pro Ashley Petrone (Arrows and Bow). I ended up putting about 4 coats on it just because I knew it was going to have to hold up to a lot of foot traffic, cleaning, etc. So far it has done amazing! I allowed it to dry at least 2 hours or so in between coats. I just used a mini foam roller and it is suggested that you sand lightly in between coats but I didn't and it turned out fine. 

I have loved the transformation! My bathroom feels like a completely difference space now and this was such a satisfying (and fairly simple) DIY! 

If you would like to see more of my process with lots of video clips than check out my Instagram here.  The entire project from start to finish is under my story highlight "bath refresh". 

If you decide to stencil your floors than tag me on Instagram (@thistle.harvest)! I would love to see your projects! 


  1. On the off chance that you have an old cabin or manor retreat this style of bathroom is one you should consider. Zenit keukens