Subway Tile grout REDO - behind the diy



Subway Tile grout REDO

- Saturday, August 25, 2018. to read...
When our house was being built we came over one day and saw they finished the backsplash tile and bam I realized I HATED IT. Grout color is one of the things you don't "pick" or think of... and I pictured this beautiful smoke grey tile and either white or dark grout, each of which I would be equally happy with. BUT NOPE the grout color is the EXACT same color as the tile and made all the tiles blend in together and not even look like subway tile. SAD DAY. So I started researching on how to make it how I envisioned and I decided I was going to use colorant to change the grout color. Flash forward a few months and I randomly look in the kitchen and I say to myself "Todays the day" I run to home depot grab 2 bottles of this Polyblend Grout Renew and Colorant, a grout brush (I didn't need this just FYI) and 3 sponges with the scrub scouring stuff on one side and I headed home to start my project. I read many blogs saying it was a simple task and I was excited to make my subway tile pop!

What you'll need:
1 bottle of Polyblend Grout Renew and Colorant
6 scrub sponges (I had 3 and wished I had more)
Tooth brush / Similar brush
Grout brush (Depending on if you have build up on the grout lines, because our house is only 6 months old I didn't need to do a heavy duty clean, also a sealant stripper is recommended if you have heavily sealed tile/grout)

Prep your area:
Clean all of the tile (I used a vinegar/water mixture)
Scrub the grout if needed
Remove outlet plates ( I tried going around them but wiping off the excess is almost impossible to keep off of the plates)

I used an extra toothbrush, poured the colorant on a paper plate and got started painting on the grout lines.

Then I used the sponge and water to wipe it off. I've seen blogs say they painted all the grout lines and then went back and wiped off the excess. I was too scared to leave it that long and just decided to do a section then wipe it off... and boy am I glad I didn't do the whole kitchen (or how much I could get done in an hour like some others did) because it was MESSY and tough to get off because it dried so quick. 

(See the pour outlet plate I couldn't keep the colorant off)

 I watched the tutorial on Home Depots website and they used a water spray bottle to clean it up, but that was on floor tile... on a backsplash the color just ran down with the water because of gravity and it made a HUGE mess and I was worried it would stain my white counter tops. My subway tile is not glossy at all and while it was sealed it has a matte texture so I think it was harder as it stuck to the tile much more than it would a glossy tile. After trial and error I found that painting a small section of grout seams and wiping off with a damp sponge ringing out the sponge in a bowl filled with warm water then doing another wipe was the easiest way for my tile texture. I'd keep my sections to what I could do in about 1 minute and could easily clean up with one sponge. If after the second wipe with the sponge it was still wet/had black residue left over id go over it with a paper towel, which honestly I had to do almost every time. After I'd finish a good chunk probably 30 minutes of applying small areas and wiping down I'd go back and use the scouring side of the sponge and clean up the lines, literally scratching the little black still left behind on the seams of the tile. If I tried to do it when I wiped down the tile I found the grout colorant wasn't dry enough and sometimes would scratch off the grout too letting the old grout color show through.

Then continue on with the applying and wiping, wiping, wiping. I honestly thought this would be a 2 hour tops project and it actually took over 3 hours. I got so tired by the end because I started later at night. During the project I kept thinking I wouldn't have done this project if I would've known the process it would take just to clean up the excess colorant from the tile... but, now that its done... I LOVE IT. It made our whole kitchen go from pretty blah builder grade to WOW. Its subtle but makes a huge different. I am so glad I did it! I just wish I would've known ahead of time that it's not as simple as it seemed on blogs and on the tutorial. After I got a system down however it went well! Use my mistakes so you don't have to do the trial and error and it'll go smoothly from the beginning. I cleaned up all the edges and let it dry over night came back and saw some parts that still needed some scouring and it came off the tile easily! So don't worry that it needs to be perfect before the 1-3 hour dry time, if you get the majority off the little spots you notice over time will scratch off even a matte tile.

 I love it and think it made a big difference for only $20! For my kitchen I only needed one bottle of the colorant, I think I only used 1/3 of the bottle just for reference.

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