Pain in the Painted Grout

Wendy’s Blog

Paint your grout, pay me later!

After having us professionally steam clean her ceramic tile where we removed the dirt and grime, we uncovered ugly painted grout lines that wouldn’t budge and come clean.

We delivered the news to our client that we uncovered the fact that her grout had been painted. After the steam cleaning it looked bad, and very uneven. That is typical for painted grout once it starts to break down and succumb to foot traffic. What happens is it flakes off in traffic areas.  It won’t clean off with either homeowner or cleaning team attempts. Nor will it correct and be removed with professional steam cleaning. Actually, it becomes an unacceptable mess!

And after some thinking and digging, this client realized her “significant” no doubt did a quick fix to the grout painting it, like he was looking for “pearly white”, just like helping his patients with their teeth whitening.



Why homeowner grade or "cheapo" professional grade grout paint is sold and available is beyond me!

painted grout like lip stick on a pig
DIY & "cheapo" grout paint on tile or stone is a lip stick on a pig fix
Slapped right on the box should be a sign, "Grout paint- lip stick on a pig fix, come & get it!"

I get it that dirty grout can be frustrating, and homeowners at a loss think this is a good fix. Well, it may seem to be. But after it is on the grout a while it starts to wear off. That is when the overall tile and grout appearance starts to go “south!”

But this is when the options narrow to fix it!

Most of the time we are hired to clean we have no idea the grout has been painted. Then while steam cleaning it we remove the dirt and such, but the end result and appearance is not pretty! And, with cleaning, even professional hard core steam cleaning, we can’t do much with it!

So back to this particular project, and how we shared the news and solution for this painted grout debacle!

Now frustrated with our results we called our client immediately. Unbeknownst to her we informed her of the painted grout.  And although she had no knowledge of the grout being painted, she realized her significant could well have taken it upon himself to paint it as a fix for its unsightly appearance. We informed her she was not going to like the results. Then gently told her there was no option but to do a restorative process called color sealing.


Speaking "contractor to contractor" honestly, and (woman to woman) I explained the "fix."


We did have a solution to fix the problem, but it was considered “restoration,” and not “cleaning.” Basically that meant it was an involved, timely and costly process, not just a “wam-bam, thank you ma’am” slap it on, easy fix!

Taking our advice she understood and approved the work, doing a professional “color sealing” process that would fix the problem.

Here is how professional color sealing works for grouted stone and tile!

This is a fantastic solution compared to the cheapo painted attempts which fall short and don't last.

Professional formulations have impregnating components to them. So the grout colorant absorbs in like iron, forming a true barrier. Cheap and do it yourself formulas are surface paint treatments which eventually break down and wear off. And, when they wear off it is in flakes or specs. And that is why when it begins to fail it looks like crap!

The color sealing I am talking about not only impregnates into the grout, it also seals it preventing foreign spills and dis-colorants from absorbing into it. Additionally:

  • It can be used to change appearance, from light to dark, or dark to light. It can restore dissimilarly looking grout.
  • It covers old, dated grungy looking grout
  • The stock colors can be used to match the exact mfg grout colors made by TEC, Maipei
  • Custom colors can be formulated to match that offers endless options


professional color sealed grout Margate
Here is how this 30+ yer old tile floor and grout looked after our professional color sealing was done

But do these professional color seal coatings last?

You betcha! And you better like your choice, because you are going to have to live with it! These grout coatings do last, and they don’t wear or flake off. That is why they are ideally suited as an answer to the wrong grout color, the unwanted grout color, or the grungy and dirty looking demise of the grout appearance.

And what about the cost, what typically can be expected for this color sealing grout process?

Well using a hardwood floor analogy, it can be explained this way. Despite efforts to clean a compromised hardwood floor, there is but little option to restore its appearance. More often than not the fix involves sanding and refinishing. And people usually realize that is time consuming, invasive, and costly.

That is about the best way to explain the level of complexity and corresponding cost to restore disheveled grout. Instead of a nominal cleaning fee, people realize, prepare, accept and approve that color sealing is an investment.

And compare the alternative. Homeowners, designers, builders and others will make the decision to gut a tile installation merely because the grout is ugly. Or, they will do it because the grout is the wrong color for what its exposed to. And they may also change it just to update the look or vibe. So the thousands or tens of thousands are spent following that mine set, when an easier, less invasive and cost effective alternative could be at their finger tips.

Therefore, in comparison, the cost of color sealing is a highly attractive, money saving, time saving and less invasive process! Actually in the right scenario it can be a ‘home run” solution for those involved in the process!

So after we were done the tile floor and grout look beautiful, uniform and like new! (just like that!!)

After arriving home (as we did the work sight unseen), our client was “floored,” no pun intended! Her tile floor installation now looks brand new. Not one hint of the ugly, grungy and uneven looking grout! Their dirty floor problems were solved, and they didn’t have to lift a finger or a paint brush to do it!

Want proof of what it looks like? Let us do a sample for you, so you can see for yourself!


If you have dingy looking grout, the wrong grout color or wanting a new grout color let us “color seal” and fix your grout headaches. Free estimates. Just one call away! Call 609.953.0472. Or Contact Us online and we’ll reach out!