Interior Design

Faux cement tile tutorial

So let me start by saying that I have been OBSESSED with cement tile since Genevieve Gorder, from extreme makeover home addition, did her NYC apartment renovation for hgtv years ago!! Although hers was more of a geometric pattern, I was in love with the idea of a pattern on the floor. Fast forward to a week ago, and factor in my impatience, I decided instead of waiting until I had the money and time to lay real Merona tile, I was going to figure out how to do a knock off that would save me time and money!

I started this whole “finders keepers” business based off my furniture refinishing, so my knowledge of surfaces and the different paints that are needed to stick to them, was perfect for the task at hand. I decided on a chalk paint, bb frosh to be specific, because it is known for sticking to just about ANY surface and then instead of a wax to finish it off, I knew due to the high traffic and amount of water the bathroom would receive I needed to use a more durable Polyurethane. I chose the color, ocean storm from valspar to mix with my bbfrosh chalk.

Before I went in for the first coat, I gave my bathroom floors a deep clean. I avoided harsh chemicals because I was afraid they might act as a barrier between the chalk paint and the tile.

beforefloor2 before pic

I had planned on using a foam roller for my first coat and a paint brush to cut in around my vanity and tub, but as I was cutting in with my brush I decided just to use that for the first coat. The coverage of the bbfrosh chalk paint was awesome. I let the first coat of gray dry over night and used the foam roller to add the second coat the next day, I also let that dry over night to make sure it had completely cured before I walked on it.

Then the fun part!


I had been searching for the perfect stencil combo to give me a non-cheesy look to create the pattern. I researched a bunch of stencils online and found that the best price and my favorite patterns could be found at Hobby Lobby. So I loaded up the babies and picked them up. I used my got to white, behr night blooming jasmine, and I started with the larger stencil and picked a spot to begin that I knew would make it easiest for me to get as many full stencil prints as possible. I used a little foam roller specifically made for stenciling that I also grabbed at hobby lobby. When I got to the part where only half of a stencil was necessary, I decided that since it was only $12 I would cut my stencil to fit, so that I could avoid smearing the white paint and making a mess.


Once I finished all my big stencils I still had room to walk to the back of the bathroom and start on the smaller stencil. I placed those between the larger stencil on every other four square. I let that dry over night and the next morning I was wishing I had a way to make the two stencils look more connected. That is when my bestie Savannah from classy clutter showed up and said I could connect them by adding just part of the smaller stencil in between the two sizes. Ahhhh! It was perfect! In true Jade style, I ended up using my Mac make up brush as a paint brush to keep myself from getting paint on the parts of the stencil that I didn’t want to use.

Final step was Polyurethane. I bought a water based stain finish Poly and decided on four coats total. I brushed on the first coat. *TIP be careful not to brush back over the tacky parts of poly that are still drying because it will pull away some of the gray paint and reveal the tile underneath. Let the first coat dry over night and then do the repeated coats the next morning and night until all four are finished. I then used another clean foam roller to apply the last three coats.

WAHLA! It was done and honestly prettier then I could have imagined! I FaceTimed everyone I knew and made them tell me how great I was! Haha I hope you all try this and let me know how it goes! Let me know if you have any questions! Loves!

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  • Reply Rachel

    Do you think this same technique would work over linoleum?

    January 7, 2017 at
  • Reply Becky Jones

    You have totally inspired me!!! We did almost complete house reno last year. By the time we got to the guest bath, I was so over workmen and spending $, that I only did new vanity and countertop. I have hated the old “pinkish” floor every time I go in the room. Thank you! I know I will have questions, but, this is on my “to do list”. It looks so hard. And your work is amazing!

    January 12, 2017 at
  • Reply Finders Keepers Designs - What I wish I would have known before starting our renovation - Finders Keepers Designs

    […] As a temporary fix and to save money I ended up painting the pink tile with chalk paint, tutorial HERE, and making it look “better” for now. Our master bathroom was not “terrible” so I painted […]

    November 30, 2017 at
  • Reply Zadrianne

    How has this technique held up? We are about to start a kitchen reno but are not looking forward to busting up the old tile..this would be a great alternative if it holds up.

    March 8, 2018 at
  • Reply Sherry

    Flooring looks beautiful love love!! I really like your pick of stencils, so could you tell me where you got those please? Thx

    April 13, 2018 at
  • Reply Jessica

    hey girl this looks amazing! I don’t know a lot about this type of stuff- how do you think it would hold up on a laminate floor??

    August 21, 2018 at
  • Reply Jessica Rose

    hey girl this looks amazing! I don’t know a lot about this type of stuff- how do you think it would hold up on a laminate floor??

    August 21, 2018 at
  • Reply Sarah

    Hi the floor looks amazing. I am wondering though how does the paint wear, as in scuff marks scrathing and chipping

    October 2, 2018 at
  • Reply Gail

    How has it held up ? Saw some people post that it started chipping and coming up a little ! I really wanted to do this but am afraid now ! Do you have more pic. Of it now ?

    October 10, 2018 at
  • Reply Dominique

    I’m curious how this held up? It looks beautiful but I’m trying to decide if it’s worth the work

    June 7, 2019 at
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