I’m showing you a white subway tile backsplash refresh that you can DIY for under $20 & a few hours with a paintbrush.
WHITE SUBWAY TILE BACKSPLASH REFRESH: Change your grout color
Texture & contrast are my true loves.
I recently saved my glossy white subway tile from hiding in a sea of white grout by using some grout colorant to give it a refresh. It gave my backsplash added contrast and helped the texture and lines of the tile pop.
You can use this method on older grout give it a little pick me up, but I used this method on newer grout to seal and change the color.
YOU’LL NEED:[checklist-box title=”DIY Tile Refresh” ]
- Grout Renew Colorant — Color of choice, I chose Charcoal
- Angular Artist Paint Brush — Small
- Water Wipes — Damp paper towels work too, but you need a lot so wipes are way easier
- Paper Towels
- Cement grout joints — sealer/colorant won’t work on other types
- Grout Sealer Application Brush Bottle – Optional
Choosing your new grout color for your White Subway Tile Backsplash
White grout gives you a clean look, but little contrast or tile definition
White tile with white grout is a classic and clean look — and a great choice if you have a lot of other colors and textures going on around the tile, like colored cabinetry. You can easily refresh your existing white grout just by grabbing the grout renew in “Bright White” and going over your existing white grout.
But if you already have white grout and need to change up the color, then choosing something a little more bold might be just what you need.
Light grout helps the space feel visually bigger
If you’re working with a small space that you want to make visually larger, opt for a grout color like light grey or beige — this will limit the upkeep of white grout when it comes to stains and keeping it looking bright and crisp.
A lighter color is a way to add in some of that texture and help define the outline of your tiles without going too dark.
Going bold with light colors might mean a teal or light green.
Dark grout helps give you a more vintage industrial look
I was working with a large space and I wanted a super dramatic contrast, so I chose charcoal. It really helps my glossy white tiles pop.
This can start to look busy in a small space, but if you like the look you can still make it work by going neutral or light and bright with the rest of the room — making the texture and contrast of the tile the main focal point.
Going bold with dark colors might mean choosing a dark black, olive green, or brown.
The Grout Renew from Polyblend comes in 40 colors so your options are endless when it comes to choosing your perfect grout color.
The other reason I love it is that it’s a sealer and colorant in one.
Ready to refresh your tile? Let’s get started, but don’t forget to pin this post for later.
Refreshing Your Grout
Now that you picked your perfect grout color, its time to give your tile a little refresh.
STEP 01 — Paint it on
The tile renew is pretty easy to use — you’ll use your angled paintbrush to paint it on the grout in a small section about 12″ X 12″
They also have a tool made just for this — a grout sealer applicator brush bottle — which works decently well.
I found it to be a bit drippy and trusted my hand better with a paintbrush, but if you don’t often find yourself with a paintbrush in hand, you might like the all-in-one bottle tool.
Wear gloves if you’re a messy painter, since this stuff can irritate your skin
STEP 02 — Wipe off the Excess
You’ll want to wipe off the excess before it dries — aka everything on the tile that isn’t in the grout.
It’s important to get this wiped off before it’s dry as it can stain some types of tile. It easily came off my bright white glossy tile even when it was dry, but I could see how you’d want to be careful with a matte or textured tile.
As long as you work in small sections, you can easily get your tile wiped clean before your colorant starts to dry.
Use baby wipes to wipe off the excess. Paper towels work just fine, but you’ll go through a lot of them so some pre-moistened water wipes are a lifesaver
(I also use these to clean my stencils and 1000 other things in the studio, so they’re a must-have)
STEP 03 — Let it Dry
If you’re working on a backsplash or wall, you can expect it to be decently dry in 2-4 hours. Just don’t bump the wall before that and you’ll be golden.
If you’re working on a floor, it can handle some light traffic in 2-4 hours — but you’ll need to wait about 24 hours for heavy traffic since it will be completely dry and set up.
This project is pretty simple in terms of skill level, but a little bit time consuming if you’re working on a large space.
Overall, the time is totally worth it since its a full transformation at a super low cost without having to re-tile or re-grout anything.