Painting a Shower Floor (Can You Do it & What Paint To Use?)

Painting a floor is a great way to beautify and protect the floor. But can you paint a shower floor? 

You can paint a shower floor. The paint protects the floor from moisture and increases the durability and strength of the shower floor, making the floor last longer. 

However, you must use only use water-resistant paint on the shower floor because the floor is exposed to constant water. The best type of paint to use on a shower floor is oil-based paint. Oil-based paints are durable, hard, and water-resistant enough to thrive on shower floors.

Also, you must apply a sealer over the paint to increase the durability of the paint and protect the shower floor better. 

Does Paint Stick To Shower Floor?

Paint will stick to shower floors made from materials that accept paint, such as concrete. However, if the shower floor is made of materials that won’t accept paint, such as tiles, you must sand the surface and then apply the paint.

Also, if the shower floor has been subjected to daily use, the paint won’t stick. That’s because the shower floor will be riddled with stains, soap, shampoo, and water. All of these things will prevent paint from sticking. 

If the floor is wet and riddled with stains, the paint will become loose and blister off. So, before applying paint on a shower floor, scrub, clean, and dry the floor and then apply the paint. 

Also, if the shower floor is already painted or sealed, the paint won’t stick over it. That’s because the previous paint (or sealer) is moisture-resistant and won’t allow the new paint to penetrate the surface and stick. Before applying the new paint, you must remove the previous finish from the shower floor.

Types of Paints To Use on Shower Floors

The best type of paint to use for shower floors is high-gloss oil-based paint. That’s because oil-based paints have a colorful glossy coat resistant to water, moisture, and scratches. Oil-based paint will protect the shower floor and beautify it.

But, you must seal the oil-based paint. Oil-based paints have low moisture resistance, so the paint won’t last long if exposed to constant water. So, you must apply a water-resistant sealer, such as polyurethane or varnish, over the oil-based paint. The sealer will produce a glossy clear coat that protects the paint and shower floor from moisture, water, and scratches.

You shouldn’t use water-based paint on shower floors. That’s because water-based paints will get washed off if exposed to constant water. Water-based paint won’t last more than 1 week on a shower floor. However, a sealant will protect the water-based paint allowing it to last longer on a shower floor. 

How To Paint A Concrete Shower Floor?

Painting a concrete shower floor can be time-consuming. This is due to the prep work required before you can put paint on the floor.

Here are the tools you need:

  • Epoxy Paint
  • A paintbrush
  • Wire brush
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Concrete paste
  • Detergent and buckets of water
  • A scrubbing brush
  • Rags
  • Paint primer
  • A paint mixer
  • A paint scraper or paint stripper

1. Remove Existing Paint

First, remove the existing finish from the concrete shower floor. 

To remove the existing finish from a shower floor:

  1. Apply a paint stripping paste over the existing finish.
  2. Wait 20-30 minutes. 
  3. Use a paint scraper to remove the finish. 
  4. Re-apply paint stripping paste to leftover paint. 
  5. Scrape the leftover paint.
  6. Remove the paint stripping paste residue from the concrete. 

After removing the paint, use a wire sponge to pluck out the debris on the floor. If the floor is damaged or cracked, fill the cracks with concrete paste and leave the floor for a few hours to cure.

If it’s a freshly-installed concrete shower floor, you need to allow the concrete floor to cure before you can paint over it. This will take a few days. You can use a dehumidifier to make the floor dry faster.

2. Wash The Floor

The shower floor must be clean before applying paint. So, wash the floor to remove moisture, soap, and grime. 

To wash a shower floor:

  1. Mix detergent with clean water. 
  2. Apply the mixture to the shower floor. 
  3. Use a scrubbing brush and wash the concrete shower floor. 
  4. After removing the grime, rinse the concrete shower floor with clean water.
  5. Allow the shower floor to dry. 

3. Apply Paint Primer

A paint primer will produce a base coat for the paint to stick to; this helps the paint to stick better. Also, concrete surfaces are uneven, which can affect the finish’s quality. So, the primer coating will cover the concrete and provide a smooth undercoat for the paint to bite into.

To apply primer on a shower floor:

  1. Allow the shower floor to dry.
  2. Apply 2 coats of stain-blocking or moisture-resistant paint primer. 
  3. Wait until the first coat dries before applying the next one. 
  4. Allow the second coat to fully dry before painting over it.

When the concrete shower floor is dry, apply a few coats of paint primer on the floor. Ensure to use only a stain-blocking and moisture-resistant paint primer.

4. Paint The Concrete Floor

Once the shower floor is cleaned and primed, apply the paint. To apply the paint, use a paint sprayer or roller. You must apply 3 coats of paint over a concrete shower floor.

Once the last coat of primer fully dries, apply 2-3 coats of polyurethane or varnish. Polyurethane will seal the shower floor paint and protect it from water, moisture, and other damage. 

How To Paint Shower Floor Tiles?

Painting shower floor tiles is different from painting a concrete shower floor. Tiles don’t accept paint, so you must prep the tiles. 

Here are the tools you need:

  • Sandpaper
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Paint
  • Paint primer
  • Detergent
  • Sponge
  • Buckets of water

Important: If you paint a tiled shower floor, you won’t be able to get the original look of the tiles anymore. 

1. Clean The Tiles

First, clean the tiles:

  1. Mix detergent with water. 
  2. Apply the mixture to the tiles.
  3. Use a sponge to wash the tiles and the lines between each tile.
  4. After cleaning the tiles, use a clean cloth or mop to remove the detergent residue. 
  5. Allow the tiles to dry. 

2. Cover The Edges With Painter’s Tape

Cover the edge of the tiles to prevent the paint from getting underneath the tiles. Also, cover the corners and the lines between the tiles using painter’s tape. This is to prevent brush strokes or paint splatters between the tiles. 

If you want to design the tiles to suit your taste, use painter’s tape to demarcate different areas of the tiles.

3. Sand The Floor

Tiles are non-porous, meaning the paint can’t penetrate the tile’s surface, so the paint won’t stick. But, if you sand the tiles, you will create small scratches that the paint can penetrate into. 

To sand tiles, use fine-grit sandpaper (200-grit).

4. Apply Paint Primer

A paint primer will paint the paint to stick to a tiled shower floor. The paint primer will produce a base coat that the paint can stick into. However, you must use a paint primer that is compatible with the paint you will use. 

Apply 1 coat of primer and allow it to dry before applying the paint. 

5. Apply The Paint

When the primer dries, apply the paint. 

To paint a tiled shower floor:

  1. Use a sprayer instead of a paintbrush. That’s because a paintbrush can leave brush marks on the tiles. 
  2. Apply 3 coats of paint. 
  3. Wait until the previous coat dries before applying the next one. 
  4. Apply 2 coats of sealer once the paint dries. 
  5. Allow the sealer to dry before using the shower floor. 

Paint Won’t Waterproof Your Shower Floor

Paint won’t waterproof a shower floor. That’s because most paints have low levels of moisture-resistant features and are not waterproof. So, if the paint is exposed to constant water, the paint will get washed off. 

The only way to waterproof a shower floor is to use waterproof paint or sealer. A sealer will produce a clear coat and protect the paint and shower floor from moisture, water, and other damage. 

However, you must re-coat the sealer every two years to prevent it from washing off. That’s because the shower floor is exposed to constant water, and sealants, such as polyurethane, will start to dissolve after a while. 

Final Words

You can paint a shower floor, but you must prep the floor first. Also, you must use waterproof paint and sealer. Other paints will peel off due to exposure to constant water. 

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