How to Stain Grout a Different Color

person applying grout sealer to tile grout
  • 24-48 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
Grout stain (available at any hardware store or home improvement store)
Small brush
Rags for cleanup
Nylon scrubber
Drop cloths

If the grout in your kitchen or bathroom is old and stained perhaps staining your grout a different color is a project you should consider. You can also change your grout color to match or contrast with your room.

Changing grout color isn't a difficult project and only requires a little time and a steady hand.

Note: For an easier job, be sure to purchase a grout stain that also seals so you can finish the job in one coat. A darker color will hide stains and give the area a more geometric, dimensional look and a lighter color will give the area a more quiet, subtle look. There are grout staining kits available that have everything you need for the project and these may be purchased on the internet or at any home improvement store or tile shop.

Step 1 - Clean the Grout

gloved hand scrubbing grout clean on a purple tile floor

Make sure your tile and grout are free from oil, soap, mold, and mildew. Clean it with a solution of bleach and water or any household cleaner and allow the grout to dry. If you are in a hurry you can use a hair dryer to speed this step. If you are staining new grout you should wait at least 30 days for the grout to dry before staining it. Cover your countertops, sink, bathtub, or surface below the area you are staining with drop cloths to keep splatters and drips off these areas. Once the stain is dry it can be very difficult to remove from other surfaces since it is meant to be permanent.

Step 2 - Apply

Apply the grout stain with a small stiff paint brush being careful to keep the stain on the grout. If you get any on the tile, wipe it off immediately before it dries. Allow the stain to dry overnight before you put on a second coat of stain. Do this only if you feel your first coat was too thin or you want a darker color.

TIP: Turn off any fans or heaters in the room while the stain is drying to keep the the whole floor the same temperature. Otherwise, you may end up with certain sections have different shades.

Step 3 - Touch Up

multi-colored tiles on a shower wall

If you got any stain on the tile and it has dried on, use a nylon scrubber to remove it. Do not use a sharp object such as a box knife or razor blade as it can scratch and damage the surface of your tiles. If you stained an area that gets wet, such as a bathtub surround or shower surround, you may want to coat the grout with an oil-based sealant made especially for tile grout. Be sure to get the kind used for this specific application and follow directions closely.