Using a Grout Pen

Lead Image
  • 1-24 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-40
What You'll Need
Scrubbing brush or scouring sponge
Clean rags
Grout pen
Sheet of scrap paper

Pristine tiles bordered by dingy grout is never a good look and makes a grout pen immediately necessary. Knowing how to use one will ensure that you can keep your tiles looking their best.

Step 1 – Prepare Surface

If you are using a grout pen on old tiles where the grout has become grubby, it is important to clean the surface first to ensure that the application takes. Where the pen is being used because the tile has been painted and the grout line requires updating, it may still be worth wiping the surface, depending on when the surface was painted. If you intend to renew the grout after painting the tiles, the painting process must be completed first so that the paint has a chance to thoroughly dry.

For a dirty surface, use a cleaner suited to the type of tile but nothing that is too harsh. A normal household cleaner would be sufficient. After cleaning the tiles and grout, thoroughly rinse the surface with warm water and use some rags to soak up the excess water before leaving it to dry. When it has dried, run your fingers across the surface to ensure that it free from any traces of dirt or cleaner.

Step 2 – Prepare Pen

The grout pen will need a little preparation and this should be undertaken in accordance with the instructions. However, if these are not present, begin by ensuring that the cap is fitted properly and shake the pen vigorously. Lay the piece of paper against the surface where you intend to apply the grout paint and press the nib of the pen into it. You will find that there is some give to the pen tip and a new pen will need to be pushed against the surface several times to produce a flow of paint. Experiment on the paper to determine how much force you need to use to keep the paint flowing. If using the pen on a vertical surface, work out what angle you need to hold the pen in order to get a continuous flow.

Step 3 – Apply Paint

If using the grout pen on the space between floor tiles, begin at the side end which corresponds with your dominant hand to prevent the risk of smudging your work. Keep both damp and dry rags handy to clean up any paint that strays onto the tiles. Get your wrist into a comfortable position so that you can slide the pen steadily and smoothly.

When working on the space between wall tiles, hold the pen at an angle that produces the best flow and begin from the bottom and work your way up. As the color thins out, put the cap back on, shake the pen and depress the nib again to encourage the paint flow. Leave the first coat to dry for at least an hour before applying a second coat. After completing the second coat, leave this to dry for two hours before using the surface as normal.