The beautiful weather over the weekend gave me the chance to tackle a few projects around the house that I’ve been putting off until I could open all the windows, and painting the living room floor tiles was #1 on my list. Despite ripping out all of the carpeting throughout the rest of the house, we had previously kept that living room carpeting intact and got a professional rug cleaning to make it look like new again until we decided what we wanted to do with the floor in the long run. We are having Tate’s Coating company come out and insulate under our floors to help keep it warmer during the winter. It was in decent shape and wasn’t horribly offensive so I was ok with it in the interim.

We knew there was some sort of concrete / tile / hardwood floors underneath the carpeting, as the space was originally an open-air porch before it was enclosed, so I was hesitant to expose what would be freezing cold floors beneath the carpeting during the dead of winter. But, now that the sun has been shining and the temperatures rising, I knew it was time to get moving on this project.

We ripped out the old carpeting to reveal…wait for it…wait for it…


Olive green 1950’s asbestos tile! Yay! Is the sarcasm reaching through your computer screen and slapping you in the face? #LongLiveTheChevron

While I can definitely appreciate a… let’s call it “vintage” flooring option in the right context, this baby wasn’t doing anything for me, not to mention the fact that it didn’t go all the way to the wall in places where we ripped out the old paneling as well as a few little damaged spots around the perimeter.


We’re definitely not ready for the permanent flooring installation quite yet, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with the current flooring for long so I decided to use some of this Behr Porch & Patio paint, that we had previously purchased at our old house but never used, to give the dated floor tiles a face-lift. We intend to get more info about Gettysburg Hardwood Flooring Group, who can do it professionally. 

We had originally considered ripping out the old porch tile and painting/refinishing the concrete below, but once the carpeting was up, we realized we were dealing with what was, most likely, 1950’s asbestos tile. Truthfully, just the word ‘asbestos’ scares me, but we were informed by a Environmental Monitoring specialist that it is perfectly safe to live with as long as materials are in good condition and the asbestos cannot be released into the air. This was the case for us, so rather than delve into the asbestos removal process, especially since this was going to be a temporary aesthetic fix before a more permanent flooring solution, we decided to simply paint and seal the tiles themselves. **I definitely suggest getting a professional opinion before dealing with any materials you think could possibly contain asbestos.**


I decided to paint the floor in 2 phases rather than all at once in order to keep some semblance of normalcy in our life during this project. The paint recommends 72 hours of drying time before returning to normal use so this is what made the most sense for us. After the first side has completely cured, we will move the room over to the painted tile and finish phase 2.

The preparation is probably the most important part of this project. It’s UBER important to have a clean and dry surface free of any dirt and dust in order to get the best results. Navigate here to see it.


Now, I’ve done A LOT of painting since we’ve moved into this house and, let me tell you, painting the floor has been BY FAR the most enjoyable paint job so far. It’s just so much easier and faster than painting any other surface. I might even go so far as to say I enjoyed it.

Just quickly go around the room and edge along the walls with a paint brush.


Then, using the floor as your paint tray, roll the paint over the surface with a roller on an extension pole. The only thing you really have to be aware of is not painting yourself into a corner, literally. Just start in the farthest corner and work your way to the exit/entrance of the room.

After about an hour, the paint is dry to the touch with a really nice eggshell sheen to it but you should wait 72 hours before returning to normal use.


Once that time is up, we’ll move the furniture over and paint the remaining side. The pictures don’t really do it justice but it looks SO MUCH BETTER. The subtle tile lines are actually really nice in person and almost give the feeling of a dark stone tile. The paint also does a great job of disguising any damaged areas and has me excited to move onto some other finishing touches in this room.


We still have yet to establish how the paint will stand up to those 2 crazy dogs running around the house. The only concern is how the tile themselves will take to the paint, since it’s obviously meant specifically for concrete or wood surfaces, but only time will tell. I’m debating whether or not I should try some sort of extra sealer or just wait and see how it goes. Fingers crossed.

It may be a temporary fix but it’s a temporary fix that’s really nice on my eyeballs. I hope to be back with Part II of this post later this week once it is all completed.

Until then, have a great Monday!



    • There have definitely been a few scratches and spot that need touched up every so often, but overall, things are still looking great! Since this wasn’t a permanent flooring solution, I’m happy with how things are holding up! Hope that helps!

  1. What did you do around the edges where it was uneven? Missing tiles? I have the exact same problem. Getting started soon. :) thanks!

    • Hi Sarah! I actually just painted everything. I knew this was a temporary fix for us so I didn’t take too much time to fix imperfections. I think a good idea to deal with those problem areas would be to fill those spots with wood filler or drywall mud using a drywall trowel. Once you fill them in and make sure you have a flat surface, you can lightly sand and just paint right over them! Just make sure you prime those spots well before you paint because the mud absorbs paint differently. Hope this helps! Good luck and let me know how it goes!


  2. I love this post – thanks so much! I think I’m going for it in my new basement.
    It looks amazing – but I know you had some problems after applying the polyurethane. Would you do anything different? What if you skipped the polyurethane?

    • Thanks Olivia! If I had to do it over again, I would have applied a heavy duty primer and skipped the poly. I knew this was a temporary fix so I chose not to take those extra steps. What type of flooring is in your basement now? Let me know how it goes!

  3. Hi ,your floor looks great now. Our problem is apricot ceramic tiles with grout, we are hoping to be able to paint over them instead of replacing. What do you recommend?
    Thanks !

  4. Thanks for the post, directions & supplies!! I followed exactly and now my basement’s old ugly floor looks awesome!! This is a great process for covering up old asbestos tiles!!

  5. Your floor looks amazing! Thanks for the post! I recently started my basement remodel (black and white asbestos tile !) Plans are to patch some of the missing and broken tile and paint black and white stripes. Im nervous and excited to start this project! Definitely going to look for heavy duty primer to use, do you have any suggestions?

  6. Thanks for this post- how did it hold up? We have asbestos in the basement and looking for inexpensive ways to spruce it up.

    • It held up pretty well! We did eventually install new flooring (that was the long term plan all along) but I was happy with it! Even with two big dogs running around, the scratches were minimal. I think investing in a really good oil-based primer and a sealer for your top coat will really help when it comes to durability! Hope that helps!

      • Thank you so much for sharing this. My neighbors and I all have been trying to find a temporary solution to our basement and looking for how to paint it. So after your experience, you recommend first apply a good oil-based primer, then the paint, and last a top sealer? Did I list the steps correctly? Also, do you have a recommendation for a sealer? Thank you!

        • Yes! Definitely go with a heavy duty primer, apply the paint, and finish with a sealer! After my experience, I’d recommend an acrylic sealer like Clear-Sealâ„¢ Acrylic Urethane Coating ;) Hope that helps!!

  7. Looks amazing! I was wondering how it’s held up, and if it’s not to hard to keep looking clean? I literally just painted my master bedroom floors with this same exact paint/color. I’m in love with it but every time someone asks about progress on our home and I mention black floors I get a lot of the “You’re crazy” looks…that’s ok, it’s my home not yours, peace out

    • Ha! I love it! I agree, what we do in our own homes is up to us! The painted floor held up well for the time we had it! We did end up installing hardwood flooring in this room (that was always the plan, it was a temporary solution all along) but I really liked it while we had it! Just like any dark flooring type, there was some cleaning maintenance involved, but nothing that was too much to handle. Much like dark hardwoods that so many people have in their homes now, you’re going to see dust and debris every once in a while, but I’m a cleaner by nature, so it didn’t bother me!! I love that you went dark on your bedroom floors!! What flooring type was it that you painted?


  8. Thank you, thank you for this post. I just bought a 100 year old house and this kind of tile is everywhere. This will be my 2019 summer project. At least 4 rooms. Love the before and after. Gave me hope.

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