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How to Fix Discolored Bathroom Tile Grout

Discolored bathroom grout can occur for many reasons. Grout can lose its pigment over time, so dark colors can lighten and show stains more easily. Grout is made up largely of cement, which makes it porous. To fill these pores, a sealer should be applied on a regular basis.

Paint Old Grout to Make it Look New Again

Discolored bathroom grout can occur for many reasons. Grout can lose its pigment over time, so dark colors can lighten and show stains more easily. Grout is made up largely of cement, which makes it porous. To fill these pores, a sealer should be applied on a regular basis. If the grout has not been sealed, hard water, mildew or hair dye can stain or discolor the grout.

If digging out and replacing the grout is not an option, it is possible to paint the grout with a special grout stain. Available in most shades that grout is available in, including white, painted grout lines can help update the tile job.

  1. Clean the grout well using a grout cleaner. The grout cleaner will remove surface dirt and stains, as well as mildew. It will most likely not penetrate the grout to remove embedded stains or discolorations.

  2. Paint each line of the grout using an artist's paint brush of the same size as the grout joint. The grout will absorb the paint or color since it is porous, while the surrounding tiles will not. Take care to cover the entire surface of the grout, and not leave behind uncovered spots.

  3. Allow the grout paint to dry for 24 to 48 hours and then seal the grout with an impregnating sealer to help protect the new color. Paint the sealer onto the grout lines with a foam paint brush and wipe up the excess sealer with a lint-free cloth.

  4. Tip

    Seal your grout approximately once a year, particularly in wet areas to help guard against future staining and discolorations.

About the Author

Sarabeth Asaff has worked in and has written about the home improvement industry since 1995. She has written numerous articles on art, interior design and home improvements, specializing in kitchen and bathroom design. A member in good standing with the National Kitchen and Bath Association, Asaff has working knowledge of all areas of home design.