When you purchased the tile for your floors, it most likely came with a high-gloss or glaze on top of it. This gloss is what makes your tile floors look so shiny and what makes them so easy to clean. However, if you have decided that you want to change the look of your tile, you will need to remove that glossy layer in order to paint your tile. With a few basic supplies, you can easily remove the gloss from your tile floor. The time it will take to complete this project depends on the amount of flooring that you need to de-gloss.
Clean Your Floor
The first thing you need to do is clean your floor. Sweep your floor first to get rid of any large debris, and then go over it with a mop and a simple solution of warm water and dish soap to remove any remaining dirt. Any dirt and dust could compromise the de-glossing process.
Create A Neutralizing Agent
You are going to use acid etching powder to remove the gloss on your tile floor. You are also going to need a neutralizing agent that will stop the acid once it has done its job.
To create a neutralizing agent, you just need to mix one standard container of baking soda with five gallons of warm water. Set the neutralizing mixture aside until you need it.
Put On Protective Gear
Before you start to work with the acid etching powder or liquid acid solution, put on protective gear. You should put on protective eyewear, gloves, and a mask.
Wear a long-sleeved top, long pants, and socks and shoes as well to protect your skin. These should be clothes that you are okay with ruining; if any acid gets on them, it could create a hole. You don't want any acid to get on your skin; it can damage your skin.
You should also open up the windows in the room you will be working in. The fumes from the acid formula you will be using are toxic and should not be breathed in. Opening the window, or even setting up a fan, will ensure you have enough ventilation to do the job.
Prepare The Acid
You can purchase either a liquid acid solution or an acid etching powder designed to remove gloss from tile at your local home improvement store. Follow the directions carefully on the package for diluting the acid; you don't want the acid to be too strong, or it will work too quickly. If you aren't sure what to use, talk with a professional like All American Stone & Tile Care Inc.
Apply The Acid
Wet the area where you want to work with a mop. Then, sprinkle or spray the acid solution onto the floor. Try to apply the acid solution as uniformly as possible. The acid solution will start to bubble; this means that the acid is eating through the glossy layer on your tile.
Work The Acid
Take a stiff scrub brush and work the acid into the tile. You'll want to make sure that the acid comes in contact with the entire surface of each piece of tile, as well as along the grooves of the tile. From applying the acid to scrubbing it down should take about ten minutes; you'll want to work one small area at a time.
Neutralize The Acid
After about ten minutes, you'll want the acid to stop eating through your tile; you don't want it to eat through all the layers of your tile, just the top layer. Take the baking soda neutralizing formula that you created earlier and spray it all over the area where you applied the acid. This will stop the acid.
Rinse the area you were just working on with warm water and soap. Repeat the process of applying and neutralizing the acid to the rest of your floor in manageable sections. Once you are finally done, wash your entire floor again to ensure that all the acid has been removed. After your floor dries, you can repaint your tile floor.