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How To Paint a Faux Terra Cotta Floor

A faux terra-cotta floor is an inexpensive alternative to the real thing. Just rubber-stamp the tiles with warm, earthy colors of latex paint and seal with polyurethane.

More in Decorating

creating a faux terra cotta floor
  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate

Highlights:

Step 1: Prepare the Floor

Measure the floor, and determine the pattern and style of tile desired. Traditional terra-cotta tiles are usually 1' square but may be smaller. Wash the floor to remove dirt and grease. Let dry. Use painter's tape to mask the baseboards.

Step 2: Paint the Floor and Prepare for Faux Painting

Paint the entire floor with gray enamel floor paint. Let dry overnight. Mark guidelines on the floor for the desired pattern.

Step 3: Create the Tile Stamps

The tile stamps are made with 1/2" foam rubber glued to a cardboard backing. Use a ruler and T-square to draw several 12" by 12" squares on heavy cardboard and foam rubber. Cut the squares with a sharp razor knife, and glue the foam rubber to the cardboard. Cut one rubber-stamp tile in half diagonally to create corner stamps, and cut out any other odd shapes needed. If desired, pinch off some of the foam rubber to create imperfections in the tiles.

Step 4: Stamp the Floor

Pour small amounts of each terra-cotta paint color on a palette or large piece of cardboard. Do not mix the colors together. Wear rubber gloves, and swirl the paint with fingers so the separate colors are dispersed but not blended. Gently press the stamping pad into the paint. Peek at the foam surface and dip again if the paint doesn't cover the entire stamping surface. Blot excess paint onto a piece of newspaper, and begin stamping the floor. Press the rubber stamp firmly to make sure you get enough paint on the floor, and lift carefully so the edges don't run. Wipe away any excess paint at the edges of the stamped tile with a cotton swab. Continue stamping, leaving 1/2" of space between the tiles for the "grout" to show, until the entire floor is "tiled."

Step 5: Finish the Floor

Allow the painted tiles to dry overnight, then protect the floor by coating it with a good-quality polyurethane.

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