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How to Paint Concrete to Look Like Tile

By Benjamin Routh
Tile pattern

Foundations, basements, sidewalks and patios are often constructed using concrete for a solid and durable finish. A newer trend is to add a decorative pattern or color. Homeowners often add stains, paint and patterns to concrete for a decorative appearance. Creating a tile pattern is a popular choice, and you can easily achieve this look with the proper tools.

Choose two different colors to create a tile and grout appearance. Select a paint specifically designed to adhere to concrete surfaces. Estimate the amount of paint needed by multiplying the length by the width of the concrete area to obtain the square footage. Match that number to the square footage coverage listed on the paint can.

Repair any chips or cracks in the concrete with a concrete filler solution. Mix the solution by following the manufacturer’s instructions, and apply it to all cracked and chipped areas. Smooth the filler solution using a trowel tool until it is level with the concrete surface.

Clean the concrete surface thoroughly using soap and water, or a pressure washer when the concrete filler has dried. Remove any mold using a 50 percent solution of chlorine bleach and water.

Paint the concrete using the color you selected for the grout pattern when dry. Spread the paint using a roller brush for an even application. Apply a second coat of this same color if necessary. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying and reapplication time.

Choose the size of the tile pattern you want to create, and the gap you want to leave for the grout pattern. Select a grout width of approximately 1/2 inch for a standard tile appearance. Mark the beginning of each tile using a tape measure and pencil, based on your preselected pattern. Mark the entire perimeter where each tile will start.

Create a grid outline on the concrete using the chalk line. Attach the end of the chalk line to the first mark on one side of the concrete, and stretch the line to match the mark on the opposite side. Lift the line and release it. This will create a horizontal line. Continue this process for each mark, and then move to the top of the concrete to snap lines vertically. Inspect the final lines to make sure they follow a tile-like grid pattern.

Apply masking tape over the length of each chalk line. Select a size of masking tape that matches your desired grout size. Secure the masking tape to the concrete by firmly pressing it in place.

Paint the concrete using the paint you selected for the tile pattern. Paint directly over the masking tape using a roller brush for an even appearance. Remove the masking tape when the paint has dried to enjoy your new tile pattern.


Things You Will Need

  • Paint
  • Masking tape
  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • Chalk line tool
  • Trowel
  • Concrete filler
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape


  • Apply an additional coat if necessary following the same instructions.


  • Paint fumes can be dangerous. Always wear a mask when painting.

About the Author


Benjamin Routh has been an entrepreneur and freelance writer since 2007. His work has appeared on sites such as Ezinearticles.com, Helium.com, and more. He attended East Tennessee State University from 2003-2007, where he majored in accounting and general studies.