This job was at house in Polwarth, a small parish through which flows the Union Canal, running from Falkirk to Edinburgh. The client had requested a clean for a Victorian tiled hallway set in the narrow reception area of the house.
The tiled floor had been painted over by the previous owners of the house using a thick, red paint. Painting a tile floor in such a way can affect its wash-ability, and the paint can peel off over time especially in a high-traffic area such as a reception area or hallway such as this. The red paint would have to be removed in order to restore the tile underneath and reveal its natural state, as well as provide a thorough and much-needed clean.
Removing paint from a Victorian tiled floor
The first step in the paint removal process was to spray the floor with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Remove & Go. Pro-Clean is a heavy duty cleaner and degreaser, suitable for use on tile, stone and grout. Pro-Clean combines well with Remove and Go, which is a multi-purpose stripper capable of removing most sealers, adhesives and, particularly important for this case, paint. The solution was left to dwell after application to allow it to soak into the tile and soften the paint and dirt.
After 10 to 15 minutes we scrubbed the floor in order to remove as much of the paint as possible. The owner of the house was surprised to see the true colours of the tile appearing, which had been hidden beneath the paint for a significant period of time. As the red paint coating was particularly thick, we had to scrub the floor multiple times. In some areas the paint proved tricky to remove so it was necessary to use a steamer to steam clean the stubborn areas.
Once all of the paint had been successfully removed, the unveiled tile floor was treated to another clean using Pro-Clean, before being given a wash down and neutralised using Concentrated Neutral Tile & Stone Cleaner. It’s important to ensure any trace of strong cleaning products are removed from floor before the next step of sealing as it can impact the sealer leading to un-even results.
Sealing Victorian floor tiles
The floor was left to dry off overnight and we came back the next day to seal the tiles using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is an ideal sealer for Victorian tiles as it provides stain protection whilst also bringing out the colours resulting in a subtle sheen appearance.
You can see from the photos that after a thorough cleaning and sealing the floor was back to looking its best. I do wonder why someone would want to paint over such a fantastic Victorian tiled floor!