Kitchen Makeover for Under $25 – Grout Stain

It’s the blog so many of you have been waiting for….my quick kitchen makeover! If you follow me on Instagram stories, then you know that I’ve been doing a little DIY project in our kitchen with grout stain! And I am so so so so excited to share the results! So I’ll just get right into it with a before and after photo below.

How amazing does it look?! If you don’t follow me on Instagram stories, you might think that I re-tiled our kitchen walls using darker grout. And just so you know, I actually got a quote from a contractor for that about a year ago and they told me it would cost almost $10,000. No that’s not a typo. Legit $10,000! Things are expensive here in LA. Also, can I just rant for one second about how much it annoys me when I watch those home remodel shows in Southern California and it says that to redo an entire kitchen it takes $20K? That is the most ridiculous number I’ve ever heard! If you’re redoing a kitchen here in Los Angeles you’re spending at least $50K.

grout stain befor eand after


Grout Stain FTW

Anyway, we didn’t redo the tile. Instead we used grout stain! I had never even heard of  grout stain until the day before I did this. I was on Instagram and one of the bloggers I follow shared a picture of her kitchen and said that they had stained the grout a darker color. I was immediately intrigued and started googling the process. I found so many amazing before and after photos so I thought I have to give this a try! I immediately got on Amazon and ordered this grout stain in black to have it shipped next day delivery. And then legit I started the process that next day.

how to apply grout stain

My husband just about fainted. Ha! He came into the kitchen and saw that I had painted black all over the tile and his jaw dropped. But he knew when he married me that when I get an idea in my head, literally I will start working on it that day or as soon as I can. Even if it’s a huge project! I just really get committed to something once it’s in my mind and I’ve decided that I’m gonna make it happen. And that’s what happened with this grout stain. Ha!

how to do grout stain in kitchen


What You’ll Need

If you want to try doing this yourself you’re going to need a few things.

  • An old shirt – Don’t make the mistake of wearing a white blouse like I did when I started
  • A paint dish – I literally just used a small bow for my kitchen and it easily washed out afterwards.
  • Grout stain – This is the one we used and it worked perfectly! And get this, it’s only $18! That’s right, we completely change the look of our kitchen for $18. I’m going to get to more about that in a minute.
  • 1 inch foam brushes – I got this pack of 25. You only need one if you’re going to do it all in one day. I used three since I did this over a three day period. But the packs that I found that were for a few brushes were super expensive. Like double the price of the 25 brushes for $4. So I figured I get the bigger pack because I’m sure I’ll use them for something in the future. Plus, Molly and Riley have loved painting with them. So if you have kids you can use them for art projects.
  • A towel – Actually scratch that, you’ll need a few different dish rags/old towels. We used old kitchen towels because they’re a good small size, but we definitely went through about five of them. Now they’re super stained and definitely old rags that we will be using for dusting and other dirty projects.

the best grout stain


How to Apply Grout Stain

It honestly couldn’t be simpler to apply. Read the instructions for the type of tile you have, but there’s a wet method and a dry method. I honestly was unsure which of the two tiles I had him when I applied. So I just went with wet method, which basically means you use the foam paintbrush to paint lines along the grout and then wait 20 to 25 minutes before you wash it off. I would basically start applying in a section and then set my alarm for 30 minutes and continue painting. When the alarm went off I would stop wherever I was painting and then go back and wash a section and then continue painting. Some sections were probably left on for closer to 40 minutes because of me working on painting another section while one section was drying. But it honestly could’ve been easier.

applying grout stain

And as you can see from the photo above, the lines really don’t need to be perfect. Mine dripped everywhere and are uneven. It truly doesn’t matter because it all washes off the tile. The only thing that is important is that you make sure that the grout stain completely covers the actual grout. But honestly it applies so quickly and dries so fast that I really barely had to go in and do any spot touch-ups. Maybe a handful in the entire kitchen.

wiping off grout stain

When you wash it off be prepared for a mess. Once you start wiping it, black will smear everywhere all over your tile. Don’t panic. It comes right off. But it’s definitely a messy process.

How Long Does it Really Take

So like I mentioned above, I did this whole process over 3 days. I probably could’ve done in one day. But honestly my arms were getting so tired after each set and when I did it I was getting a cold, so was fatigued in general. So if you do decide to do this, know that it’s going to be an arm workout! Some of the blogs that I saw where people showed there before and afters were for the bathtub. So it probably makes it a lot easier to wipe down after you apply the grout stain because it just goes down the drain in your bathtub. But it makes it quite a bit harder when you’re doing it over a kitchen counter because you can’t just run the showerhead over it and wipe it down. you have to keep going back to the sink and then over to the wall, scrub it, go back to the sink to wash your towel off and then go back to the wall to scrub it. It’s a process. And it’s not easy to get it completely clean.

how do I apply grout stain

I almost feel misleading saying it’s not easy to come off. Because it actually does come off way easier than you think. The problem is all the little bits and pieces want to stick to everything so to get it completely spotless you really have to get in there multiple times. And I didn’t even remove the outlet covers and they still wiped clean.

At the end of the day, this grout stain cost $15! I save myself $10,000 by doing this project myself. And the results are just stunning! Honestly I’m so proud of myself that I’m giving myself a big virtual pat on the back right now. Ha! If I had known about this two years ago when we moved into our house I would’ve done it right away. Going from the white grout to the black grout just gives a kitchen so much more character.

grout stain in kitchen before and after


Farmhouse Style

You guys might think I’m crazy when I say this, but I’ve never really loved our house. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful for it because I know it’s beautiful and we are so ridiculously lucky to be able to live here. But it’s definitely more modern than my taste. And I’ve always felt like the kitchen was so stark white that it felt like a hospital to me sometimes. But by adding the dark grout stain to the tile, it just feels so much more like a farmhouse which is way more my style. I’m a Joanna Gaines girl all the way!

grout stain


Clean Lines Using Grout Stain

Okay, back to cleaning the grout stain. After you wipe off the stain on the tile as best you can, you’ll really need to get in there and get every groove. You might look at it and think that the lines are messy, but if you take your finger and put your towel over it and then really sort of scratch in between each tile, you’ll be amazed at how all the little imperfections fade away and the line is left nice and smooth! The only real imperfections that you’ll see are imperfections that are there from the original grout. As you can see in the below photo after my original wipe down, it looked messy. But once I got in there to clean it up with my finger nail essentially, it looks great!

black grout stain

For example, as you can see at the bottom of the tile where the tile and grout meet the countertop.  The grout stain doesn’t go all the way to the bottom. And the reason for that is that there’s a sealant that use to seal the crack where the countertop meets the tile and when the builders applied it they applied it about an inch up the tile. The reason that didn’t matter at the time is because the seal it was white and the grout was white. But here’s the thing, the grout stain doesn’t adhere to the sealant and only adheres to the grout. So as you can see it’s not perfect at the bottoms.

sharpie on grout

And I tried to fill it in with a sharpie! Don’t try that! Ha. It doesn’t work and looks messy and gray just an FYI.

I LOVE it!

But to be completely honest with you I don’t mind the slight imperfection! I still think it looks amazing and I would do it all over again! In a heartbeat! Know that these pics I’m posting are mostly close up and even in the after pics if you see imperfections, I PROMISE you don’t see them when you are just walking about in the kitchen. It looks perfect!  What do you guys think?! Do you love it?! Would you do this in your house? Tell me a thoughts in the comments below and let me know if you have any questions!

And if you want more home decor inspo from my house check out all my home decor posts here!

grout stain in kitchen


74 Thoughts

74 thoughts on “Kitchen Makeover for Under $25 – Grout Stain

    1. I asked for the white when our house was being built because I was so obsessed with everything being white and bright, but the black adds SO much character and it’s still bright and white!!!

  1. I was waiting for the BIG reveal and I was not disappointed! Ali, it looks soooo good! I don’t have backsplash right now but this is the exact look I am going for. You did a great job!!

  2. I’m thrilled for you, Ali! The new look is terrific! Yay for your hard work, time and effort with two littles, a pup, husband and work, too!

  3. You did am amazing job! My husband would just about faint too if he saw me mid-process, but I’m like you. I get an idea and I want it done like yesterday. Our house is more rustic, less farmhouse, but I’m working on making little corners more Joanna Gaines less Grizzly Adams, especially the kitchen and bedroom! Love your blog! Thanks for the great tip.

  4. You now have me wanting to do this! I have this weird conundrum in my kitchen of my cabinets being off white and matching all my trim in my house and having a white subway tile backsplash with white grout. Clearly the whites don’t even come close to matching. I now wonder if staining my grout would help or make it look even worse *face palm*. I may have to try an inconspicuous corner and see if I like it.

    1. You can also paint tile if you dont like color. So many inexpensive ways to improve you home without spending alot

  5. IM OBSESSED!! I’ve been trying to steal peeps of your progress in the background of your insta stories all week! Definitely want to try this in my bathroom!!

  6. Wow! It seriously looks so good. I was on the same page as Kevin when I saw your stories – I got a little anxious and thought you would regret it lol! I would have never been able to be that bold – but the risk definitely paid off!!! This is why we loooove you!! Enjoy the new look!

  7. We have the same subway tile with grey grout and this is making me wish we went a little darker!! I would totally stain it but I think my husband might go crazy if it didn’t go all the way down to meet the countertop…he is totally OCD and noticed the tiny things. You did an amazing job!! Doesn’t it feel great to accomplish a task like that, just that feeling of killing it!

  8. Okay I was really doubting this process and I know I shouldn’t have because I love everything you do. But WOW I am impressed. Did not think it would look this good or make THAT much of a difference but it really does and just good good job!!!

  9. Your kitchen looks fabulous. I’m glad you posted your blog on this, I’ve been waiting for it all week. I can’t wait to try this. Does the stain come in other colors besides black?

  10. Such a great facelift to the kitchen! I really like the definition it gives the tile, and it really coordinates well with the hardware you have for the cabinet and drawer pulls. I’m the same way as you when I get my mind set on undertaking a new project! Looks great and you must feel so good about the money you saved!

  11. The grout looks amazing!!! Now I want to do my shower grout. I went with white subway tiles and white grout!! Not a good idea!!

  12. Ali,
    You did a fantastic job on the grout. It looks amazing. I would do it in a minute. Can you use it on the grout in floor tiles. Again, you did a great job, you should be proud of yourself.

  13. I should have thought to invent that stuff! 20 years ago we moved into an old house and the floor grout was horrible so I used wall paint and painted the floor grout, it turned out amazing. Your kitchen looks great! Awesome job!

  14. This looks so awesome!!! Way to go!! There is nothing better than seeing the results after the work you put in! Now go and enjoy a glass of wine and sit and stare at your beautiful new kitchen backsplash!!

  15. Hi,
    I had asked you awhile back and am still wondering where your kitchen pendent lights are from? You dont seem to link them when your advertising your kitchen.

    Thank you,
    Kim Massie

  16. Love it! I am the same type of person! I do house projects all the time trying to save money. They scare my husband but in the end he is glad I did it! Good Job!

  17. Looks so great, nice work!!! You’re right that it does add a lot more of a farmhouse vibe! You’re giving me the inspiration to tackle a couple of house projects I’ve been putting off, thanks!

  18. It looks amazing!! I’m redoing my kitchen and have been noticing how nice tiles look with darker grout. It makes such a diff. Thanks for always sharing 🙏🏻❤️✨

  19. Did anyone else not recognize Alayah at the pool party????!!!!! Um, took me a few minutes! Girlfriend is absolutely unrecognizable without make-up. Had. No. Idea

    Maybe Peter was just as shocked??!!

  20. It looks amazing! I did the same a couple of months ago but with a grout paint pen, so easy and we love how the kitchen looks now with a darker grout. Its really worth it!

  21. Hi Ali! When you said you were going to do it and first started doing it, I was so nervous for you! It looks so great though! It’s amazing the little things we can do ourselves to make such a huge change!

  22. Hi Ali, so I’m into redoing and painting my house. Would it look bad if I have colored backsplash, that has black turquoise white and tan? What stain did you use?

  23. I was watching one of the HGTV shows just last night and thought that it would have been nice to have dark grout when I got my kitchen done last year. Now I see it won’t cost much to do it myself so I think I will try it. Perfect timing… Thanks for the idea!!!

  24. can I hire you? 😉
    you could replace the clear glass at the top of your upper cupboards with different coloured frosted panes.
    that would look sharp!
    (just a suggestion)
    you did a great job, Ali

  25. I did this exact same process about a year ago! It was such a pain to get all the specks off and get it totally clean, but a year later, it’s still perfect and I’m so happy I did it!! I was thrilled to see you do it and have great results, too!

  26. love it .I redid my kitchen 8 years ago and I did subway tile . I chose black grout but the contractor thought it would look awful . so I ended up with dark gray grout lines . I do love the dark gray but wish I had gone darker. ive had white grout in other houses and its awful to keep clean .

  27. Can you put black electric tape on the bottom? Or maybe cover it with a border or appliances or flower pots, etc.

  28. Do you think this could be done with floor tile. I have beautiful white tile with a grey streak running through (large tile pieces) but the grout is white and impossible to keep white. Even if not black, but maybe a darker grey to match the grey streak in the tile.

  29. It looks amazing. Great job Ali! I am like you and more of a farmhouse girl and feel like the all white is like a hospital lol

  30. You did a great job! I love remodeling homes. I grew up with a family who build a lot of homes. So when I got the privilege to do it myself.. needless to say i was sooo ready!! My husband and I own two homes so I got to do it twice! The excitement of recreating beautiful spaces never gets old! ❤️

  31. I love it!! It’s so much better with the contrast!! Good job!! Maybe when you move you can find your farmhouse! 😊

  32. It looks great. I never knew u could do it after it was installed. I love that you get stuff at Walmart too. You are definitely not a high minded rich gal. Your kids are the cutest and you and your husband do a great job. I do hope you will take them to church somewhere. It is the most valuable thing you can do.

  33. LOve it…..makes the space so much cozier! You have great style and I am so happy I found you on The Hallmark Channel

  34. I love it! I’m wanting to do this to my kitchen. Our grout is a gray and I’m wanting black. My husband rolls his eyes every time I mention doing something to it. 😂

  35. I love it! What a dramatic and stunning difference! You crushed it. I would love to do this. In fact I’m adding it to the kitchen wish list, now!

  36. I absolutely am in love with it. It is such an improvement, adds character. I am like you, prefer farmhouse type!!!

  37. It looks fabulous! Do you have to seal it as well? I’m thinking for my tile in the shower I hate the yellowish grout!

  38. Looks amazing. Love your grit and guts i general. You are beautiful and classy and raw and real and smart and generous and kind. A gorgeous, loving mama and a shining example to us all. Thank you for your lead by example personality

  39. this is my suggestion. If you want the grout line to be done near the counter top. Get an exactor knife and peel away the seal all the way to the where it meets the counter top. Only along the grout line.

    May be a bit time consuming. Though then you can paint the line all the way down. You could reseal if you want afterwards. Just get a tube of sealer and apply it along the grout. Get clear and the dark grout will be still seen.

    Love it though. Good job!

  40. Hi Ali,

    I know you read blog comments and was wondering if you can email me. My neighbor’s husband passed away this morning from melanoma after many surgeries. He was a military Dad and left behind his two daughters and incredible wife. His girls are friends with my son. I know that you recently spoke out about skin cancer awareness and was thinking that I might start a go fund me for this family. Would you be able to share with your followers? I know this sweet family could use the support.

  41. Ordered a mocha colored stain! Can’t wait! Our bathroom floors were never sealed and we used white on white … so imagine what they look like now 🤯 thank you for sharing, I can’t wait until it arrives!

  42. What did you end up doing at the bottom where the grout meets the counter? Did you just leave the sharpie, or did you do something else?

  43. Wow! I’m so impressed that you did this and how awesome it looks!
    I was wondering if you might be able to share the jeans and sweater you posted from VICI on your story yesterday. I waited too long and now can’t remember what they were. Thank you!!!

  44. I have been wanting to do this to my kitchen for years, but haven’t had the guts. You convinced me to give it a shot and I am soooooo glad I did! Thank you so much for posting these detailed instructions, pictures, and tips – it made the process much more enjoyable and less stressful. I absolutely love my kitchen now!

  45. Ali,
    This has nothing to do with you kitchen…. but I LOVE your front door color and I cannot find it on your blog! Please share your color with me. Thanks!

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