How to Fix the Wrong Grout Color

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how to fix the wrong grout color

Tiling is a great way to add some color, flair, and style to a room. This is especially true for bathrooms and kitchens, where things can be a little utilitarian. 

If you are looking to create an accent piece or simply want to protect a wall, tile is a great choice. Not only can you choose the color of the tile, but you can also choose a color for the grout. 

However, one of the issues with grout is that it can be difficult to accurately colorize. 

This means that you could end up with grout that is the wrong color if you aren’t careful. This can throw off the whole look of your tiling and cause serious design issues. 

Fortunately, there are ways to change the color of grout once it has been laid down

In this article, we have provided a guide on how to fix the wrong grout color. By following the below steps, you can get the look you have been after for your grout. 

Changing the wrong grout color is a relatively easy process with a few steps. These steps include: 

  • Wait for the grout to cure
  • Decide on a lighter or darker color 
  • Select a quality grout colorant 
  • Paint on the grout colorant 

Why Would Grout Be the Wrong Color?

why would grout be the wrong colorOne of the reasons grout may be the wrong color is the fact that it is a fickle material. 

Since grout has cement in it and it changes characteristics when it dries, the color is difficult. The color that you might see coming out of the package may be different from the final result. 

This is because as the grout is exposed to air, the color pigmentation can change. 

It is very difficult to predict how the color will come out. Because of this, you may have to make some adjustments to the color after it has dried. 

One of the ways you can mitigate this is by testing the grout before applying it. 

Put some of the grout on the back of a small piece of tile and let it cure completely. This will give you a good idea of what it will look like after it has completely set. 

If, however, you are not satisfied with the color after it has been applied, there are ways to change it. 

Wait a Few Weeks 

The best thing you can do if you are unsure about a grout color is to wait a few weeks. 

Because grout will change color as it sets and cures, you may be more satisfied with the final color. Wait at least three weeks before you make any decisions about the color. 

Grout can take a long time to fully set and it will take even longer for the final color to come out. 

Because of this, you may not like the color before it has completely set and dried. Don’t make any decisions about changing the color until it has had a chance to fully develop. 

You may also want to wait a while to let yourself get used to the color. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is be patient and wait for the color to grow on you. 

If you have waited a few weeks and still don’t like the color, you can then start thinking about changes. 

Decide On Lighter or Darker 

decide on lighter or darker

Once you have decided to change color, decide on a lighter or darker color. 

Just like with wood stain, it is much more difficult to lighten a color than to darken it. Take this into consideration as you make decisions. 

If you want to make the color darker, you can simply use a grout stain. This stain will penetrate the pores of the grout just like a wood stain. 

However, if you want to make the color lighter, you will need to use a grout colorant. This acts just like paint and will need to be applied with a brush. 

This is very delicate work but can be done with a little bit of patience. 

Select a Grout Colorant 

You will need to select a grout colorant that you are sure you will be happy with. 

To be certain, purchase a few different colors to make sure one of them is correct. This is a great way to avoid having to go back and forth to and from the store. 

To test the colorant, lay some grout on a piece of cardboard or scrap piece of tile. 

Apply the colorant to the test grout and wait for it to dry completely. If you are happy with the color, you can then move on to applying it to the rest of your grout. 

Paint on the Colorant 

Once you have chosen a color, you can then apply it to the grout in the house. 

This is a very delicate and time-consuming process. However, it is not necessarily difficult, it just requires concentration and diligence. 

If you like, you can mask off the tile and paint on the colorant. This will help ensure that you don’t get any of the colorant on the tiles themselves. 

You can also wipe off any colorant that gets on the tiles before it dries. 

The colorant will have a sealer combined with it to give the grout a seal and protect it from moisture. This is a great extra layer of protection and can improve the longevity of the color. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

faqs how to fix the wrong grout color

Can you grout over existing grout? 

While you can grout over existing grout, it is not recommended. This may compromise the seal of the grout and cause problems with mold and mildew. 

It is always best to remove the old grout completely before putting in a new layer. 

Does vinegar darken grout? 

Vinegar can slightly darken the color of your grout if it is applied carefully. Only use white vinegar for this process. 

You should also make sure that the grout is clean otherwise it may turn brown. 

Will sealing grout darken the color?

Sealing grout will sometimes darken the color. However, you should not depend on this process to change the color. 

Instead, try to get the color as close to what you want beforehand. 


If your grout is not the color that you want, you do not have to panic. Simply wait a few weeks and then decide if you want to change it. 

If you decide to change the color, the steps are relatively simple and can be very effective. 

Photo of author


Michael J. O’Connor is a writer and marketing specialist from the Bay Area of California. A graduate of Sonoma State’s Creative Writing program, he spent many years as a contractor and carpet layer, learning the ins and outs of flooring and general contracting. When he’s not typing away at his desk, he enjoys hiking with his dogs, woodworking and collecting rare books. See full biography here.

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