How to varnish brick or tile floors

For the Halloween party prep last week I focused on ensuring the corners were clean and the floors are shiny! To the latter, our kitchen floor is half brick half flagstone so a regular wash and wax does not give it any wow factor whatsoever. However, I know what does! I varnish my floor twice a year to give it a proper shine. Varnishing bricks or tile can make a real difference to a space. It instantly feels cleaner and looks fantastic. It also helps make a floor feel more uniform. And varnishing is easy to do!

 Here’s how:

  1. As old floors, particularly brick may be porous, you want to wash thoroughly several hours before you varnish it to ensure they are completely dry. Varnish sticks best to a very dry surface. [Varnish also sticks best to a sealed surface, so if your tile or brick has never been sealed, I recommend that you use a sealing product first and allow to dry overnight before this step. A floor only needs to be sealed once if you plan to use varnish for maintenance.]
  2. With a wide, clean brush, apply a thin coat of water-based wood floor varnish to your floor. I like to use 30-minutes dry Ronseal in Mahogany gloss. That extra bit of colour evens out the floor and makes the bricks look more uniform. However, you could also use a clear coat if you didn’t want to add tint to them. Just make sure that the product you choose is water based and quick drying. Oil based varnishes will NOT WORK.
  3. Make sure you don’t paint yourself into a corner! Work in a logical direction toward your exit so that you can complete the floor and leave the room to allow for adequate drying time.
  4. Once dry, give a light sanding to any areas that may look slightly thicker or uneven.

Over time the varnish will wear off and you’ll need to do it again. As we throw many parties and our floors take a licking from boys/trikes/cookeoffs, etc! we have to do it twice a year. All homes are different though, it may last in you home for ages!

Here are my before/after photos. What a difference, huh?



  1. Joan says:

    Beautiful! Your house looks party perfect!

  2. Charlize says:

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to detail how to do this. I didn’t know what to do! I am so happy I found your site.

  3. Talulah says:

    I had no idea. Does it really work?

  4. luke says:

    Interesting site.

  5. Evelyn says:

    Love your site.

  6. Kitty says:

    You just can not imagine how greatly that helped me! God bless you. My floor is super now.

  7. Ann says:

    Hi, I’m Ann, I’m 32, I’m on too handy but I find your site really useful. I tried this and my floors never looked better and it was so mcuh cheaper than other options so thank you.

  8. Bennie says:

    This blog greatly that helped me. God bless you. I just wasn’t sure what to do.

  9. Rhonda says:

    Hello there, Great tips. Cheers!

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