Without a doubt
I have bad grout
and want to shout,
“Don’t replace it, reface it.”
Despite having far from perfect grout in my shower, I’m definitely not planning on grinding it out and replacing it. That’s time I just don’t have. Oh, and I rent. So what are my options? I can’t seem to get rid of the rust stains with chemical cleaners so it’s Billy Mays to the rescue. Billy Mays couldn’t make it – he’s currently buried in work – instead we have his bobble-head. Stop sniffing the pen Billy; Drugs are bad. Mmkay??
Grout Aide is basically a grout paint pen. I am curious to see how well it covers and how long it lasts. It could be the perfect solution for a lazy renter like me.
The first thing I had to do was clean the shower. Usually, I clean the shower every month or six. Cleaning removes any soap scum, scale or build-up that might prevent the marker from applying the paint uniformly to adhere and dry properly. My shower is completely tiled from top to bottom, so “regrouting” would take an immense amount of time. The majority of the stained grout is around the perimeter of the bottom of the shower.
Let’s rock out with our grout in and see if this pen works. The directions call for vigorous shaking for at least 30 seconds. I immediately fell into my Shake-Weight training mode.
After shaking that pen like a Polaroid picture of a crying baby, I am ready for Step Two. Gently press the “nib” onto a piece of paper and patiently wait for grout color to appear. This may take 0:45 seconds. After pressing it down about 20 times, all of the pores on the “nib” started to fill with paint. Looks like we’re ready.
The pen applies a thick and uniform coat to the grout. It definitely covers up the stains. It is like applying whiteout to your shower tile without the lively smell – sorry Billy. The only problem is it works so well you have to do the entire bath area or you can see where you stopped. The tip is reversible for when one side begins to wear down. Probably a bit of overkill as the tip appeared to be in good condition and did not need to be reversed after using two thirds of the pen’s paint. My reasonably sized shower stall contains approximately 350 linear feet of grout. The pen claims to cover 175 linear feet. A little quick math reveals I need two pens. Two pens cost between $10 and $20. Still cheaper than regrouting.
The overall difference is pretty clear.
This pen is not bad for covering up stains, but there is an entirely different problem we face when talking grout….cracks. This pen covers, but it doesn’t fill. You are guaranteed to have bright white grout with very obvious cracks, something the product photos don’t show.
Oh well, the pen is clearly not mightier than the trowel, but can put up a good fight. Overall, the grout looks far better. Maybe they will invent a crack pen. Boy that be popular wherever “regrouting” is considered a luxury.
Time for some time. I’m gonna wait a month and see if this paint washes off with my daily filth. Tick, tock, tick tock, tick, tock.
One month later we have a result
The grout cover is still there. Other than not filling in the cracks, the Grout Aide pen definitely delivered on its promise. My shower has clearly been refaced and looks much better than when it was awash in rust and lime stains.
For the price, this product is worth buying: RAT ON!