how to lighten travertine tile
Kristina Davis

Have you ever wondered exactly how to lighten Travertine tiles? I mean, Travertine, is known for its increasing popularity among design experts and DIYers.

But it might not always match the color of choice you would want for your living room space.

This has left a lot of people asking how to change the color of the Travertine tile?

Luckily, Travertine tiles are quite porous and can easily absorb colors and stains. So you can lighten pretty easily and effectively.  

This article is all about helping you lighten up your travertine tiles. I’ll be listing a step-by-step guide to help you, as well as listing a few tips that could be incredibly beneficial to you.

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So, I recommend you get a glass of something chill and enjoy the read!

To lighten up your Travertine tiles, you would need to stain the tile with a wood stain or perhaps whitewash.

Why You Might Need To Lighten Travertine Tiles

why lighten travertine tiles

As you already know, Travertine doesn’t really come in a wide variety of colors. And this could be quite terrible, especially for your design plans.

This is because they might not be a great match for your furniture or living space designs.

Also, people get easily tired of the beige colors that are synonymous with Travertine floors.

Most houses in Mediterranean-styled suburbs built in the early days favored Travertine tiled floors.  

If you happen to find yourself in one of those homes, you probably would be searching for how to lighten Travertine floors.

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Well, as we stated earlier, travertine can be easily stained. The reason is due to its porous nature, allowing it to absorb pigments easily. 

The process of staining your Travertine tile is quite easy. Although, it is a time-consuming process.

The Different Stains For Travertine Tiles

different stains

If you don’t already know this, Travertine is made from limestone. This limestone base is what allows Travertine to soak up most stain types with ease. 

It requires very little to no maintenance. And damaged or cracked travertine can be fixed up without much stress.

Applying Wood stain to Travertine tiles is the easiest way to lighten a Travertine tile. You can also decide to either whitewash or paint the tile.

Tip: Before whitewashing or painting your Travertine tile, do ensure they are sealed so as to protect both the stain and the stone.

Items You Definitely Would Need To Lighten Your Travertine Tile

items you need

In order to properly lighten your Travertine tile, you would need the following items:

  • Full covering pants, long sleeve shirt, safety glasses or goggles
  • Respirator or dust mask, 2 functioning fans
  • Rags, tile stripper, lacquer thinner
  • A piece of Microfiber cloth
  • A paintbrush that resists solvent
  • Scrub brush that resists solvents
  • An extension pole with lamb’s wool roller
  • Gloves that resist solvent, ghost-pearl pigment 
  • Paint-roller tray
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If you can secure all of the items listed above, you can very much follow the steps listed below in order to lighten your Travertine tiles.

Tip: Once you are through with the stripper soaked rag, carefully and properly dispose of it

How To Lighten Travertine Tiles – A Step-by-step Guide

to lighten travertine tiles

Step #1. Allow Enough Air Into The Room

Before starting the process, you would want to let in as much air into the room as possible.

Here, you would need the two fans stated in the list above. One of the fans would be placed on a side of the room, pulling enough air out of the room.

The other fan should be placed on the other side of the room, where it would be used to pull air right into the room.

This is important, as it produces cross-ventilation in the room. This also helps to draw the fumes out.

Step #2. Ensure The Proper Safety Measures Are Taken

safety gears

You would be needing those Safety coverings listed above during this step.

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Put on the long sleeve shirt, full covering pants, safety goggles, masks, and gloves that resist solvent.   

This is quite important as the stripper could be hazardous.

Tip: If you are plagued by a heart condition or are sensitive to the stripper fumes, you would need the respirator, not a mask.

Step #3. Then You Can Apply Stripper

At this stage, you then open the Stripper can and mix the settled ingredients. You can then dip the paintbrush that is solvent-resistant into the stripper.

Once this is done, take out the brush and then brush it into a  section of the Travertine tiles.

During this time, you are advised to leave the stripper until some bubbles are formed. Add more strippers onto the tiles if you notice them drying up.  

Tip: If you find yourself becoming dizzy or your head begins to hurt, quickly leave the area

Step #4. Ensure The Sealer Is Spread Around The Tile

ensure sealer

First, be done with the solvent-resistant paintbrush.

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Then you can use the scrub brush listed above to gently scrub and spread the sealer on the tile.

If you find any lightened areas, use the brush to agitate the area. By doing so you’re also helping the stripper get absorbed into the Travertine tile.

Step #5. Take Out The Stripper

Damp the rags listed above, and then use them to wipe off the stripper from the tiles.

Afterward, you can dampen a clean rag with lacquer thinner and then proceed to wipe off the area.

You are expected to repeat this process until the entire floor has been wiped. Once done, you leave it to dry for a period of 24 hours.

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Step #6. Ensure There Isn’t Any Sealer Remaining

The next step would be to traverse the floor searching for any sealer remnants. You could pour water on random areas of the floor.

If for some reason the water beads, then you repeat the process of stripping. Then dry up the water with the rag.

Step #7. Check Out The Color

check the color

You can now proceed to test the color. Pour an ounce of the ghost-pearl pigments. Your Travertine tile should begin to lighten up.

Stir it up until it is properly mixed, once it is dry, check out the color.

Step #8. Pour In The Sealer

With the paint roller tray listed above, you then pour the sealer into it. After which then dip the Lamb’s wool roller and proceed to roll it on the tile.

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Ensure the sealer is evenly applied and don’t let puddles form on the Travertine tile.

Step #9. Apply A Double Coat

Once the sealer is dry, you can then add a second coat. This second coat should be applied to face the direction that is opposite to the first coat.

An easy example of this would be to apply the second coat in a direction facing south-north if the first coat was applied in a direction facing west-east.

Step #10. The Tiles Should Be Buffed

buff tiles

Once this is all done you can then proceed to the last step, buffing the tiles. You buff the tiles with the microfiber listed above.

This is to help in removing streaks. Once this is done, you can then leave it to dry for a period of 24 hours.

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There you have it, that’s all you need to know on How to lighten Travertine tiles.

By following the steps listed in this guide properly, your Travertine tile should have a softer and more lightened tone.

Thus, staining your travertine tile could help in achieving your goal of lighting up the color. Either it's a simple wood stain or maybe whitewashing. 

There are quite a few options to choose from when it comes to staining your Travertine tile.

So spice up your living room space with a brighter and softer new look. Remember to check out our previous article, you might learn something new.