Cleaning Edwardian tiles in entrance hall to half house



Our entrance hall is looking a bit sad, covered in oil-based paint and grime from years of neglect by past occupants.

I’d like to clean the tiles and remove the paint, but I’m nervous about damaging or discolouring them.

Has anyone tried paint-stripper or HG products on similar tiles? (Ebsworth / Bovill half-houses)



Have not tried the HG Product you provide a link to - but that does not mean that it could be very effective.

However there could be a three part solution and it might be advisable to try a small area first…

  1. Use something like nail polish remover with a fine blade scraper and remove the paint products first. Do not be too aggressive with the scraper and avoid gouging the surface.

  2. Using a very fine wire wool (not brillo pad grade - much finer) with the HG Product or sugar soap and try to remove the ingrained grime from the surface. You may find it best to judge your efforts on how clean the white tiles appear and thereby how satisfactory you feel the cleaning has been. You may find that you have to experiment a little here if the white tiles do not appear clean enough.

  3. Once you feel you have the tiles cleaned to the level you want - take a soft dry cloth and apply a little linseed oil to the cloth (do not overdo it) and lightly run the cloth over the treated area. This should return the lustre to the coloured tiles too.

Good luck.


Not tried this on Victorian tiles, but we found a proper cylinder steam cleaner worked extremely well on porous terracotta tiles.


You should use a conservation grade cleaner on those tiles.

First you’ll need to scrape off the paint, either using a plastic scraper or a metal one with an acute-angled edged with extreme caution.

Clean using Lithofin KF Tile Restorer or Vulpex Spirit Soap (I use the former). You can use a plastic scourer or scrubbing brush, but I wouldn’t touch them with even very fine grade steel wool or the like.

Once completely dry, if you’re sure they aren’t laid on bare earth (which if you’re in one of the half-houses built by the chap who did Ebsworth St/Bovill Road at the turn of last century, they shouldn’t be), follow up with a beeswax polish. You’ll need to reapply periodically - I do mine once a year since originally restoring them.


Thank you for the suggestions, @jgdoherty, @RachaelDunlop and @FaeryCatmother. I’ve ordered the products you recommended and will post before / after pics :slight_smile:


We’ve got the same tiles and got ours done by a tiler. You’re welcome to pop round to ours when we’re back from holiday in August and my partner can talk you through how they were cleaned. I seem to remember a scraper and some light sanding but she was more involved with it


Do it the Victoriana way, some soap and a stiff bristle brush. :slight_smile:



Which method did you use and how satisfied were you with the outcome.


I’ll post details soon. I bought a couple of different products … just haven’t got round to using them yet :flushed:


@jgdoherty, @FaeryCatmother




We used this product:

…and also some nail polish and paint remover with a plastic scraper to get the white paint marks off. It’s quite a painstaking task and we’ve not finished yet.

Will post more pics once we’ve applied the protective coating:


Good product to keep in mind :blush:


Significant improvement - trust you are pleased with it.


Definitely. We could see the dirt coming out of the tiles and it was easy to mop up. Impressed at how the colour of the tiles was untouched - good product.


That’s the stuff I use. It’s great stuff - even good for normal tiles.


What are you using as your top coating btw? I’m going with Liberion beeswax next time for mine. It does need to be reapplied periodically, but I tind tile restoring quite therapeautic anyway.


KF tile polish. It’s barely visible when applied.


When we had ours done, the tiler showed us how the victoriana tiles had the colour running all the way through not just on the top like modern tiles. So even when they wear down you still get the colour.