Can You Paint Tile?

Painted Tile

You sure can! But before you go to the store and pick up some paint, be sure to read the preparation/application tips and considerations.

If you just don’t want to replace or remodel that old outdated ceramic tile in your kitchen or bath, paint it! Painting over tile is a simple project that can create amazing results. Follow the steps below for a superior application:

Step 1 – Repair Any Damaged Areas

Before you begin, examine the tile for damage. If there are any areas that are cracked, shipped, or rough, use a quick-drying epoxy to fill in the area. Allow the filler to dry for a few days before applying step 2. 

Step 2 – Sand

Sand tiles lightly with the 150-grit sandpaper to ensure the paint adheres to the surface.

Step 3 – Wash Tile

Carefully wash the tile and grout with a solution of water and TSP to remove built up grease or dirt. TSP is a common cleaner that can be purchased at most hardware or home and garden stores. 

Step 4 – Remove Residue

Remove any left over cleaning residue by wiping tile down with a denatured alcohol.

Step 5 – Mask

Using painters’ tape, mask off areas that transition from the tile to the wall or floor.

Step 6 – Test Area

Find an area to test the results of the primer and paint. Behind the bathroom door is a good location, or near the refrigerator in the kitchen. 

Step 7 – Prime

Apply a bonding primer. Be sure the primer you are using has been designed to adhere to shiny surfaces. Allow the primer to dry thoroughly according to manufacturer’s guidelines.

Step 8 – Paint

Paint a high gloss or semi gloss enamel over the dry primer. Allow the paint to dry and look at it several times throughout the day to ensure you are satisfied with the color in different light. If satisfied, paint the rest of the tile and grout. Once again, allow the paint to dry according to product instructions. Tile may need a second coat.

Step 9 – Cure

Although the tile may be dry to the touch, it will take a few weeks to properly cure. Avoid heavy use to prevent scratching.

Step 10 – Protect

For greater protection and color preservation, especially in areas that get frequently wet near the sink or bathtub, finish with a few coats of clear water-based urethane.

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