Painting Ceramic Tile

29 responses

    April 17, 2013

    I would like to paint the ceramin tiles in my pool is that possible?

  2. Sandra Cail
    May 8, 2013

    Can I paint the tiles in my bathroom. I can't match it with anything because it's from the late '50s.

  3. Brenda Dean
    September 28, 2013

    I have existing ceramic tile in light green on my kitchen backsplash.
    I do not want to remove the tile because its in good condition except for the colour.
    Is there a paint I could use to stencil designs on the tile.

    • Momo
      February 15, 2014

      Hi Brenda! I'm not sure if you found the answer that you were looking for, but my guess would be to use your 'stencil designs' on the tile along with the paint that Tim already recommended in his article on this page in his response to Sharon. That would have been nice to see how Sharon's project came out and if she was able to accomplish what she wanted. Hope she comes back here to 'strut her stuff'! I also have a bathroom that has ceiling to floor (baseboard) tiles! It's in an old cape cod style home on 2nd fl. bath and looks like a hospital/clinic bathroom. It's a green color along w/those old medicine cabinets w/the 2 florescent long strip lights on ea side of mirror. Pretty freaky looking. Would love to turn/pain the green tile to baby blue. Hoping to find a solution, but I think Tim pretty much summed it up. My only problem is that the tiling is along the bathtub as well, so I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to work around that. Good luck to you!

  4. Bruce Butkis
    February 27, 2014

    Krylon Fusion spray paint its made for plastic but works extremely well even in areas regularly exposed to water. I've been using this stuff for years with my work on countless bath and kitchen makeovers and have never had a single failure to date. As long as you clean the tile real well no primer is needed. Use several light coats and the important thing is to let it dry untouched for at least 7 days but as much as 10 in humid climates. then go over the surface with a extra fine wet dry sand paper thats slightly damp just to remove any burrs in the finish and then top coat with a non yellowing clear coat.

  5. Jane
    April 17, 2014

    I have 9 18inch glossy ceramic tiles surrounding a gas fireplace. Can these tile be painted since there is heat?

    • Tim Carter
      April 19, 2014

      Yes they can. Extreme heat will damage any paint. Use common sense.

  6. Nick
    August 17, 2014

    I have seen a lot of articles and videos online showing people painting shower tiles. Any update on this?

    • Tim Carter
      August 21, 2014

      Yes. It's a mistake. Do not paint shower tiles.

  7. Anna
    August 26, 2014

    Do you paint over the grout as well? Or only on the tile?

    • Tim Carter
      August 28, 2014

      You can paint over grout too. Painting tile, in my opinion, is a last-resort thing.

  8. andy chaachouh
    September 28, 2014

    This is without a doubt one of the most irresponsible posts I have seen in a long time. As a contractor, I would never recommend this for several reasons. First and foremost us that it is very likely to disappoint. Nobody wants to see a painted tile, it screams cheap. Secondly, when you go to sell your house, expect to replace the job or lose value on your house. Thirdly, there are maintenance issues, most places that are tiled are tiled for a reason (I.e. surrounds, backsplashes, floors). These areas have wear issues that painted surfaces are just not meant to deal with. Epoxy paint will mitigate some of these issues but not all of them plus epoxy paint has its own issues. If a person wanting to hand paint a few tiles with a design is one thing but to do what has been suggested is just plain folly.

    • Tim Carter
      September 28, 2014

      Andy, until you've tried it, I suggest you try to lower the volume of your displeasure. You're a contractor, right? Do you put clear urethane on hardwood floors? Is wood softer than glazed tile? So tell me, how do multiple coats of a high-quality urethane work to protect years of foot traffic on hardwood? Why do you feel it would do any less on tile? Have you seen basketball games on TV or in person? You do realize all the lines, logos and whatever on the floor are paint don't you? What protects it from harm? The urethane over the paint. The biggest issue would be metal cans that would be slid across a painted ceramic countertop.

      I suggest you try this method on a small sample section of tile and see what you think. You'll be amazed. FYI - Contractors like you are the hardest people to convince of anything because you get set in your ways. And your comment about "Nobody wants to see painted tile, it screams cheap." is so far off base I can't believe it. Talk to the owner of a high-quality tile store who sells expensive painted tiles and she'll set you straight.

  9. jill scott
    February 4, 2015

    i want to paint my kitchen tiles but ones i have seen in the past look horrible full of brush marks what do you suggest thanks.

    • Tim Carter
      February 4, 2015

      Jill, use my search engine here. Go find my Painting Kitchen Cabinets video and watch it. I show you in the video how to avoid brush strokes by using a special additive in the paint.

  10. Matt day
    February 5, 2015

    What is a brand of water based urethane you recommend? I'm finding a bunch of different options with slight differences. Something I can pick up at Home Depot or sherwin-williams preferably.

    • Tim Carter
      February 6, 2015

      I've had good luck with Varathane.

  11. aneena
    February 9, 2015

    Hello, I'm trying to make hand painted tiles to mix with plain tiles. Would you still use urethane as a sealer? Would it be okay when you install them? I know you've been asked this before but I can't find your response.

    • Tim Carter
      February 11, 2015

      Yes. That would work.

  12. Walt
    March 26, 2015

    Question: I have a lot of ceramic tile on my covered, screened back porch. It gets slippery as ice when moisture in the air condenses on it. Can I put urethane directly on the tiles, without painting ? If so, is there a urethane with impregnated substance that would yield a rough enough texture to mitigate slipping ? Thanks !

  13. Travis Smith
    April 23, 2015

    Do you think think process could work for a floor in a commercial retail space? We are opening a bakery. This would be done in the front of the bakery where people shop. Replacing the ugly original tiles is out of our budget. Thoughts? Any advise would be appreciated.

  14. Kevin
    June 17, 2015

    Do you need a primer before painting the tile?

  15. Tonya
    August 23, 2015

    The tile on my kitchen back splash was painted an ugly color by the previous owner using a latex paint. The tile also has a texture to it, so not smooth. How would you recommend preparing the tile for new paint?

  16. Carol Smirh
    September 2, 2015

    I have rough Italian terra cotta type tile on my kitchen backsplash. I would like to white wash it, so a little of the color comes through, but it looks more white than orange. Also, if the whitewashing becomes damaged while cleaning it, it is less likely to show on white washing than solid painting.

    Is it possible to white wash tile, and if so, what is the correct process?

  17. carinne
    September 3, 2015

    I have border tile (ceramic) in my pool. They are in great shape, but very ugly. Is there a way to change the color without changing the tile?

  18. Christine
    September 4, 2015

    Hi there,
    What are your thoughts on using a marine paint (for boats)?

  19. Leigha
    December 11, 2015

    Hi Tim,

    Recently purchased a home with the ugliest kitchen I have ever seen. I don't have alot of money to replace, etc. , so I was hoping you can give me some tile advice. I would like to know if I can use the Krylon paint that looks like granite so that the tiles can have a whole new look instead of just paint. I would like to show you a before picture and what I would like it to look like after picture but it doesn't give me the option here. With that being said, can you please suggest what would be the best overall paint to achieve a granite look.

  20. Leigha
    December 11, 2015

    Tim I also want you to know that I'm referring to counter tiles and some wall tiles but mostly counter tiles and I don't know what to do..." is there any way that I can show you it before picture?

  21. Jason Cooke
    May 16, 2016

    We painted the tile in our bathroom about 6 years ago and it has held up perfectly well. We don't hesitate to recommend it as an alternative to tile replacement.

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