Do you have ceramic tile in your bathroom or kitchen? Is it time to update the color scheme? Well, we have some good news for you: Ceramic tile CAN be painted, and it is probably a lot easier (and cheaper) to paint it than to replace it. Here are some tips on how to do it.
Check the Tiles
Before you begin, make sure your tiles and grout are already in good condition. Make any necessary repairs BEFORE you begin painting.There’s no point in going through all the effort of painting your ceramic just to have to replace a few months later.
Prepare the tiles by scrubbing them with a mild abrasive and sanding them to remove the gloss. Make sure the tiles are smooth and glossless or else the paint job will look uneven, bumpy, and distorted.
Clean the tiles thoroughly with tile cleaner. You don’t want any specks of dirt or smudges peeking out from underneath the new paint job; it’ll drive you crazy! Let the tiles dry all the way once you’re done.
Paint on two coats of oil based high adhesion primer. Let it dry, and gently sand the tiles again just enough so the surface is smooth.
Use oil based paint rather than latex. If the tile will be wet often, apply an epoxy coating as well. (*NOTE: You are likely to have more success if you paint areas that are not as high-traffic and do not get wet often.)
Paint several coats of semi- or high-gloss paint, allowing the paint to dry between each coat. Consider painting the grout a contrasting color using a fine brush. This is the hardest part so make sure you have a steady hand or proper tools to paint well.
Let it Dry
The tiles should be left alone to dry for 2-3 days or as long as the paint manufacturer suggests. Better safe than sorry, so make sure it’s had plenty of time to sit and dry.
Once the tiles have dried, apply two coats of clear water based urethane. This gives a clear, good-looking finish without leaving much of an odor.