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How to Paint Your Tiles

How to Paint Tiles

For those who don’t love their bathroom tiles, we’ve got great news. Painting tiles is the easy, affordable DIY alternative to an expensive bathroom renovation. As long as the tiles are still in good shape, painting will save you the cost and inconvenience of tearing them out and replacing them. Check out this easy how-to guide to give your tiles a makeover.

Tools & Materials

How to Paint Your Tiles

Photo via Flickr by Keith Williamson

Before embarking on this DIY project, assemble the tools and materials you’ll need:

  • Dust mask
  • Gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Tile cleaner
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Acetone
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint brush or paint sprayer
  • High-adhesion primer
  • Epoxy-based high-gloss paint

You’ll find these items at your local home improvement store. However, some websites also sell kits for painting tiles that you can have delivered right to your home. Keep in mind that most kits come in white so you may have to tint the paint yourself if you want colorful tiles.

Prepping Your Space

Photo via Flickr by Rubbermaid Products

Photo via Flickr by Rubbermaid Products

Getting your tiles ready to be painted is typically more time-consuming than painting them. But it’s still a fairly easy process. Just be sure to use the protective gear listed above. In addition, it’s critical to keep the room well-ventilated while you work. Use these steps to get your tiles ready for painting:

Step One: Clean the Tiles.

Clean the tiles with a commercial tile cleaner. The product should have a mild abrasive to help prime the tiles for the next step.

Step Two: Sand the Tiles.

Use the sandpaper to gently sand the surface. Use a small brush to remove excess film and grout from the tiles.

Step Three: Wipe down the Tiles.

Dampen a paper towel with acetone. Wipe down the tile surfaces to remove stubborn soap scum and any sandpaper particles left behind.

Step Four: Protect the Bathroom.

Protect bathroom fixtures by removing them or applying painter’s tape.

Choosing a Design

How to paint tile 2

Now that your tiles are ready to go, it’s time to tap into your creative side. You can paint the tiles a solid color for a fresh look throughout the space. However, you can also use painter’s tape to create patterns or stripes. Use your tile’s grid as a guide for geometric shapes. If you want to “color outside the lines,” so to speak, you might want a tape measure and level so your pattern is consistent.

Painting Like a Pro

how to paint tile 3

Now that the previous steps are complete, it’s time to make your mark. Use this simple step-by-step guide for fool-proof tile painting:

Step One: Prime the Surface.

Prime the surface using the high-adhesion primer. You only need to apply a thin coat. Allow the primer to dry for at least three hours.

Step Two: Apply the Paint.

Apply the epoxy paint as desired. For small areas, use a brush. Larger areas are more efficiently covered with a paint sprayer.

Step Three: Watch Paint Dry.

Let the tile dry for at least 24 hours. During this time, make sure the area isn’t exposed to moisture. Don’t use fans to dry as they can blow dust and dirt into your paint.

Step Four: Remove Painter’s Tape.

If any painter’s tape has been applied, remove it slowly and carefully.

Just a few steps and—presto!—you’ve got a fresh new look for the bathroom. Use only non-abrasive cleaners on this surface to make sure it lasts for years to come.

Was this guide helpful? Have additional tile painting tips? Let us know in the comment section below.

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