Can I Paint the Ceramic Tile in my Bathroom or Kitchen?

Here on the Central Coast of California, we love tile! The problem, however, is that the permanence of tile often outlives the style with which it was created. This leaves us wanting to update or remodel our kitchens and bathrooms. In an effort to save money and still achieve a new look, many homeowners wonder if they can paint the ceramic tile in their bathrooms or kitchens. Some even want to paint the tile on their floors. Is this a good idea? Does it work?

When should you paint ceramic tile?

If you have drab tiles that you want to update, they can be painted as long as they are not in a high-traffic or high-moisture area. A kitchen backsplash, a guest bedroom floor, or the walls of a half-bath would be good examples of this. Even decorative tiles in halls or other spaces can be painted, as long as they will not receive heavy wear.

When should you not paint ceramic tile?

High-traffic floors are not likely to perform well if you paint the ceramic tile. Constant wear from feet and shoes will cause the coating to wear and fail, leaving it looking pretty bad. Also, showers and kitchen countertops near the sink are not ideal for painting tile, since the moisture can seep in and loosen the bond between the paint and the substrate, causing it to peel or bubble.

How do you paint ceramic tile?

The full process is quite work-intensive, and you can read more about it here or here. But we can give you here some of the basic idea:

- Clean the area thoroughly first, and repair any cracked tiles or loose grout.

- Sand the tile to remove the glossy finish. Use very fine grit sandpaper, and an orbital sander if possible.

- Clean the area again.

- Prime the tile using a high-adhesion primer that is designed for this purpose. Ask an expert at your local paint store.

- Paint the ceramic tile using several coats of a high-quality alkyd paint. Again, ask at your paint store.

- Finish the project with a coat (or two) of clear urethane finish.

Are you still unsure if you should paint your tile?

New Life Bath & Kitchen is the perfect company to consult, since we are not only a remodeling company, but a painting contractor as well (New Life Painting)! We would be happy to come and evaluate your kitchen or bathroom and give you honest feedback about whether painting the ceramic tile is a good choice in your situation.

Serving Nipomo, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Santa Ynez and more, New Life Bath & Kitchen is the Central Coast's choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling.