Want to know how to paint tiles? Whether you’ve inherited a dated bathroom that you’re doing up on a budget or you’re looking for easy ways to cut costs when decorating a kitchen, our guide to how to paint tiles provides an affordable solution, as well as step-by-step instructions, to help you transform your room for next to nothing.
Do you ever have a project that ended up being so much easier than you expected that you’re kicking yourself for procrastinating so long to do it? Painting the ceramic tile floors in our first floor bathroom was one of those projects for me! I decided I was going to paint my bathroom floors way back in 2017 when I was making over my space for the One Room Challenge but the stenciling of the bathroom walls took so long that I ran out of time to do it before my big reveal. Somehow two full years went by with me giving the stink eye to those floors every time I used the bathroom but doing nothing about it. Well I finally knocked this little DIY project out and it was so cheap and easy. And I love it! Welcome to my its-five-hundred-times-better-than-those-ugly-reddish-floors-were bathroom!
We’ve covered everything from one-toned tiles to achieving an on-trend patterned finish with nothing more than stencils, paint and a bit of patience. Looking for more decorating ideas and inspiration? You’ll find everything you could possibly need in our hub.
1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TILES TO PAINT
Painting over well-worn tiles may be a quick, affordable way to update a room, but it is not the most durable solution; if anything, it’s more of a stop-gap.
2. CLEAN THE TILES THOROUGHLY
Making sure the tiles are clean before you even pick up a brush is key. Dirt, dust and grease can stop the paint adhering properly, so spend some time cleaning the tiles with sugar soap or a detergent solution and a scourer.
If there are any mould stains on the grouting or sealant, use a fungicidal spray to kill it off before applying any paint. A steam cleaner is also very effective for cleaning grout and tiles. Ensure the tiles are completely dry before starting to paint (we recommend waiting 24 hours.)
3. SAND THE TILES
When painting a high-gloss tile, lightly sand the area to give the paint something to adhere to, just be sure to clean off any dust before you start painting.
4. CHOOSE YOUR STENCILS IF YOU’RE OPTING FOR AN ON-TREND PATTERNED FINISH
If you’re looking to achieve an on-trend patterned tile for a fraction of the price, you might consider painting over existing tiles with the help of a stencil. It’s easier than you might think, we promise.
5. BEGIN PAINTING THE TILES
Once the primer is completely dry, use a similar sized brush to start painting on your colour. If you’re using a stencil this is the time to position it on your first tile – take your time to ensure it’s in the right position.
Apply several thin coats to avoid heavy brush marks showing through and to ensure the paint doesn’t peel after just a few weeks.
Two coats will usually be required, but if you are painting over a dark coloured or patterned tile you may require more. Be aware that if you are painting tiles with a raised pattern this will still show. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly between each layer.