Last update:

Painting tiles - how to choose the right tile paint?

Your bathroom floor tiles that looked amazing several years ago, now are probably not as great. They might seem unaesthetic, outdated, or simply boring. However a complete tile replacement means a lot of expenses and a long time spent on a renovation. You can avoid all the trouble if you decide to use tile paint. Painting tile is much quicker than replacing them. Combined with some other minor changes, you can completely transform your room over the course of one weekend.

Painting tiles - how to choose the right tile paint?

Painting tile - a quick makeover

Ceramic tile is a quite sturdy material. However the longer the tiles are exploited, the less radiant they become. Floor tiles lose their original gloss and the grout colour fades. Tile replacement might be pretty expensive and overly exhausting. Usually such makeover means either hiring a construction crew or sacrificing one’s own freetime to do such a renovation yourself.

Having that in mind, tile paint might be a good idea for a quick and easy makeover. Doing that you not only don’t have to worry about ripping up the old tiles and all the mess related to it. In comparison to a complete renovation of a bathroom or a kitchen, it is far cheaper. Because it’s so quick, painting tiles is perfect for people who tend to change the room decor on a spur of a moment. Tile paint can be layered multiple times. One just needs to stick to the product’s instructions.

Painting ceramic tiles is not difficult and doesn’t require hiring a specialist. You can do such makeover by yourself. The only trick is to pick the right tile paint and make sure that the tiles are well prepared. No special tools are necessary.

An additional advantage of such renovation is the fact that it doesn’t generate any noise. Therefore you don’t have to worry about the peace of your neighbours. Tile paint won’t fill your interior with dust and dirt, as it is with tile replacement. The whole procedure is relatively easy and fast to do. It can be done over the course of just one day, and maximum time is three days. The time depends on the type of tile paint and the number of layers.

Painting tile - a quick makeover

Choosing the right tile paint

Manufacturers offer quite limited choice of products suitable for painting tiles. You can buy two part tile paints. Their biggest advantage is the fact that they don’t require using a primer before painting. You should apply it if you choose the other type - one part paint.

Tile paint can be also used for painting materials such as metal, glass, concrete, plastic and stone. The products available on the market are:

  • Epoxy paint - this type of tile paint is highly resistant to abrasion and the use of detergents. They are thinned with water. Using epoxy paint for tile is enjoyable, as it does not produce any strong smell.
  • Alkyd urethane paint - it is usually used for metal, but it might serve as tile paint as well. It produces a strong, resistant layer, therefore it is perfect for painting tiles on the floor.
  • Acrylic tile paint - such products are manufactured specifically for the use on tiles. Contrary to ordinary products of this type, acrylic tile paint is water resistant. It can be used to cover glass and metal.

Paint that is typically used for walls is not suitable for painting tiles in the kitchen or bathroom. Such paint would not stick to the smooth tile surface and it would just flow down. However, if you use a good primer before painting tiles, you can cover them with latex or oil paint. Make sure that the product you choose is washable, because tiles are usually placed in rooms of high humidity.

Such a solution might be beneficial if you demand a broad range of colours. Unfortunately, the choice of colours of tile paint is quite narrow.

Keep in mind that paint that you use for wall tiles cannot necessarily be used for floor tiles. Floor tile paint should be highly resistant to abrasion. Wall tiles, particularly those in the shower, should be covered with a waterproof surface, immune to detergents. Deciding, which tile paint is the best for your needs, think of the finish you wish for. Satin and matt surfaces are very elegant, whereas shiny tiles will make the room look bigger.

Choosing the right tile paint

Tile paint - how to paint ceramic tile?

Interior transformation with the use of tile paint is not a difficult task. For satisfactory results, before painting one should prepare accordingly:

  1. Search for any holes and cracks in your tiles. Fill them with silicone sealant or a special type of glue. The surface should be as smooth as possible.
  2. Thoroughly wash and degrease each tile, using a special degreasing agent. Make sure the surface is completely dry.
  3. Remove old sealings and silicone. Afterwards you will apply new sealant.
  4. It is worth to sand the tiles, which will make painting much easier. This way tile paint and primer stick better to the surface. Use fine sandpaper or a sanding sponge. It is important particularly in places of high humidity, such as shower, and on the floor. After sanding make sure the tiles are thoroughly dusted.
  5. If you use primer, use appropriate product fit for the tile paint. One to two layers of primer is enough. When priming, start from grout and move onto the tiles.

Before you start painting, secure all elements that are not going to be covered with paint. Usually it involves light switches, power sockets and sinks. Do do this, use masking tape.

Painting - how to use tile paint?

If the surface has been properly prepared, you can proceed and start painting tiles. It is best to do it during dry and windy weather. If it is possible, open the window. It will prevent you from inhaling the fumes and will make the paint dry faster. Mix the product precisely the way the manufacturer recommends. The best tool for painting tiles is sponge roller. Do not use brush, as it would leave visible trails on the surface. Another method is spray painting, however it might be quite difficult. Such procedure requires using special equipment.

After applying the first layer leave it for 16-24 hours. Then you can paint the tiles again. When painting floor tiles, one should apply three layers. Make sure to spread the paint as thinly as possible to avoid uneven surface.

If you use epoxy paint for tiles, you can add an additional layer of transparent varnish at the top. Floor tiles might be covered with a layer of special non slip varnish. Remember to re-apply silicone sealant where it’s needed.

Tile paint becomes fully functional after some time after application. Stiffening of the surface may take up to 20 days. Therefore the tiles cannot be washed or wiped immediately after they dry. When the layers are still in the process of stiffening, it is easy to damage them. Be careful not to hit the surface and not to drop anything on it.

You can paint your tiles on one colour, however it is not the only possibility. You can for instance create a checkerboard pattern. To do it, secure every other tile with masking tape after the first layer dries. Then just paint the remaining tiles using a contrasting colour. Another good idea is using special stencils with decorative patterns.

Painting tiles is the best solution for a quick and effortless kitchen or bathroom renovation. Its biggest advantage is the low price, especially in comparison to tile replacement. All one needs to purchase are painting tools, good tile paint and several additional materials. Painting tiles is a great idea for an effective and effortless makeover. You can do it yourself, which will bring you a lot of satisfaction.

Painting tiles - FAQ

📍 Which tile paint is the best?

Every available tile paint is good. Choosing a product, one should consider their own needs and expectations. Tile paint for floor should have high resistance to abrasion.

📍 Which tile paint is the most durable?

Alkyd urethane paints make the strongest surfaces. They are abrasion-resistant, which is the biggest advantage. They can be used to paint metal elements.

📍 How long does tile paint dry?

A single layer of tile paint dries approximately 16-24 hours. One should wait at least 16 hours before covering the surface with another layer. The paint stiffens completely after 20 days.

📍 How much does tile paint cost?

The cost depends on particular brand of the paint. When planning painting tiles one should consider several points. The size of the surface and the amount of layers that the tile paint requires are the most important.