Can You Paint Tile?

There may come a time when your existing tile no longer pleases you. This may occur when either the color goes out of fashion or sometimes you are redecorating a room and the color of the tile limits your color choices. Replacing tile can be expensive. Is painting the tile an option?

I am a painter and ran into this very problem with a client. She had just bought the home and the kitchen tile was a salmon / pink color. She was death on pink of any shade. She planned to replace the tile in the future but wanted a stop-gap solution. Painting the tile was the way to go.

Painting tile most certainly can be done but like most things must be done correctly. The main issue is assuring that the paint will stick to the tile. Most paint is not composed to adhere to any very smooth surface such as glass or ceramic tile. Even other surfaces which when compared to tile would have considered rough need to be sanded to ensure a good bond with the paint.

The solution is a very clean tile surface and a special primer. It is called bonding primer. All primers are stickier than paint and that is why they are used before the paint goes on. The paint will adhere better to the surface to be painted. Bonding primer is configured to stick to very smooth surfaces.

For the very best finished look you should spray the primer and the paint to the tile. As most people do not have the proper spray equipment this may have to be done by a professional. If done this way the finish will look just like tile. You should not be able to tell that the tile was painted except up very close examination.

Of course, you could paint it using a brush and roller. You would want to purchase a very fine brush such as an ox-hair or similar bristle. You can also purchase small rollers that are designed for fine finishing. Any good paint store will be able to assist you with this. Just tell them what you are trying to achieve. I know that I could produce a very nice finish using this method. It will not be as good as sprayed but it would be a very pleasant look.