How to Paint Ceramic Tile

Revive old tiles with this project.

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Photo by Weedezign/Getty Images

Painting tiles is a good way to change the look of a room without spending a fortune on buying new tiles and devoting a ton of time to installing them (or paying the pros to do it). There’s a caveat, though: Painted tile usually won’t hold up for long in a wet area. And unless you have tons of time to tape every tile—or a super-steady hand—it’s nearly impossible to paint the tile one color and the grout another. Your best bet is to paint it all white. With that in mind, use these steps as your guide.

  1. Clean the tile, paying particular attention to areas around a sink, where invisible soap scum may have built up. Let dry overnight.
  2. Look for any cracks or chips and make repairs.
  3. Lightly sand the surface so the paint will stick.
  4. Apply painter’s tape where the wall meets the tile.
  5. Prime with a product formulated for ceramic tile and let dry.
  6. Paint with two coats of high-quality eggshell or semigloss. Let it dry completely for a few days before placing anything on it, or touching it.