Can You Paint Bathroom Tile?

Article by Ninktyaz on September 6, 2012 under Remodel category

Bathroom tile looks wonderful when they installed at first, but after some years they look so old and bad and then there is always a big question comes to your mind, “can you paint bathroom tile?” Luckily, you can do this, painting your bathroom tile to get a new and fresh look of your bathroom.

Can You Paint Bathroom Tile? : Rewards and Risks

Rewards that you can get from painting your tile are you can prolong the life of your tiles, avoid costly and messy ripping out and re-installation of tiles, achieve exactly the color you want, rather than being limited to the “baked-in” tile colors and you get the opportunity to patch cracks and dings (the paint will cover up the patch material).

Black and Blue TileBlack and Blue Tile

Besides rewards, painting bathroom tile also brings some risks. The risks are the paint will begin to peel over time, painted tiles also mean painted grout, require extensive tile-cleaning to prepare surface, subsequent buyers of your home may express prejudice about painted tile and at best, painting tile is a temporary fix; will not last as long as the Romans’ 2,000 tile.

Can You Paint Bathroom Tile? : Step by Step

Basically, successfully tile painting activities center around three P’s – Preparation, Paint and Protect.

Preparation is the first thing you should do when you want to start your tile painting project. As with any type of painting, preparation lays the foundation for success. The first step that you should follow in this preparation part is you must repair chipped or cracked tile and disintegrating grout.

Green Bathroom MergeGreen Bathroom Merge

After that, clean the tile and the grout completely with TSP Cleaner (Trisodium Phosphate), available at most hardware stores.  TSP removes the dirt and soapy, greasy residue that might spoil the look of your painted surface and the mold that otherwise will eat through the new paint. Then, do not forget to remove any cleaning residue with denatured alcohol. The last step in preparation phase is you should use blue painter’s tape to mask off any areas you do not want to get paint on.

The next phase of the project is painting itself. Start with test your oil based primer and oil based paint color by painting a swatch in an inconspicuous spot to make sure you like the result, check the swatch in various light throughout the day and evening to make certain you like the color.

Painted TilePainted Tile

The next step of this phase is you may prime the area with an oil based primer designed to adhere to shiny surfaces.  Your paint store professional can recommend a brand.  Paint in smooth even strokes in one direction or roll evenly in one direction with a very short nap roller and allow the primer to dry completely, according to manufacturer’s directions.

After the primer is dry paint gloss or semi-gloss paint designed for ceramic or porcelain surfaces in a thin even coat and let dry completely.  Repeat the process.  Again, as with any paint, it is better to do two thin coats rather than one heavy coat.

Tiles for BathroomTiles for Bathroom

The last but not least phase of the project is the phase of protection. After the painted tile is absolutely dry, apply a coat of clear polyurethane to protect it from wear and tear.  This durable coating helps prevent scratching and chipping.

This article hopefully can help answering your question of “can you paint bathroom tile? “ However, if your entire bathroom needs the tile color changed you may want to consider a professional refinishing job.  Recoloring the tiles (and bathroom fixtures if you want) is less expensive than replacing the tile, if the tiles are in good condition. The process requires using acidic compounds to etch the surfaces of the tile and fixtures, professional grade materials, spraying on the color

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