December 13, 2023 5 min read

Retiling a bathroom can be expensive and take a long time. Thankfully, there is a quicker, more cost-effective alternative to giving your bathroom a new look — painting bathroom tiles. You can complete this DIY project yourself with the right tools and help from your friends and family.

Start your remodeling project here. Give your bathroom a well-deserved makeover with our guide to painting bathroom tiles. Get the knowledge you need, from the best paint to use to the right tools to get the job done.

Can You Paint Bathroom Tiles?

Yes, you can paint bathroom tiles. You need to complete every step carefully. Painting the tile likely won't take as long as properly preparing them. Waiting for the paint and primer to dry makes this a longer process.

Compared to retiling a bathroom, painting tiles is more affordable, less work and takes less planning. Additionally, you still get to choose colors and designs based on your style.

Before you start remodeling your bathroom, you need to know a few tips that will be helpful when taking on this project.

  • Take your time:Painting your bathroom tiles can become an intricate process if you want to create patterns using tape or avoid painting the grout. If you rush through it, you can make mistakes, so take your time for the best possible outcome.
  • Allow the paint to dry:Paint can peel off or create streaks without sufficient time to dry. How long it takes paint to dry depends on the humidity and heat in the space and the dry time recommended for the paint and the primer.
  • Use an alternative bathroom: If possible, use a different bathroom while the paint dries on your tiles. Steam created by baths and showers creates humidity, which can affect the paint and the overall outcome.
  • Expect wear and tear:A bathroom is a high-use area in your home. Hot baths and showers create steam and moisture in the air. Over time, the paint on your tiles will suffer wear and tear. Bubbles, scratches and peel-offs can appear and affect the finished look.
  • Be prepared to repaint:If your bathroom suffers any bubbles and scratches, take this opportunity to repaint your tiles and give your bathroom a fresh look. You can try new styles and decor ideas to keep your bathroom looking modern and updated.

What Is the Best Paint to Use on Bathroom Tiles?

What Is the Best Paint to Use on Bathroom Tiles?

You must use high-quality paint and primer to ensure minimal peeling and bubbling in a hot and humid space like your bathroom. You can use acrylic latex or epoxy paint to paint your bathroom tiles. These paints can withstand moisture and heat to minimize peeling, and they are more durable and resistant to scratches. Acrylic latex and epoxy paints are available in various colors and finishes from gloss to matte to create a look that fits your style.

How to Prepare Bathroom Tiles for Painting

Carefully preparing the tile ensures the paint sticks and provides the best possible outcome. It also allows the paint to last on your tile much longer. Here's how to prep bathroom tile for painting:

1. Scrub Away Any Dirt and Buildup

Before painting, scrub away any dirt and watermarks on the tile and grout. Use a scrub brush and tile cleaner, detergent or sugar soap to remove hard-to-clean buildup or mold. Use a wet rag to remove excess residue and allow the tile to dry.

2. Caulk Cracks and Chips

Apply paintable caulk on any cracks and small chips. Painting can cover these aesthetic flaws, but caulking helps strengthen the tile below to prevent the cracks from ruining your paint. For big chips, you can apply a waterproof spackle with a putty knife to smooth and even out the surface.

3. Sand the Surface

Use sandpaper to sand the tile and create a rough surface. Tiles such as ceramic and porcelain generally have a smooth surface, making it difficult for any paint and primer to stick to. After creating a rough surface, wipe down the tiles again to remove any residue after sanding. Wear a mask and gloves to protect your face and hands.

4. Apply Masking Tape and Lay Down Drop Cloth

Apply masking tape around the edges of where you want to paint. Use the masking tape as a guide instead of painting over it to prevent peeling off any paint when removing the tape. You'll also want to lay down drop cloths to protect your floor from any spills or spatter.

5. Apply Primer

Adding primer helps the paint stick to the tile. Check the primer packaging to know how many layers of primer you need. If you are still unsure, use two coats for the best results. Allow the first coat of primer to dry before applying the next coat.

6. Paint Your Tiles

After allowing the primer to dry fully, it is time to paint your tiles. Use a smaller paintbrush to paint the edges and grout and a foam paint roller to complete the rest of the work. Allow the paint to dry completely before adding a second coat.

7. Allow Paint to Dry Fully

Do not use the bathroom for at least 24 hours after painting the tiles. Even if the paint is dry to the touch, wait the total recommended time to minimize any moisture that can negatively affect the paint and increase the time it takes to dry.

8. Apply a Top Coat

After your paint is dry, apply a polyurethane sealer to protect the paint surface. This top makes your paint more durable in high-moisture areas and minimizes wear and tear over the years.

Tools You Need to Paint Bathroom Tiles

Ensuring you have all the tools you need before starting your project will prevent delays and increase the chances of successfully painting your bathroom tiles. The tools you need include:

Shop Benjamin Moore and Supplies for Painting Your Bathroom Tile

Shop Benjamin Moore and Supplies for Painting Your Bathroom Tile

Remodel your bathroom tiles with Benjamin Moore paint and supplies and give your bathroom a fresh, updated look. You can easily find all the tools you need to complete your project with us. Shop in-store at any of our 32 Long Island locations or online from home. For additional assistance and queries, feel free to contact us today.

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