How to paint over bathroom and kitchen tiles – the 7 steps

DIY tip: Expert explains how to lay tiles in your home

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Dated, bland or overpowering tiles are a big no-no, and you might think it’s a tricky problem to solve on a tight budget. However, you don’t need to tear out all of your tiles – a splash of paint will do the trick! chatted to Tile Giant to find out how to paint over your bathroom and kitchen tiles in seven simple steps.

Painting your tiles is doable, but it’s important to note that most tiles are not made to be painted.

Tile Giant’s experts explained: “Keep this in mind when deciding which tiles to update. Try to steer clear of areas that come into contact with moisture, for example; showers, near the sink or bath.

“Tile surfaces are often glazed to a high sheen to help avoid damage and prevent any dirt, oil or dust that may build up over time, so prepping your tiles before you begin the transformation process will make all the difference.”

You need to be very careful which colour you choose, as low-quality paints won’t stay on the tiles for very long.

The experts said: “Maximum results will be accomplished through choosing the correct tile paint. You’ll want to purchase high-quality paint that will need little to no upkeep.

“Consider saving yourself some time by opting for a specialist paint that requires no primer.”

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How to paint over bathroom and kitchen tiles

Equipping yourself with the correct tools and tile paint is always a good starting point. Here’s what you [email protected] 

Paint roller (You may prefer to use a paintbrush depending on the size of the tiles)
Tile paint
Paint tray
Sugar soap or detergent solution
Fine-grit sandpaper
Primer (if necessary)
Scouring pad sponge
LTP sealers

Step one- Clean

First things first, spend some time wiping down your tiles. Use sugar soap or a detergent solution with warm water for the best results.

Be precise and thorough with this, especially if you are working with kitchen tiles. These are likely to have built up a layer of grease and dirt over time and can be trickier to clean.

Start from the top of your tiles and work your way down. Lastly, rinse them with clean water and allow them to dry.

Steam cleaners are also great for cleaning tiles and grout, so if you have one to hand consider using one instead.

Step two- Repair

Small chips and cracks in your tiles are common but need to be sorted before you start painting.

Any imperfections can be repaired using filler, but be sure to only apply a small amount to avoid bumps and lumps forming on your tile surface.

The experts added: “Be mindful of the condition of your grout. You’ll be painting over this and will want the finish to look as sleek as possible.”

Step three- Sand

As mentioned, your tiles need to be as flat and matte as possible.

The experts said: “Ideally you’d use a hand-held orbital sander for this step, but fine-grade sandpaper should do the trick.

“Lightly sand the surface area, avoiding sanding right down to the tile body. Once the glaze is scuffed, wipe off any remaining dust.”

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Step four- Prime

Not to prime is a crime! Priming your tiles is very important as it will make sure the paint clings to the tiles.

The experts said: “Keep the layer of your coat thin and use a small paintbrush to allow you to cover your grout more effectively. After the primer is dry, lightly sand.”

Step five- Paint

For this step the experts at Tile Giant recommend using a brush, but if you prefer a paint roller feel free to use one of those instead.

They said: “The aim here is to apply the paint in thin layers to prevent large brush strokes or the chance of it peeling after a couple of weeks.

“If you’ve chosen to use a stencil, make sure it’s placed in the correct position and choose to work with a brush for this application. This gives you much more control over your paintwork.”

Most of the time, you’ll need around two coats but you may need to wait and apply additional coats if you are covering darker or patterned areas.

Don’t forget to open some windows to keep the humidity low and let any primer and paint dry properly.

Step six- Dry

Be patient! Rushing will ruin all your hard work and result in a messy bunch of tiles.

Tile Giant recommends allowing at least 24 hours for your paint to dry.

Step seven- Seal

To give your finished project more longevity, you should consider using a tile sealant.

Tile Giant’s experts said: “Tile sealants help to protect the tiles against water, oil, grease and dirt. So that your time and effort transforming your tiles won’t go to waste.”

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