Is it Possible to Paint Over Floor Tiles?

A variety of different styles and designs are available with tiles but if you are interested in adding creativity to your tiles, some types do have the option of being painted over. These tiles would be ceramic and/or porcelain and an ideal space to try painting over your tiles would be the bathroom. Painting over tiles can be a process of a project and while there are different benefits that you can gain with it, it is also good to keep in mind the different pitfalls and how they may affect your tiles. By choosing to paint over your tiles, there are different things that you will want to note.

Pros and Cons of Painting Tiles

One of the first benefits that you can gain with a painted tile is a less costly alternative to replacing tiles. Painting tiles can help prolong the tile’s life and help provide a chance to fix minor issues on the tile. Overall, you can have your tiles a unique look while gaining an affordable alternative in maintaining your tile without replacing it.

The downside with painting tiles however is that it requires extensive preliminary work and even then, the paint may end up chipping over time. What’s more, painting the tiles may end up covering the grout which may result in a not so desired look.

What Painting Over Tiles Involves

Like any project, there is always a process you will want to note to ensure a smooth and clean finish. There are general instructions and tips that can help if you plan to do a DIY but knowing the following basics can help overall:

Cleaning and Prepping

A good first step for any process is to have everything cleared for the project. This is especially so with tiles since their protective surface can make years of dirt and other build-ups difficult to remove. A thorough wash-down using grime-busting trisodium phosphate cleaner would certainly help but a good vacuuming and scrubbing of the tile and grout lines to remove dirt and grime can be an option.


Having the tile surface sanded creates a matte finish that helps the paint stick better and longer. You will want to have this done with fine-grit sandpaper to help eliminate extra finishes on the tile, especially if the surface of the tile is glossy. Once this is done, you can use a clean, damp cloth to collect and lift extra dust left over.


The priming process is one of the most critical steps when it comes to any tile involved process. Depending on the tile you will want to paint, there are different primers you will want to use. For ceramic or porcelain tile, you will want to use epoxy or urethane primer. As for other tiles like natural stone or unglazed quarry tile, you will want to use masonry primer. By having primer applied, it can help to prevent peeling and flaking of the paint over time.

Painting the Tile

When it comes to the actual painting of the tile, you will want to use epoxy paint or paint designated as tile paint. Three coat applications should be enough for full coverage and the process itself can involve either rolling colour onto large swaths of tile at a time or brushing individual tiles by first “cutting in” around the edges.

Sealing the Tile

A good final step for any tile project is to have the tile sealed as it protects your project from grime, scuff marks, and scratches. Different tiles will require different sealers whether it be clear, urethane, or masonry sealers. When added along with the overall result, you will want to keep track of the drying time before utilizing the space once more.

Why Consider Cairns Tiling For Assistance

Painting over your tiles can make for a prolonged process depending on the materials you have at hand. By hiring a professional service, you can cut down on any labour and be assured of a quality finish. With Cairns Tiling, you’ll find an experienced team of professionals that can deliver a hassle-free process with results to meet your tiling needs. In addition to this, you’ll find that Cairns Tiling can provide a consultation on any budget-friendly needs as well.


Painting over your tiles is a process that can bring different benefits for your tiles including a creative alternative to replacing tiles and prolonging them. With the proper basics followed, you can have pitfalls like chipped paint avoided and save costs with your tiles. Given how labour intensive the process of painting tiles can be though, a professional service group would be an ideal option to go for. By having painted tiles, you can provide a unique look of your own to your tiles.

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