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Dingy Bathroom Tile? Paint It!

The second floor bathroom was a no-brainer. Gut it. The wall tile was yellow with age and had a giant crack running across most of the room. The floor tile was dingy and also had multiple cracks. Oh, and the pipes to the shower were rusted and didn’t work. Yup, this has to go…or so I thought.

My budget allowed me to renovate the kitchen and bathroom, but I’d have to make compromises for both. The other option was to renovate the kitchen, exactly how I wanted, and hold off on the bathroom. I chose to renovate the kitchen.

I was stuck with this. On the plus side, anything I do (including cleaning out the former owner’s toiletries) would be an improvement.
Time: 2 Days Cost: $50 Difficulty: Easy
Rugs, shower curtain, medicine cabinet, wood toilet seat and the rest of the clutter was tossed. Luckily, the bathroom is right above the kitchen and the rusty pipes were replaced when the kitchen ceiling was ripped out. The wallpaper was removed and the wall patched. Finally, the room got a fresh coat of primer and paint.
Even after a good cleaning and fresh coat of paint the bathroom still looked pretty rough. Something had to be done with the dingy wall and floor tile.

I looked into purchasing a Rust-Oleum Tub and Tile Refinishing kit at Home Depot. The refinishing kit was a little pricey, and I’d have to purchase several to finish the bathroom. I also thought about hiring a company that does ceramic tile refinishing. I did this at my last house. It looked great, but cost $600.
Dilemma. Is it worth it to spend several hundred dollars on a bathroom I plan to gut in a year or two? I decided it wasn’t. I could use that money toward one of the many other things around the house that needed to be fixed.
I painted the bathroom tile using white outdoor paint I had left over from my front porch. I figured if it holds up outside, why wouldn’t it work in the bathroom? Next, I traced the trim line using black floor paint to help break up all the white.

The floor tile was painted with a white floor paint, similar to what I used for the concrete basement floor. It made the cracks in the floor much less noticeable.
I kept the original light fixture over the sink, but painted it silver. The bulbs were swapped with large antique ones that I left uncovered. It gave off more light, plus it just looked cool. The hole from the medicine cabinet was covered up using a mirror purchased at Home Depot. It’s nothing fancy, but it got the job done and I don’t have to look at dingy tile for the next year!

***DISCLAIMER- I did not paint the shower or tub as outdoor paint is not meant to be used in a bathroom and will eventually peel or rub off. This is only a temporary solution. For longer lasting results I would recommend using a tile and tub refinishing kit***

Materials I used for this project:

  • Outdoor Paint   (hardware store)
  • Floor Paint   (hardware store)
  • Paint Brush/Roller   (hardware store)

To see more: https://pisforpotential.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/make-it-work-2nd-floor-bathroom-renovation/

  • B. Enne
    B. Enne Canada
    on Aug 12, 2017

    Looks so fresh!
    I'm in the same position. I had one bathroom done, and need a Band-Aid solution to tide me over for the other one. The tile grout has always looked dirty no matter how much scrubbing has been done. The tile is an ugly gray with peach and gray brush strokes! I'm looking forward to painting it white!

    • B. Enne
      B. Enne Canada
      on Aug 15, 2017

      You too...I'm not ready to start mine yet.

  • Diana Deiley
    Diana Deiley Nokomis, FL
    on Aug 12, 2017

    Woman after my own heart....so resourceful. Great job! Thanks for sharing.

  • Zena
    Zena United Kingdom
    on Aug 15, 2017

    love it.

  • Marcia Day
    Marcia Day Ada, OH
    on Aug 15, 2017

    While I agree the wallpaper made it way too dark, I would have left the medicine cabinet since it was built in. It definitely looks pretty brightened up. I love the old flooring. Too bad it's going to be gutted, but each to their own. (I love the staircase.)

    • Virginia
      Virginia Mission, TX
      on Aug 22, 2017

      Agreed. This house is a gorgeous treasure.

  • Moon
    Moon Knoxville, MD
    on Aug 22, 2017

    I wouldn't want to spend to money on expensive refinishing kits that have questionable results either. Before painting the tile, I would use killz primer though....just sayin. That stuff sticks to anything! I'm still trying to get some of it off of my old tile after my husband over shot during painting 10 years ago....

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!