How to Update Your Tile With Paint

9 Materials
2 Days

Join our list here and don't miss anything from the blog - you'll find tutorials like painting tile and so much more! If you're looking for a very budget friendly way to update your tile backsplash, this is it! I was unhappy with our brown tile in the kitchen and wanted a change, but couldn't afford to rip it out and start over. The next best thing is painting it. And it's been almost two years since I painted and it's holding up beautifully. The whole project cost me about $25!

Here's what we started with:

You can see it's a typical builder grade tile - nothing fancy and it wasn't horrible, but I wanted lighter. Our kitchen is in the middle of our house and gets very little natural light.

The key to painting tile, especially in the kitchen is prep. You've got to get every ounce and speck of grime, oil, grease, dirt, whatever is on there from years of cooking has to come off. Tape off every surface you don't want paint to get on and cover your counters. I used newspaper or trash bags.

I cleaned with TSP - follow the directions on the bottle for proper use and disposal. And you've got to prime the surface so your paint has something to adhere to. Priming isn't fun, but necessary.

Here's what I used: You can get the full details and a one year update on the blog!

  • Quality brushes - this is important! You don't want bristles coming out onto your paint
  • TSP Cleaner - this ensures all the grime/grease is gone
  • Oil based primer
  • Gloss oil based enamel paint
  • Painter's tape

And here's a look after priming:

And here's the look after painting!

Of course that pic is after I painted the cabinets too - and that project cost me a whopping $100! Be sure and go to the blog for all the details on how to update the kitchen cabinets for cheap!

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Melissa - Create and Find

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 13 questions
  • Debra
    on Feb 27, 2019

    I have plastic tiles can I paint them ?

  • Jodi
    on Apr 10, 2019

    Hi, Beautiful! I love the color you used on the tile, would you tell me what the color name was, brand, and sheen. I'm not afraid of DIY products but picking out a color is the worst. Then your lighting hits it and the color can change. Improvise or repaint. Thanks

  • Linda
    on May 6, 2019

    Do you have to use oil base primer & paint ???????

    • Melissa - Create and Find
      on May 6, 2019

      I chose to use oil based primer and paint based on researching what was best for painting over tile. I'm sure there are other options, but that seemed like the best one for us and our tile.

Join the conversation

3 of 38 comments
  • Heje
    on Mar 14, 2019

    I primed and painted mine temporarily 2 years ago and it has become permanent. Easy kitchen update.

  • Cathryn Holt
    on Aug 6, 2019

    I have the same tiles in my kitchen and I want to do this awesome update! Thank you.

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