How to Paint Over That Ugly Bathroom Tile

7 Materials
1 Day

Below is our bathtub. We had plans to get rid of it as soon as we moved in, but then surprisingly we enjoyed using it! So now we want to keep it, but that 80s look just had to change!

Hmmm, the tile is in good shape, could I just paint the tile?? Well, yes, I could! Let me show you how to paint tile without removing it!

Last week I showed you how I did a bathroom cabinet makeover using paint, and the tub surround also got the same treatment.

For this post I painted ceramic tile with chalk paint. How in the world do you get paint to stick to shiny ceramic tile??? It’s all about that primer! I tried out a new (to me) product called Slick Stick. It makes paint stick to slick things.

First, I cleaned the tile using White Lightning; just sprayed and wiped with paper towels. 


Second, I applied Slick Stick. I used a Dixie Belle brush to apply. Once dry, I did a second coat of primer. It’s smelly so work in a well ventilated area. Remember the primer is the real to-how for painting tile! 

I let the primer dry overnight. Once dried, the flat finish was ready to paint!

For my base coat of paint I chose Midnight Sky. It’s an almost but not quite black color. Perfect for my stenciling vision. 

I painted two coats. A 16oz jar of paint covered the tub surround twice with extra to spare. The paint also dries quickly.

Here's where I almost panicked-Black Tile?!

I kept painting because I knew the best was yet to come.

Here's a sneak peak of the finished tile. Be sure to check back next week when I'll show how to stencil it all ( check here)!

If you like this project please  subscribe to my emails. Follow me on Facebook @RootsandWingsFurniture where I share more tips and advice. 

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 62 questions
  • Mariam
    on Oct 30, 2019

    Can we paint floor tiles too??

    • Susan Acito
      on Oct 3, 2020

      If you're walking on it, it's eventually going to wear off. Same with painting tile on a surface that gets wet a lot. It will eventually bubble and peel

  • Debbie
    on Oct 30, 2019

    When you clean the bathroom how do you now clean your tiles? Won’t this scrub off if I’m using a spray on tile cleaner?

    • Megan
      on Oct 30, 2019

      She says on the stenciling post, "once completely dry, I sealed it with 2 coats of Gator Hide. I applied it with a brush, working it into all the grout lines. "

  • Dianne
    on Oct 30, 2019

    She said several times that the primer smelled, why didn’t she open the window?

    • Linda
      on Nov 3, 2019

      She didnt say she didnt open a window. She was warning us to keep it well ventilated.

Join the conversation

2 of 101 comments
  • Lisa G.
    on Oct 30, 2019

    Beautiful result! The stencil pattern you chose is perfect.

  • Acacia
    on Oct 30, 2019

    LOVED THIS but I too wonder how you clean in there now. Also it would be helpful to see a zoomed out total shot to see how the trim and tile look together as a finished product.

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